The Carolinas have a reputation for keeping alive rock-rhythm ‘n blues-and-beach music. The Elite Artist Network gathered a group of the finest musicians on Sunday, January 26th, and put on a 3 hour show for the faithful. The party was in a sanctuary known as Studio East. It’s just a cave of perfect sound that has welcomed music makers for 50 years or so in the Queen City. It has a history of hit song making. One being James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” was birthed in that room. Tyrone Jefferson played the trombone in the band, ‘Image’ and he was the band leader for the James Brown orchestra back in those ‘get down’ days. Toni Tupponce, Tyrone’s wife, sings in this first video, “Dancing In The Streets.”

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Remember Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs? “Stay,” “Lil Darlin.” Maurice has always called Charlotte home, but like all great musicians he spent his time on the road. Maurice sings in video #2.

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General Norman Johnson, Chairman of the Board, died recently, but the music never will. Ken Knox picked up the baton and told the General his ‘baby’ was in good hands. Ken sings one of your favorites in video #3.

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Who else sang at this show?  Jackie Gore with that perfect range tenor voice… “I Love Beach Music”… every time you think of Jackie.  He can wring your heart. The Boulevard Boys and James Bates and Roger Smith. And last but not least, one of the stars of the afternoon was Jimmy & Darlene Harrison. A husband and wife team who belt out a soul connection like you’ve never heard. They are swwwweeeeeet.

It was a spiritual gathering because we really believe in this stuff. Every time you hear a favorite song it gives you a chill, a memory and a big smile on your face. Nothing brings people together better than music. All prejudice disappears when your foot starts tappin’ and your fingers begin to pop. You want some music? Call the Elite Artist Network.


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