how the music and dance of the southern coastline of the Carolinas and Georgia stays in our soul.
I love beach music. It is in my blood and my soul. I have lived all over the US and, believe me, I hate it when I can't find beach music on the radio. Now, at least, I can always get my favorite beach music station from Myrtle Beach SC on my computer. It is a great relief.
Beach music was not always welcome in our homes and our lives. In the early years it was considered "colored music" and only played in the clubs on the south side, down at the colored beaches, or on the underground radio stations. Fortunately for us, there were adventurous people who brought this slow rythmic sound onto to the strand and dance floors of the Carolinas and Georgia for all of us to enjoy. It is a soul music. It speaks to your inner person and calls to your inner dancer. If you are a beach music person, your feet automatically start to move in that slow, shuffling step that defies description but always gets your attention. It is the music by which we dated, made out, dreamed, and lived our young lives. We welcomed those who played the music and the special voices that sang the lyrics into our lives and they still have a special place there. A beach music lover will always be a beach music lover. People from the area around New Orleans and Memphis know what I mean. Their music is a lot like beach music. In fact, some of the same bands play both kinds. Now days the bands are black, white, and other colors. No one type of race or creed is represented. The men and women who play and sing these songs seem to be forever young even though, in reality, they have gained weight, lost their hair, and no longer have that sparkling sex appeal they once had to us when we were young and impressionable. Of course, we aren't young any more either. We all gather together at Myrtle Beach each spring and fall for SOS which is our name for the shagging groups who meet and greet each other from the towns all over the Carolinas and Georgia. We all known one another and welcome each other into open arms during our gatherings. To hear the Chairmen of the Board tune up will stop people in Virginia Beach or Miami. With our weejuns shined up and our bermudas and oxford cloth shirts we look like we did in the 60's when Barbara Lewis's Hello Stranger made the top 10 list. You see the same crew cuts and page boy hairdos and you over look the grey streaks that weren't added by Clairol on purpose but by Mother Nature for meanness. As you see someone you knew when you were a life guard in the summer of '64 or the girl who was your best friend in college, you see the person that was and not the older person who is. Beach music is the great equalizer. It brings us all back to our college years and reminds us of our hopes and dreams and what life was to be.
When I die I want an open coffin. I would like to be laid to rest in my madras wrap skirt with the blue oxford cloth blouse. My virgin pin should be on my collar. Please see if my hair can be teased into a perfect flip and my eye shadow just lightly kissing my eye lids should be ice blue. Kiss me Pink should be on my lips and my weejuns should be on my feet. Please put on the great beach music of my time and let's all enjoy it as you dance the shag in my memory. Just before the service is over, please check to see if my feet are moving. If they aren't then you can close the casket lid because I am good to go.