What is Beach Music?

Beach Music music style made popular in the Carolinas, it combines many styles that may include but are not limited to Rhythm and Blues, Soul Music, and a little bit of Disco. Basically anything you can “Shag” to (The Shag, or Carolina Shag, is a dance style that has been around almost forever. We are not referring to the slang term made popular by a major movie personality portraying a British spy from the 60’s)

Looking for a place to listen to Carolina Beach Music? Its featured every day 24/7 at Shag City USA Radio

What does the term “Beach Music” mean to you? Here is what other have to say…Feel free to add your comments to the list.


  1. I grew up in Charlotte but our family vacationed at OD each summer. I remember at around the age of 14 noticing all the music that flowed out of The Pad and looked forward to the day that I could get myself inside. As under age teenagers we hung out on the patio of the OD Pavilion listening to the Juke Box, meeting girls and developing our Shag moves. In those days we called going out at night to the Pavilion “Goin’ Jookin’. This went on for several summers until I was 18 at which time the Pad was winding down but the Barrel and the Spanish Galleon were cranking up. The summer after my Freshman year in college I lived at the beach for the entire summer. During the winter back in Charlotte the big hang out was the Cellar. Most Weds., Fri. and Sat. nights and Sun. afternoons I could be found at the Cellar. The regulars at the Cellar were called Cellar Rats. Many of the Cellar Rats were fixtures at OD as well beginning with Easter, Mothers Day, and throughout the summer until Labor Day. In those days OD shutdown for the winter. In the spring of 1969, I was inducted into the USAR and spent the entire summer away from the Carolinas but upon my return I was right back in my OD & Cellar groove. I would not take anything in exchange for my Beach Music lifestyle. it has been a major part of my life and will continue to be until my days are done. “It Will Stand”

  2. Beach music for me is something more than just music. It is a lifestyle. The music comes to life much like the Blues through our memories. The songs recall memories of sand, sea, the people we have met, hot dogs and the warm summer breezes of the Grand Strand and the wind blowing on our faces as we spin through the air on the roller coasters and ferris wheels. Beach Music also recalls visions or some fantastic show bands that ignite covers of the Temps, Tams, 4 Tops and many other MOTOWN greats. Beach Music transports us to a less stressful time where calming thoughts crash over us like the waves on the sandy shore.Beach Music is: R&B, Big Band, and Soul, Southern Rock, and Country rolled into one package. It is the timeless sound of the 40’s.50’s,60’s 70’s and beyond.

    • I totally agree, it is a lifestyle. Each decade has their version of Beach Music and each thinks theres is the best. Growing up only 1.5 hours away from Atlantic Beach, NC, I grew up with it ingrained in my life and lifestyle-Nothing better than sitting on the beach with a cold beer listening to the music coming from the Pavillion!!!

  3. Hi Bo
    I’m a student at WA and am perusing some websites for my course.
    Beach Music was a great find. The tunes are joyous, the moves are coo-ool! I needed to google definition of shag..ended up at youtube with fantastic clips of shaggers.
    Your site is jam packed with exciting stuff.
    Wow, I learn something new every day.
    I’m hoping now to find some Beach Music and Shag dancers here i Brisbane, Australia.
    Thanks for the fun.

  4. I perform in a local band in Charleston, SC by the name of “LEGACY”(formerly A Touch Of Class Band).

    Each year we perform at a lot of different events( mostly wedding receptions or corporate events).
    I have notice that no what the event is there is always a group that doesn’t seen to be enjoying themselves. And over time we have learned that the best way to get that group involved is to start playing Beach Music. Every time that we have done that the dance floor become packed with dancers.

    I don’t know what it is but people no matter their age , sex or race just come alive when this music began to play. Beach music now makes up about 70% of our play list.

  5. BEACH MUSIC While composed of many genres from soul to show tunes is the music heard and danced to on every beach in the Southeast. It’s the music that makes you smile, puts that twinkle in your eye and hers, and makes your feet move. I’ve proven it many times in my travels–I’ve been in a bar and everyone was in the doldrums, not talking much, and in general not happy and not smiling. I go to the jukebox and select some great “beach music” songs by the Temptations, Willie T, the Tams, Band of Oz, the Tymes, and a host of great artists that play “good time” music, and within seconds, the people start to smile, beat out rhythm on the table, laugh out loud, tap their feet, and start enjoying life again. In Orange Beach/Gulf Shores, Alabama, where I live, I gave a friend of mine a CD for his jukebox, and made 20 copies and told him to hold on to them. He asked me what for and I told him $20 each. He laughed and said they won’t sell. A week later he called me and said it was the most played CD on the jukebox and could I make him some more copies–he had sold out. Went into a little bar in Daphne, Al. and there were a bunch of bikers in there and it was dead. I walked over to the jukebox, played Doris Troy “Just One Look”, and they started clapping, grabbed some money off the table and asked me to play some more “BEACH MUSIC”!

  6. There’s just nothing to compare to beach music and Motown as far as I am concerned. I absolutely love it. Grew up with it, and its what I want to listen to now, at age 57. Even my little granddaughters know that “Granny” loves, loves, loves beach music and Motown. My youngest son is a professor at the University of Colorado, and he said anytime he hears this music, he can’t help but smile, because he KNOWS that Mama is such a fan. He also said he remembers me dancing with him as he was growing up to this wonderful music. Keep playing it please…there are plenty of fans and listeners out here.

  7. Driving through the Carolinas one lazy day, heaing back to the steelcity, I stumbled upon a beach music/shag station and feel in love with this laid back, mellow, bluesy soul music style….it is SO COOL SO RIGHT….I just know that this Yankee has a southern soul…. I LOVE IT.

  8. When I think of Beach Music in Virginia the one and only place comes to mind.”THURSDAY AT THE WORKS” IN OLDE TOWN PETERSBURG.And I still Love Beach Music

  9. I grew up listening to beach music & Elvis and I loved both types of music. My husband & I learned how to shag dance this past year and my husband David (45 years old) has never fast danced he would only slow dance with me. He is pulling me on the dance floor now. GO FIGURE!!! (LOL) He loves to shag dance just as much as I do and if my husband can learn how to shag dance anyone can…and he will tell you this. Shag dancing will be the new trend for the younger generation. Beach Music & Shag Dancing will still long be here…when we are all gone… :)

  10. “Lipstick Powder and Paint”….Jackie Wilson…”Baby Work Out” and here comes Ron Paul shagging into Ocean Drive for Liberty with his common sense economic text book.When his family goes to bed ,he said he was up reading an economic text book. Not to mention he’s been the one telling us all what we don’t want to hear. “The Country Is Broke.” Taking on the status quo ! Go Doc Go !Visualize a bike ride and the theme is called, The Liberty Freedom Ride from Sea To Shinning Sea…… Ron Paul For President ! That’d be a cool theme for a sailing rally too.Come on SC and belly roll on in for Ron Paul.At least he’s telling the truth ! Watch your 2 step on that vote for Romney and do your research. Obama you’re fired and that’s enough of him !Get your coat,your hat and get on out the door ! A catharsis or revolution but a revelation and it’s curtains and lights out for Obama ! He can take his “Lipstick on a Pig” with him too and his signature on horse slaughtering for human consumption.National Security ? Look at our debt!Just read he’s sharing our missile data with Russia. Ron Paul is no fool on Foreign Policy but they’re sure trying to make him out to be. Do your research and shag in Ron Paul for President ! Ain’t No Chicken’s Roosting here and play “Chicken Shack Boogie”…..

  11. Through all the musical cycles I’ve encountered in my life (British Invasion, Motown, Psychedelic, Rock, Country, Blues, Soul, etc.) the one constant has always been “beach music”. If I had a convertible, it’s the kind of music I’d be playing while cruising with the top down just as the sun’s setting, but still sounds just as good in my pick-up truck. It’s the music I played for my kids when they were young, just to plant the seed (it worked). It’s the music that compliments a cold beer better than any other I’ve ever found. It’s the music that creates a lasting bond between guys and girls, especially while dancing. It’s the music I play for my sweetie to get her in the mood. It’s music with heart, sometimes a little humor, and a healthy dose of “feel good”. ’nuff said!

What do you think?