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Why Do They Call It Beach Music?


A McLeod III

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Probably sounds like a dumb-azz question to most but the analytical me just don't get it.

 

I just finished a Beach Music demo for a compilation project sponsored by an area radio station. I almost want to say it's the first Beach tune I've ever done then I thought to myself, "this just sounds like 60's r&b........

 

.........which brings me to the 1st part of this post. What is the distinguishing factor of "Beach Music"? Does anybody really know? That moniker doesn't really make sense to me. (Well actually I do have an oppinion that really wouldn't be very politically correct and I'd like that to be incorrect)

 

And secondly, you know I want you listen to the tune which features some cool guitar tones from myself and my friend Wayne and Ray Whitaker does a killer job on lead vocals. Love to get your oppinions on the tune.

 

Here's two links to the song. The first one is the direct link (with Soundclick, that doesn't always work) :

 

Sumthin\'.mp3

 

and the page address if that doesn't work:

 

Musically Mr M @ Soundclick When you get there, just click over to my music page and click on the link to Sumthin' :)

 

Hope you listen and I also hope you can help me make sense of the term. :wave:

"Life Is Just A Game And They're Many Ways To Play...All You Do Is Choose." SC 1976

 

Fantom, XP 80, DX7 IIFD w/"E", Ensoniq ESQ 1, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Roland S 10, Korg Triton LE with EXB, GEM RP2

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Well, the tune you're is pretty classic R&B or soul and not surf IMHO.

 

I like the vocals, the horns, the tune, and your playing is really spot-on!

 

Surf to me is either sounding like early Beach Boys or Dick Dale/Surfaris/The Halibuts/Chantays.

 

I love surf music, I also love the type of stuff your track was too. It is in deed all good.

 

Now, I'm off to play a few Segovia scales before I crash.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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no, because everybody beaches about it.

 

Beach music and its closely related sibling surf music come from what was considered to be the California Sound in the 1960s, music that accompanied movies like Pajama Party, Beach Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, etc. An innocent place where even 'give him the finger' meant something entirely different. (Ask Eric Von Zipper.)

 

 

One of these movies even made fun of the British Invasion by sporting a mop-top pop band with bad phony English accents. The Telstars, Dick Dale, the Ventures, Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys were only the more memorable tip of the iceberg for this style of music. I'm guessing that it was brought about and popularised by the LA labels and their close proximity (and tie ins) with the film studios.

 

Fun stuff.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I had never heard of beach music till a couple years ago when a friend from North Carolina mentioned it. It is not surf music. Best I can tell it is kind of like acoustic R&B music. Maybe a bit like James Taylor, not really sure. Very smooth vocals, slow rhythms. I am still not sure of any hit songs or artists who play that type, I need to do more research.
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I didn't even realize there was a separate thing called beach music, and when I read Archie's initial post I guess I saw "beach" but thought surf. When I read everyone else's post I had to go back and re-read my own post and his to see what I was talking about.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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That's a little more Turf than Surf. I would consider the Parrothead stuff to be more beach music. I also associate Reggae very heavily with the beach 'cos back in the day when we tumbled out of a Kombi to hit the waves, amidst a cloud of ganga smoke, it was always Bob Marley playing. Calypso, all that stuff, way more beach than R&B or Soul.
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around here, beach music implies R&B, and early hip hop type stuff. Got it's start around Va beach among the afro=american crowd. Surf music on the other hand, implies Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Ventures, etc.
"Who's gonna teach the children about Chuck Berry?"
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I think beach music is a cross between Jimmy Buffet and R&B but I haven't heard enough of it to really say. It is not surf music or associated with surf music. I can't name in national hits that were beach music songs though. Maybe something like "Under the Boardwalk" is related to it.
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Wow. Between 3 forums I usually go to, there have been a lot of good responses. I've really gathered some really intrestin' observations from all these various answers.....

 

1. West Coast "Surf Music" and South Eastern "Beach Music" are two totally different animals. Surf music would be in the style of Dick Dale, Beach Boys, etc. where as the Beach Music of the South (NC, SC-home of the original Carolina Beach Music and that dance, "The Shag" and Va.) has more of an R&B flavor regardless of race color or creed.

 

2. It also seems that "Beach Music" was almost a resort oddity-performed by slick, watered down stylized cabaret performers or retired Black R&B groups/artist (I'm paraphrasing what I read from several of the sources I've been linked to) for affluent whites and college student on vacation . Beach initially had as much to do with social-economic status as it's entertainment value.

 

3. Most all of the most popular "BeachTunes" were in the style of the "Stax Sound" (Muscle Shoals Horns, etc.) as well as some Motown stylings. The Chairmen of the Board, Doug Clark and the Hott Nuts and a local favorite of mine-Johnny White and the Elite Band were typical of these bands. The Tams, Band of Oz, etc. were the white equivalent of these groups. (I am not a proponent of racial divisions in terms of arts and music- call me a dreamer if you like but that's just what I believe)

 

4. The movie, Dirty Dancing was kind of a variant of what became the "Beach Music Theme"

 

So, I get the sociology lesson behind it but I guess what I wasn't getting was how you take Motown, Stax, Muscle Shoals and relagate that style to this small region of the US and catergorize it as "Beach Music". People all over the world know who Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, The Temptations, The Supremes, The 4 Tops- everyone can relate or at least have been exposed to this music. Seems a shame to simply market it and claim it to be music exclusive to North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina. Y'all feelin' me on this? I found it fascinating how many people didn't even know what Beach Music was at all-not a clue let alone the cloudy minds like my own. :) I guess this was the root of my question. I just always thought it was simply "good music".........but then again, what do I know? :confused:

 

Thanks for listening to my music guys and my rant........

 

 

........and on with the show. :D

"Life Is Just A Game And They're Many Ways To Play...All You Do Is Choose." SC 1976

 

Fantom, XP 80, DX7 IIFD w/"E", Ensoniq ESQ 1, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Roland S 10, Korg Triton LE with EXB, GEM RP2

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Originally posted by ellwood:

That track is not any kind of beach music I ever heard OR my definition was always incorrect? It's a good well done track but beach? I don't think so, so like STAX style R&B kinda.

That was part of my premise Ellwood. It seems from all I can find out, regional Beach Music (Southern-NC, Va, SC) is of mostly Stax/Volt, early Motown, Muscle Shoals type stylings. Very much different than the West Coast thing. Since i am from NC, I guess that is what I was looking at and assumed that everyone considered that style "Beach Music". Even I didn't realize that this form of Beach Music was a "regional thing".

 

And OT, I visted your band site and your group is really really good. I really like your style and your guitar playing......aside from my other oppinions I have about you :rolleyes:

 

Just Kiddin'

"Life Is Just A Game And They're Many Ways To Play...All You Do Is Choose." SC 1976

 

Fantom, XP 80, DX7 IIFD w/"E", Ensoniq ESQ 1, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Roland S 10, Korg Triton LE with EXB, GEM RP2

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Watch the movie, you know the one, and check out Otis Day and the Nights. That is typical East Coast beach music from the early 60s. Shark-skin suits, lead guitar(with an Echoplex), bass, rhythm guitar, drums, the right cover tunes and you were hip.

 

Paul

WUDAYAKNOW.. For the first time in my life, I'm wrong again!!
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Archie, thanks for all the information about these styles of music.

 

No matter what it is called it is great music, and your track is really good music fitting in well with the whole "stax" thing, and your playing on it is really tasty, so I'm happy.

 

Great music, in a style I like, with exemplary guitar playing: what is not to like? thanks

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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Originally posted by Archie McLeod III:

Originally posted by ellwood:

That track is not any kind of beach music I ever heard OR my definition was always incorrect? It's a good well done track but beach? I don't think so, so like STAX style R&B kinda.

That was part of my premise Ellwood. It seems from all I can find out, regional Beach Music (Southern-NC, Va, SC) is of mostly Stax/Volt, early Motown, Muscle Shoals type stylings. Very much different than the West Coast thing. Since i am from NC, I guess that is what I was looking at and assumed that everyone considered that style "Beach Music". Even I didn't realize that this form of Beach Music was a "regional thing".

 

And OT, I visted your band site and your group is really really good. I really like your style and your guitar playing......aside from my other oppinions I have about you :rolleyes:

 

Just Kiddin'

LOL Archie!!! Yeah I know I'm not easy to love! but thanks for the roses I appreciate it. We still play trad MoTown allot around here because that is the market, and we do like it, we grew up musically on it. I think we where doing beach music and didn't know it!!! and probably still are.
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"Shark-skin suits, lead guitar(with an Echoplex), bass, rhythm guitar, drums, the right cover tunes and you were hip."

 

That was US! exactly right on, and I'm NOT kidding either! LOL!!

 

:eek::D:thu::cool: Hay and I still have the Echoplex.. tape pops and all!!

 

Oh and don't forget the Italian stiletto boots and the thick and thin ribbed socks

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Originally posted by musicalhair:

I didn't even realize there was a separate thing called beach music, ...

Yeah, me either.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Well, from what Archie has written, I'm far less clear than before, when I was just wrong. From the description, I get the impression of tourist area shore cover bands, watering down whatever they played. I don't consider that a style. I'd be interested to hear some artists who are claiming to be beach music artists, to get a littl emore clear on what we are talking about here.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by Bill@Welcome Home Studios:

I get the impression of tourist area shore cover bands, watering down whatever they played. I don't consider that a style.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The 'look' was a style of it's own. The music style/songs played was called 'beach' or 'shore' music, and encompassed not only the musical content but how a band looked. Check out the movie Eddie and the Cruisers to get a vintage look at what the scene looked like in the early 60s. The sound track isn't 'beach', it was a loose takeoff on Springsteen, but the look is authentic. Obviously the term 'beach' music has a different meaning today, but that's the first time I ever heard it. Curious to know what it means now.

 

BTW Ellwood, I accidently said Echoplex, when I meant Echorec ;) . Both very cool :D . Remember the gold Lame jackets?

 

Paul

WUDAYAKNOW.. For the first time in my life, I'm wrong again!!
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Wow. Learn something new everyday.

 

I got into the swing dance thing late in the game, in the early '90s as it was dying out around here. I got to see the 24 Karat (Westland) revert back to The Token Lounge and The Velvet Lounge (Pontiac) burn out like an ember in a dying fire. Near the end I learned the "collegiate shag" (although not very well). Evidently the Carolina shag is an offshoot of this, but the current Carolina shag is more swing than shag.

 

Anyway, looks like that unreliable source Wikipedia has already hashed out the topic here .

 

Mitch Ryder actually gets listed as part of the genre. Cool!

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I checked your link, and Wiki kinda nailed the period I was referring to in it's "Socio-Political Context" and "Classic Beach" sections. I was going to mention artists like Ernie K. Doe and Wilber Harrison. Glad they gave props to all those great artists.

 

Paul

WUDAYAKNOW.. For the first time in my life, I'm wrong again!!
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