All of us have suffered in different ways during this 3 month pandemic shutdown. One of the lesser tragedies is the loss of BEACH MUSIC and the places we go to listen and dance. Music has been my life for many years, and I’ve been in the Carolinas to witness the growth of this popular social gathering of music and dance. It’s called the SHAG and it’s not easy to learn, but when you do, the communication with a partner is extraordinary — not unlike Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (in a minor sort of way). The majority of shag dancers remember those days, and the sign in Fat Harold’s motivates us…”God loves you when you dance.”

Dancing is a physical skill and music is a listening skill. When you marry the two, with the right partner, you can’t wait for the next dance, the next party, or the next band. Beach music fans are not unlike religious people. They worship the music we have been deprived of for the last 3 months or so. Think what it’s done to people like Earl Dawkins, Craig Woolard, Jim Quick, Gary Lowder, Rhonda McDaniel, Midnight Allie, and many others who sing and lead the bands that people love. Favorite songs are lyrical poetry with a message of joy that we never outgrow: “I Love Beach Music” — “Under the Boardwalk” — “Shagging the Night Away” — “Carolina Girls.”

North Myrtle Beach is the heartbeat home of where this music was birthed. The clubs like Duck’s, Fat Harold’s, OD Pavillion, Spanish Galleon, and Deckerz are the worn out ‘Taj Mahals’ where the music always sounds brand new. Our world needs to heal so people can return to the ‘music of life.’ We’ve missed the music makers so much, and feel sorry they & others have been out of work for so long.

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