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        Twenty eight years in the making, Shagging In the Carolinas is the first serious study of the fun and magic in the Shag and Beach Music communities.  'Fessa Hook explored and documents Shag through five different lenses. 
  • 1)  The early innovators:  invention of Shag # 2 in Wilmington, NC (although often confused in other publications as the 'Arthur Murray Shag,' 'Northern Shag,' or 'Yankee Shag,' Shag # 2 was invented and debuted in Wilmington.  Hook provides newspaper and first person accounts by those who were there in 1928.  Another innovator was Helon Powell Poole of Charlotte, NC, first to report the Carolina Shag in American Dancer, the premier U.S. dance magazine, and the first to teach the Shag over 50,000 watt WBT radio in Charlotte.  Picturing several newspaper stories, Hook illustrates the historical development of the Shag into the Big Apple, rather than the reverse which is often claimed in regional folklore.
  • 2)  Under 'Pavilions, Pools, and Pads' Hook shows the evolution of the (four) Myrtle Beach Pavilions, Folly Beach's pavilions and dancing pier, the Isle of Palms, the White Lake Resorts, Williams Lake, Sustar's Pool, the Minnesott pavilions, Atlantic Beach NC, Pawleys Island, the Lumina Pavilion at Wrightsville Beach, Pocalla Springs in Sumter SC, Pullen Park in Raleigh, Twin Lakes in Columbia, Spivey's Pavilion Myrtle Beach, High Point City Lake, Fred Green's in Andrews, Page's Lake, the Seabreeze Pavilion, Sonny's Pavilion, The Pad and other Shaggin' and Boppin' hot spots.
  • 3)  The Readin', Writin', and Recess Chapter depicts the impact of the Shag on numerous high schools and colleges ranging from the Winthrop Training Institute, Clemson University, Charlotte College, high schools in Florence and Atlantic Beach and several others.  There are vintage records pictured which were among the first to introduce the Shag.  In addition some of Shag's earliest entertainers are shown -- the DJs from WLAC Nashville, Gene Nobles, John R. and Hoss Allen -- Wally Mullinax's Ebony Swing Club in Greenville, SC in 1950, and several other legendary DJs from Charlotte's WGIV, and the Triad's Jam-A-Ditty, and Daddy-O On the Patio.  Pay close attention and you'll find the origin of the term 'Beach Music' here, along with numerous pictures and playbills of many of the great Beach bands of the past and present.

  • 4.  The institutionalization of Shag in the 70s, 80s and beyond with S.O.S. (1980), the Society of Stranders, and over 100 social Shag clubs that mushroomed in the 80s.  Dance contests abounded with the Shagger's Preservation Association and Junior Shaggers Association.  And of course several new radio stations dedicated, for the first time, to full-time Shag and Beach Music formats.
  • 5.  The Chronicles of Shag and Beach Music shows the numerous publications, magazines, newspapers, documentaries and movies that have set out to capture and share the many aspects of Shag history.
        An invaluable addition to any library with room for the history of the state dance of North Carolina and South Carolina.
 
   

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To order your copy of Shaggin' In the Carolinas (132 pages), click here
 

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To order your copy of the Shaggin' In the Carolinas companion CD, or bundle the book and CD, click here

 

 

A Complete set of Beach Music Guide Volume 1 and Volume 2. 

Samples

 
 
        Seventeen years in the making, the Beach Music Guides Vol's 1 & 2 (500 pages each) are the first encyclopedic compilation of Beach music hits and near-hits from the entire spectrum of Beach Music history from 1945-2006.  There are 26,000 songs and 5,000 artists listed.  The artists are alphabetical, and split, A-L in Vol. 1 and M-Z in Vol. 2.   There is an index in which the titles of all 26,000 songs are listed alphabetically, A-L in Vol. 1 and M-Z in Vol. 2.
 
        In addition, Volume 1 contains
 
*  An extensive history answering the question, "What is Beach Music."
*  The Myths and Near-Myths of Beach Music History (dividing Beach History into Six Waves.
*  An essay on the differences and similarities between Radio songs, Club songs and Chart development
*  A short History of S.C.'s premier Beach Music record label, Ripete Records
*  The legend of the Saturday Night Fish Fry
*  The simultaneous Origin of Beach Music in two different places in North Carolina in 1945 (with pictures, story, music lists and interviews)
*  The 1945-1975 Beach Music Top 40 Charts (15 years in the making, with the help of dozens of Beach Music radio and entertainment veterans)
*  35 pages of All Time Beach Music Top 40 charts by fans throughout the Southeast
*  The Association of Beach and Shag Club DJs yearly Top 50 charts
*  The Association of Beach and Shag Club DJs yearly Throwdowns at Ducks in North Myrtle Beach
*  Master Artist Discography A-L with hundreds of bios on even the most obscure artists
*  Master Title Index A-L
*  Every song ever recorded by any Beach or Top 40 related group in the Southeast and deep South (even those songs that weren't considered to be Beach Music)
 
        In addition, Volume 2 contains
 
*  The evolution of Beach Music lyrics, a 36-page look at the era in which Beach Music became aware of itself (as a comparison, when did Rock and Roll begin to 'sing' about itself?  From the very beginning.  Not Beach Music....it was nearly 30 years before Beach Music demonstrated any self-awareness in its lyrics).
*  The 1976-2006 Beach Music Top 40 Charts (15 years in the making, with the help of dozens of Beach Music radio and entertainment veterans)
*  83 pages of All Time Beach Music Top 40 charts by fans throughout the Southeast
*  Master Artist Discography M-Z with hundreds of bios on even the most obscure artists
*  Master Title Index M-Z
*  Every song ever recorded by any Beach or Top 40 related group in the Southeast and deep South (even those songs that weren't considered to be Beach Music)
*  The National Association of Rhythm and Blues DJs Yearly Charts
*  The CAMMY's, Beach Music Top 40, and Carolina beach Music Awards winners lists 1995-2006
*  Fat Harold's Beach Music DJ Hall of Fame
*  Christmas Beach Music All-Time Top 40
 
An invaluable addition to any library with room for the history of the state music of South Carolina (and North Carolina when they finally get around to voting on it).
 
 

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Volume 1 or Volume 2 may be ordered singly  $25.00 ea                    

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To order one or both of them -- Beach Music Guide 1 & 2 (1000 pages), click here

 

 

 

 
        The Beach Music and Shag All Time Top 200 was the result of a collaboration between long-time colleagues and friends, Christopher Biehler and 'Fessa John Hook.  The first All Time Beach Music Top 40 was published in 1980.   Hook and Biehler brought it up-to-date to 2010 with pictures of each and every record, CD, or LP which contained the ranked song.   In addition to the full-cover photos they included stories about the songs, the artists, the record labels, and the growing Southeastern Beach Music scene.  (How many people know that Louis Prima recorded his first version of "Just A Gigolo" on a V-disc in 1945?  See it here.  How many know he recorded it again on his own record label?  Or on an EP (extended play 45) with a picture cover?  Or another record with a picture cover?  How many know the origin of the two songs "Just A Gigolo" and "I Ain't Got Nobody"?  That's how extensive this treasured book is to fans of Beach and Shag Music.

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To order your copy of The Beach Music & Shag All Time Top 200 (100 pages), click here

 

For the DJ, Collector, or Fan who wants to get right to the charts!  This edition brings the Top 40 Charts offered in 2008 up-to-date by compiling them altogether:  1945-2011, in one volume, back to back.  Priced to buy.

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To order your copy of The Carolina Beach Music Encyclopedia 1945-2011 (108 pages), click here

 

        Beginning with each and every front cover, the Dancing On the Edge Journal is packed with exceedingly rare photos and history of Beach Music and Shag as well as full color throughout each issue.  Volume 1, Issues 1-3 begins with the story of one of the two original Beach Music Pioneers -- Jim Hannah -- and his 'empire' at Carolina Beach beginning in 1945. Hannah began a series of no-holds-barred, nothing-held-back interviews with John Hook in 1989.  Despite Hannah's offer that Hook could publish his story 'any time' Hook waited until after his death in 2010.  This is not to say that Hannah was a bad person.  Instead, he was the salt of the earth, the kind of person that made the Carolinas what they are.  Which means he was also unique and colorful in his outlook on life and the adventures it brought to him.  It's Beach Music and Shag history like you've never read elsewhere.  Hook also includes vintage radio station Top 40 surveys which include great Beach Music hits in the past.  There's the first photo ever the Embers as the Five Jays !!!  You'll find extensive photos and coverage of the National Shag Championships at Myrtle Beach.  For the collector and R&B enthusiast, there are deep biographies of lost greats such as Cincinnati's Terry Timmons 1950-1953.  Another shows Margie Day's career from her time as Margaret Hoffler with 4 Bars and a Melody in Newark, to her years with the Griffin Brothers, followed by her solo career.  Another MAJOR story, dovetailing with the Jim Hannah epic is the story of the VERY FIRST Beach Music Band in history from 1946 forward.  There are rare pictures and an extensive comparison between Jimmy Cavallo (the first), Elvis Presley, and Bill Haley to show once and for all that 'Beach Music' preceded Rock and Roll by a decade.  Fans will also find a story and labelography for Raleigh DJ Jimmy Capp's JCP label (which included very early Embers and dozens of other Beach Bands from Raleigh east.  Volume 1 also contains a history of Beach Music albums -- when was the first? 

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To order your copy of The Dancing On the Edge Journal Vol 1 No.s 1-3 (91 pages), click here

 

         Volume 1. issues 4-6 opens with a classic photo of a group of Converse girls in Spartanburg, SC shaggin' in a picture from 1944 followed by an extensive story illustrating the development of Shag # 2 in the Wilmington, NC area and the repercussions there for decades before and after.  Hook includes a four-page Guide to the cities where dozens of Beach bands originated, giving the reader a new perspective into the history of Beach Music.  For comparison's sake, and to show deeper roots in Carolina entertainment, is another map of the Swing and Jazz entertainers who were born in the Carolinas and Virginia.  Speaking of Virginia -- Hook shows much of the history of the Roanoke-Lynchburg-Danville-Martinsville circuit, including the entertainers, and venues from the 20s forward.  Have you ever wondered about the history of the R&B charts?  How they began, under what kinds of stress and duress?  Hook shows it all.  There's also the most extensive history ever undertaken on the Charleston, SC beach music venues AND a bonus, the never-before-published history of the Carolina Cotton Pickers from the Jenkins Orphanage of Charleston (well, there's been a 'little bit' written in two or three places, but nothing approaching what you'll find here).  Also in this volume, the history of the song "Kidnapper,' and the group who made it great, Jewell and the Rubies from Lafayette, Louisiana.  Along the way you'll garner a much deeper appreciation of the Bayou country's local Rhythm and Blues scene.  Let us not forget there's also an overview of the co-development between Shaggers, Boppers, and the Jukebox, with a special spotlight on Panama City, Florida and the Hangout there.

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To order your copy of The Dancing On the Edge Journal Vol 1 No.s 4-6 (81 pages), click here

 

         Volume 1. issues 7-10 begins with Statesville, NC's Beach Music roots, with special emphasis on the early bands (part of the roots of the Catalinas) and the Grace Park Recreation Center, and a special section on the importance of 45 rpm record players in automobiles of the 50s and 60s.  There's a story on Carolina Blues Girl Marylyn Scott and Carolina Gospel Singer Mary DeLoatch (both the same woman)!   For those who couldn't be there in the early 50s, a full story on the Hadacol Boogie Caravan -- the Greatest Traveling Snake Oil caravan ever to set out to entertain and bamboozle the American Public with extensive photographs and history - including the stars and entertainers who found themselves involved.  We had a ball putting together the story  of the "Beach Music Medleys" with pictures of all of them.....it goes on and on and on with a few surprises.  There's another surprise of sorts...for those who loved the Fantastic Shakers' "Safronia B" or those who remember Calvin Boze's original in 1950 (which wasn't the original, but we show-and-tell all about that in the story).  The Calvin Boze story ambles back and forth across the U.S. to include the Prairie View Collegians, the Wheatley High Band, Tom Archia, Arnett Cobb, Illinois and Russell Jacquet, Les Hite, Floyd Ray, Milton Larkin, the X-Rays and a host of other lost stars from the roots of Shag and Beach Music.

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To order your copy of Dancing On the Edge Journal Vol 1 No.s 7-10 (84 pages), click here

 

        This Revised edition has even more pictures than the first printing.  If you love Bo and the Shakers, you'll love learning more about the band, and the individuals who helped  make it what it's been for 35 years.  There are pictures that many of the guys had never seen!  Who thought there could have been *any* pictures of Little Logan and the 7 Hot Dogs (Bo's first band in 1963).  There's one picture of them in 'Remembering the Shakers' (and more planned for a sequel in 2015).  There are pictures and histories of The Fugitivies (including their heretofore unknown album with Bo Schronce in 1965 -- it's in the book!)  There's Bo and the Rhythm 5, the Original Shakers (from Cherryville, NC), Liberty's Ark, Nobody's Perfect, Blacksmith, Bo's days with the Catalinas, the Complete Fantastic Shaker's Discography PICTURED, plus the bios of Freddy Tripp, Don Tetreault, Doug Winstead, Chris Jennings, Preston Honeycutt, Bo Schronce, and others including Neil Novak, Robbie Hegler, Jeff Reid, Dino Fair and more.  -- What was it like when Bo first played Hog Hill ?  How many groups do you think Chris Jennings was in before the Shakers -- and what did he like then?  There's a vintage photo of Freddy Tripp that's so dog-eared we were surprised to see that Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis  weren't with him in the picture (after all he's portrayed one and knows the music of both).  Dozens and dozens of rare to extremely rare photos and bios.  Great reading from one of the great groups.

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To order your copy of Remembering the Fantasic Shakers (98 pages), click here

 

        The Castaways have been pleasing crowds, recording records, and carrying on their legacy since 1962!!!   There are many surprises in the longevity and history of this great Carolina group.

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To order your copy of The Castaways Generation 6 (1961-2015) & includes the Updated Beach Music Yearly Top 40 Charts 1945-2014  (100+ pages), click here