Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Heeey Baby Days Of Beach Music

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been digesting one of the most wonderful books on music I have ever read by Greg Haynes called "The Heeey Baby Days Of Beach Music". The book is not only a work of love and passion by Greg but it also a truly magnificent record of a lost era of soul music. The book is full of facts supported by a tremendous collection of photos which brings the golden era of Beach Music to life. The book also comes with a 2 CD set of rare sounds which you can listen to while you read the book - what could be more perfect?
Greg & his wife Nora 2004
The best thing to do to get an insight into the book is to visit Greg's website and read the reviews or download a chapter or just gaze at some of the photos of the bands included in the book.
Here is what Greg has to say about the writing of the book:
After spending over thirty five years reminiscing about those few years he had as a band promoter, Greg decided in late 2001 that he would memorialize a few of the interesting and fun events that happened in the mid to late 60’s when the bands of the Southeast were making parties in auditoriums, national guard armories, fraternity houses, and other venues. The original intent was to primarily focus on only the bands and performers that he had a direct connection with in the 60’s either as a promoter, booking agent, or party participate. Curiosity and interest segued into learning more about some of the other bands and groups that made the music and party of the 60’s so special in the southeast. Soul Music was the music of choice and groups that offered a strong play list of such in those days were sought out. It turned into a bottomless pit. A nice pit, but larger than ever expected. Bands that featured large horn sections like the Swingin’ Medallions, Bill Deal & the Rhondels, the In-Men Ltd., The Pieces of Eight, King David & the Slaves, the Jesters, the Men of Distinction, Sensational Epics, Tyn Tymes, the Attractions and others were the groups that were thought to be the primary players but it was quickly realized that other bands could also make that great music using genuine instruments other than horns and were quite revered at the 60’s party scene. They included groups from all over the southeast such as Bob Collins & the Fabulous Five, the Monzas, the Georgia Prophets, the Rockin’ Gilbraltars, Mouse, the Boys & Brass and the pit deepens. Then a credibility issue arose with the use of the “Beach Music” in the title of the book. How possibility could one use such nomenclature without spotlighting the bands and groups that have made the genre such a significant music form such as the Embers, the Catalinas, Bob Meyer & the Riverias, the Spontanes, and three hundred other bands in North Carolina alone?
It occurred to me the most important two words in the book would be “and others.” The book was essentially finished in the spring in 2003. However, after meeting Julian Fowler, of Florence, S.C. “and others,” I realized the book would not be finished until he “and others” are satisfied all the bands and groups that made the party music some call Beach Music and the Carolinas are totally identified.
One of the reasons the book has grown to such proportions is the result of our initial research back in 2001. It concerned us when we tried to find information on the internet about groups like Bob Collins & the Fabulous Five and King David & The Slaves, we got very little. While we do not expect the book will be a complete anthology of the party bands of the south in the 60’s, we think it will be a start.
Greg Haynes, DJ & Radio Presenter Richard Searling and Mark Speakman of Funky Feet Records

During the summer just gone, Greg came over to the UK to promote his book and one of the people who helped him was Mark Speakman of Funky Feet Records based in Rhyl, Wales. I got my copy of the book from Mark and you can still order the book direct from him.

One of the artists featured in the book is Bob Collins & The Fabulous Five and I have picked out their 45 on Mainline to go with this postBob Collins & The Fabulous Five Inventory On Heartaches Main Line

If you only buy one book this year then make it this one - you won't be disappointed!

Thanks to Greg and Mark for the use of the photos in this post

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