Saturday, September 18, 2010

One of life's great pleasures -- beach music

Got a minute?

William Congreve probably never heard of Carolina beach music, but he still came up with one of the most famous quotes ever about the value of music when he said, "Music has charms to soothe the savage breast."

Big Bill Congreve
He's often misquoted, because a lot of folks think he said "savage beast," but he didn't. The music of his time (the early 18th century) wasn't that powerful.

Still, if any of those savage beasts -- or breasts -- had stopped in on a summer evening in Myrtle Beach, S.C., or at any of hundreds of fraternity houses at Southeastern universities, they might have felt very soothed by the likes of General Johnson and the Chairmen or the Tams.

Or they might have been inspired by the song chosen as the greatest beach music song of all time, "Sixty Minute Man," by the Dominoes.

I grew up on groups like the Showmen ("39-21-46," "It Will Stand") or Virginia Beach's own Bill Deal and the Rhondells ("I've Been Hurt," "May I").

In case you don't get it, beach music has very little to do with surfing. It's basically R&B songs of a certain type, with a beat made for dancing the Shag and drinking beer out of Dixie cups.

And it is wonderful.

Thanks for that minute.

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