Beach Music 101

“I love beach music. I always have and I always will…” ~The Embers, “I Love Beach Music”


I’ve been on a bit of a “beach music” kick lately.  I think maybe it’s because I am wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’ for some beach-like weather…soooon.

Some of y’all may not be familiar with what I am talking about.  If you’re not one for clicking on the link, here’s the short definition: Beach music is a regional genre of music which came about in the 40s, 50s and 60s from a variety of styles of music (blues, doo-wop, early rock ‘n roll) and is also most always associated with a style of dance called the shag (all you Brits/Austin Powers fans get your mind out of the gutter).  It–the shag–originated along the beach strands of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina starting in the 40s.  When I think of beach music, I think of groups like The Drifters, The Tams, The Temptations, The Platters…this is the music of my parents’ generation.  And others like Clarence Carter, General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board, The Embers, The Catalinas, The O’Kaysions, and many many others came along to add some excellent hits as well.  I’d say beach music kinda had a resurgence in the 80s…and that’s when I started listening to it.

One of the (many!)songs I love is called Up On The Roof originally recorded by The Drifters (Save the Last Dance For Me, This Magic Moment, There Goes My Baby, Under The Boardwalk, etc.) in about 1962. And just ’cause I thought you’d like to know….it was written by a guy named Gerry Goffin and a gal named Carole King (Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Natural Woman, You’ve Got a Friend, It’s Too Late, One Fine Day, Locomotion…)  It has been recorded by others including Carole King herself, as well as James Taylor (aka JT).  But I digress. 

This is the kinda song that just makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside, so if you are feeling a little overwhelmed today, here’s a song for you….


Up On The Roof (Goffin/King)

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
Let me tell you now

When I come home feelin’ tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet (up on the roof)
I get away from the hustling crowd
And all that rat-race noise down in the street (up on the roof)
On the roof, the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Let’s go up on the roof (up on the roof)
At night the stars put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me

I keep a-tellin’ you
Right smack dab in the middle of town
I’ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof (up on the roof)
And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two
Up on the roof (up on the roof)

Up on the roo-oo-oof (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, baby (up on the roof)
Oh, come on, honey (up on the roof)
Everything is all right (up on the roof)

Maybe your “roof” isn’t a literal roof…but you can find your “roof” and somehow make it your place where your cares can “drift right into space”.  Time to get quiet, think, pray, read, relax, let go.  We all need it.  And even though it’s hard to make that time, I know it’s key to my mental and spiritual health!!

Make some time to go up on the roof! And boogie a little while you’re up there!


Filed under Music

10 responses to “Beach Music 101

  1. barnyardmama

    Ok.  One of my favorite movies of all-time is SHAG, which is set in Myrtle Beach and is super-cheesy and the kind of thing only a teenage girl cuold love.  I ache a little thinking about it.  You see, I had it on VHS, but I have\’t gotten it on DVD yet.  It\’s one of those movies that people went back and fiddled with the soundtrack on and the DVD version just ins\’t the same.  Still. . . I\’ll probably have to buy a copy.
    PS: the movie is NOT religious: the line running through my head right now is: I used to smoke.  I used to drink.  I used to smoke, drink, and dance the hootchie coo.

  2. Zhu

     Thank you ! Joell . Thakns for your nice music , and nice songs .

  3. Zhu

     Oh, I\’m sorry ! I did listening music in your blog now . so nice music .

  4. Zhu

     I like musics  too . Differ kind and differ Country music i like .
     why don\’t you to put somes music on your blog ?

  5. Sarah

    Wow, that really did make me smile.  You know in the Bible times they did go up to the roof to pray.  Neat! 

  6. Unknown

    I love beach music!  I always have and I always will!  Yep ~ growing up in the Carolinas, I\’ve got beach music in my blood!  The Drifters, The Embers, Band of Oz, Chairmen of the Board…and so on!  Love it all!  And I love to shag, but I\’m no good at it.  I need real lessons!  Great blog!

  7. Lena

    I love this kinda music.  You\’re right, it was regional. The northeast had Frankie Valli and Bobby Rydell.  Southern Cal had the Beach Boys.  We had a next door neighbor named Kurt when I was growing up.  He was my age.  My dad had him pegged as light in his loafers when he was 6.  We\’d play Wizard of Oz with him, and he always insisted on being Dorothy.  Anyway, where was I going with this?  Oh yes, to mask his homosexuality in his high school years, he made up a girlfriend "Stormy" in Nags Head.  And he\’d come over and show us how to shag.  Me and the fag would shag the nights away to a lil "Buttercup" and "Give me just a lil more time".  Triple love that genre.  Oh and Kurt?  Cuz I know you\’re wondering LOL….he\’s now on our state\’s most wanted list for embezzling and theft of a victim over 60.  I think he\’s in hiding somewhere.  Perhaps still the closet.
    Have a great weekend, Joell!

  8. Bill

    i hate beach music!!!it is fun to ask a girl if she wants to "shag" though.  I never got to try it on an english girl though, and unfortunately, my wife doesn\’t let me date.

  9. Aimee

    loving this entry…
    *~* :o) everyone smiles in the same language… :o) *~*

  10. Jim

    I like beach music. 

I always love hearing from you! :-)

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