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Visitors to the Ocean Isle Beach,and in fact, visitors all along the North Carolina coast are often surprised to hear two terms; Beach Music and Shag Dancing. In this blog we’ll pull back the curtain a bit and give you a brief history and description of the infectious music we love here on Ocean Isle Beach. Next week we’ll explain everything you need to know about Shag Dancing. So come along with us as we share two of those unique coastal Carolina arts that we’re sure you’ll fall in love with.

Defining Beach Music

Beach music is complicated to describe. It is almost one of those things that you know it when you hear it. Ok, we realize that doesn’t help you much so we’ll share what the famous beach historian and Ripete Records label head, Marion Carter’s definition: “It’s an aura or sound, a cultural kind of thing, based on “sweet soul”- a style of music by groups like The Temptations, The Radiants, The Four Tops. It’s a style of singing where you would never get anything like a scream or howl like Wilson Pickett would of. It’s all controlled, nuanced singing. This is the root of Carolina Beach Music.”

That probably only complicated things. Don’t go download a Four Tops song and think you’re listening to Carolina Beach Music, it is so much more than that. The best way to discover it is to hear it. Click on the video below to listen to the iconic Chairman of the Board, who are as close to beach music royalty as there is. This is a great example of Carolina Beach Music.

Where It All Began

The history of beach of Carolina Beach Music is an interesting combination of legends, facts and local stories. Like any creative process there isn’t one moment where everything came together to create a new sound. The basics of the music we now know as Carolina Beach Music

Legend has it that it all started at Jim Hanna’s Tijuana Inn in the spring of 1948. How you ask? While there is some debate the most common story is that Jim (the owner) allowed “Jump Blues” to be played on the jukebox. This was an usual event in the segregated south as the “Jump Blues” was a traditionally African American form of music. With any good music comes dancing. Soon there was a new fusion of dance and a melding of sounds such as Blues, Jazz, R&B and Big Band music. The end result was something new and something we have all come to love on the North Carolina coast…. Beach Music!

If you want to learn more about this unique history, check out Carolina Beach Music Encyclopedia, by Rick Simmons.

10 Carolina Beach Music Bands You’ll Love

If you’re interested in listening to more Carolina Beach Music but aren’t sure where to begin your journey, we have a few suggestions. So go ahead and fire up the iTunes account and get ready to download some of the best beach music available. Here are 10 Carolina Beach Music bands you need to download today. These would even make a great Ocean Isle Beach vacation playlist.

Chairman of the Board
The Carolinas
Fantastic Shakers
The Embers Featuring Craig Woolard
The Tams

Hip Pocket
Mark Roberts Band
Carolina Breakers
Band of Oz
Too Much Sylvia

Live Carolina Beach Music on Ocean Isle Beach

Want to hear more great beach music? You’re in luck because here on Ocean Isle Beach we have a free concert series that features loads of great beach music (as well as other genres of course). The Ocean Isle Beach concert series takes place each Friday at the Museum of Coastal Carolina which is close to all of our great vacation homes. You can even walk or ride your bike from many of our homes. The concerts are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There is no seating so make sure to bring your chairs. Here are just a few of the acts that are coming to the free concert series.

Too Much Sylvia

July 27, 2018

This band has a simply infectious personality. Refusing to use a set list, this band plays off the energy of the crowd, and what an energy they create. Nobody talks about Carolina Beach Music without mentioning Too Much Sylvia. If you can only make one of these shows, this is the one to see!

The Holiday Band

August 17, 2018

For those who haven’t had the chance to see this band, you’re in for a treat. Over the years the band has experienced some changes, but the new line up appears to be just the right blend to provide us with toe-tapping music you’re going to love.

The Entertainers

August 31, 2018

The Entertainers have been part of the Carolina Beach tradition for well over 30 years. Founded in 1980, The Entertainers almost immediately recorded what would be their first regional hit with “Living For The Summer” that same year. This and several other popular songs helped propel the group to the forefront of the beach music scene.

Continental Divide

September 7, 2018

Continental Divide has been playing Carolina Beach Music for over 30 years. Their reputation is one of quality, professionalism, and above all, awesome music. From the silky smooth voice of Gene Pharr that compliment the tight rhythm section, and soulful horn section, they’ll put on a performance everyone will remember.

Are you ready to plan your Ocean Isle Beach vacation and discover more Carolina Beach Music? If so, our friendly and knowledgeable staff are here to help you plan your vacation. Just give us a call at 800-727-9222 or click on the button below to begin planning your vacation today.

Do you have a favorite Beach Music song or memory? Leave a comment below and let us know about it.

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