Mike Little is a member of the Electric City Shag Club in Anderson,
South Carolina. He is also a member of the Association of Beach & Shag Club
DJ’s and the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays. He hosted
for 3-1/2 years The Saturday Morning Beach Party on WANS, 1280 AM in Anderson, which was rated by Arbitron as the highest
rated AM show listened to and number three overall for that time slot. In 2004,
he was awarded the Rufus Oates Award by the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Dee Jays for his writing contributions. He now serves on the Board of Directors of the NARBDJ.
will always remember…
Rockin' Tabby Thomas, born January 5, 1929 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, died
January 1. The solid Louisiana vocalist
who played both guitar and piano recording music since the mid-fifties.
He began his musical career in San Francisco,
California where he was stationed during his time in the service.
He returned to Baton Rouge and began playing
the local clubs and recording music. By
the end of the 1960's, he had retired from performing, but this was short-lived
when he founded his own record label in the early 70's. With the success of the label, Tabby began
his own blues club, Tabby's Blues Box and Heritage Hall. By the mid 80's, the club was the most
popular blues club in Baton Rouge. Tabby was still active into the new
millennium, though he was not performing as much due to injuries suffered from
an automobile accident. He will
be remembered for his songs Goin' To New Orleans and I Can't Hold Out.
B. “Skipper” Duke, born July 4, 1942, died January 19 at his home in
Greenville, North Carolina. Skipper
a graduate of Washington High School and East Carolina University, where he was
a standout in football at both schools.
He retired after a long career at DuPont.
As a deejay, Skipper was a member of the
Association of Beach & Shag Club DJ's and in 2010 was inducted into the DJ
Hall of Fame.
White, the energetic trombone player for the Catalinas died June 5.
Born August 6, 1951, Jeppy, formerly of
Charlotte, North Carolina, lived in Sunset Beach. He graduated from Platt High School, and his
love of music led him to Harrt School of Music where he became an accomplished
trombone player. Jeppy had an
outstanding career in music starting with the late R&B legend, Cortez
Greer. He a member of the Catalinas
over thirty years and most recently played with the award winning Craig Woolard
Band. Jeppy loved performing and
Womack, born March 4, 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio, died June 27 at his home in
Tarzana, California as a result of numerous health issues. His upbringing was strict and highly
religious, but his father, Friendly Womack, encouraged his sons to pursue music
as he had sung and played in a gospel group.
Bobby joined his brothers Cecil, Curtis, Harry and Friendly, Jr. to form
the gospel quartet the Womack Brothers.
This led to open a local show for the Soul Stirrers in 1953, where Bobby
befriended lead singer Sam Cooke. After
touring the country to open for numerous gospel groups, Cooke eventually formed
his own SAR label and recruiting the brothers to transform themselves into a
secular music group. Cooke renamed
the Valentinos, and in 1962 they scored a Top Ten hit on the R&B charts
with Lookin' For A Love. The group's
1964 single, It's All Over Now, written by Bobby, was covered by the Rolling
Stones and became the Stones' first U.K. number one. Sam Cooke's tragic death in December, 1964
left the Valentinos' career in limbo.
Just three months later, Bobby married Cooke's widow which earned him
tremendous ill in the R&B community.
In the late 60's, Bobby began recording solo, scoring several hits
including Fly Me To The Moon. In
early 70's, the J. Geils Band revived Lookin' For A Love, giving the group
their first hit. Bobby later rerecorded
the song giving him his second number one R&B single and his only Top Ten
hit on the pop charts. Also in the
70's, he scored another R&B Top Ten hit, Harry Hippie, an ironic tribute to
his brother. Bobby Womack was inducted
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Davis of Simpsonville, South Carolina, born October 25, 1946, died at his home
July 29. Jim attended Wade Hampton
School and worked in the auto parts business for most of his life.
During his career, he received the Mercedes
Benz of North America Parts Manager of the Year award numerous times.
Jim was a member of the Association of Beach
& Shag Club DJ's and was inducted into the DJ Hall of Fame in 1990.
He was also a member of the Shaggers Hall of
Fame, the Greenville Area Shaggers Hall of Fame and the Living Legends
tenor and founding member of The Tymes George Hilliard died September 24.
The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania group enjoyed
equal success in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Tymes had hits in both countries with So
Much In Love, a U.S. Chart topper and a million seller, Wonderful Wonderful , a
remake of the Johnny Mathis classic hit from 1957. So Much In Love was elected to the Songs of
the Century in 2001. In the late
the group hit it big with People, and in the mid-seventies, they scored again
in the charts with You Little Trustmaker.
Then in 1975, the Tymes released Ms. Grace.
Of course it was a hit in the U.S. But also
became the group's biggest UK hit reaching Number One in the UK Singles Chart
in 1975. Ms. Grace remains popular
the United States, especially along the Carolina coast in the Beach Music scene
and is in the Top Ten all-time Beach Music hits. The Tymes were inducted into the Vocal Group
Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ruffin, the older brother of the late David Ruffin former lead singer of The
Temptations, died at age 78 on November 17 in Las Vegas, where he lived.
Jimmy was born in Collinsville, Mississippi
on May 7, 1936. In 1961, as a singer,
part of the Motown family. After
in the military, he returned to
where he was offered the opportunity to join The Temptations, but after hearing
his brother David, they hired David for the position instead.
Jimmy decided to resume his solo career.
In 1966, after hearing a song written for The
Spinners, he persuaded the writers that he should record it.
His recording of What Becomes Of The Broken
Hearted became a major hit, not only in the United States, but the United
Kingdom, as well. He left Motown
recorded for Polydor and Chess. With
popularity in Great Britain, he moved there in the eighties where he continued
to perform successfully. Other songs
Jimmy Ruffin that we have enjoyed and danced to over the years are I'ved Passed
This Way Before, I'll Say Forever My Love, As Long As This Is L.O.V.E. Love,
Falling In Love With You, Too Busy Thinking About My Baby, Everybody Needs Love
and I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You).
Other Notable Passages …
lead singer of Jay & The Americans (This Magic Moment, So Much In Love),
March 30, 1943-January 2; Phil Everly, The Everly Brothers, January 19,
Anne Gordy Gaye, sister of Motown founder Berry
Gordy, Jr. and first wife of Marvin Gaye, January 28, 1922-January 14; James
Timothy Shaw (The Mighty Hannibal), August 9, 1939-January 30; Malaco recording
artist and son of the late, great Johnnie Taylor, Floyd Taylor (I'm In Love
With The Girl Next Door, Crazy 'Bout The Woman In Red), January 25,
1953-February 20; Frannnie Beecher, member of Bill Haley's Comets (40 Cups of
Coffee), September 29, 1921-February 24; Frank Reed, lead singer of The
Chi-Lites (Hot On A Thing (Called Love), Try My Side (Of Love) Oh Girl, Have
You Seen Her), September 16, 1954-February 26; Pittsburgh deejay Craig “Porky”
Chadwick, 1918-March 2; vocalist and guitarist for Bloodstone (It Should Have
Been Me, Tell Her, Natural High); Charles Love of Bloodstone (It Should Have
Been Me, Tell Her, Natural High) 1946-March 6; George “Buggs” Winfield of The
Chateaus (If I Didn't Care), July 2, 1936-March 30; Joe “Speedo” Frazier, Lead
singer for The Impalas (I'm Sorry (Iran All The Way Home), September 5,
1943-April 1; 2007 CBMA Hall of Fame inductee Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith,
Rockabilly artist, musician and founder of the Legendary StudioEast recording
studio in Charlotte, April 21,1921 in Clinton, South Carolina-April 3 in
Charlotte, North Carolina; musician and songwriter Jesse Winchester (Say What),
May 17, 1944-April 11; Little Joe Cook of Little Joe & The Thrillers (Peanuts),
December 29, 1922-April 15; singer and songwriter Deon Jackson (Love Makes The
World Go Round), January 26, 1946-April 18; Jessica Cleaves, The Friends of
Distinction (Grazing In The Grass), December 10, 1948-May 2; Bobby Gregg, drummer
for Steve Gibson's Red Caps (Would I Mind , I Love You, Two Little Kisses),
April 30, 1936-May 3; Cubie Burke, The Five Stairsteps (O-o-h Child), November
8, 1964-May 15; Earl Gregory Nesmith, The Flamingos (1980's), May 9, 1950-May
28; Ralph Pruitt, The Fantastic Four (I Feel Like I'm Falling In Love, As Long
As I Live, I Live For You), 1940-June 3; deejay Casey Kasem, host of the
longtime syndicated music radio show, America's Top 40, April 27, 1932-June 15;
arranger, composer, conductor, entertainer and recording artist Johnny Mann of
The Johnny Mann Singers, who handled the background vocals for such artists as
Gene McDaniels (A Hundred Pounds of Clay), August 30, 1928-June 18 in Anderson,
South Carolina; lyricist and former husband of Carole King, Gerry Goffin (Take
Good Care of My Baby by The Shirelles, Up On The Roof by The Drifters, Loco-Motion
by Little Eva), February 11, 1939-June 19; singer and session guitarist for the
house band at Memphis' Hi Records, Stax Records and Motown Records, Mabon
“Teenie” Hodges, November 16, 1945-June 22; Greenville, South Carolina Blues
singer, Linda “Chocolate Thunder” Rodney, August 5, 1956-June 30; Tony Obert,
founding member of The Earls (Remember Then, Life Is But A Dream), 1942-July
14; Blues singer and guitarist Johnny Winter (Can't Hold Out (Talk To My Baby) with
Ben Harper, One Step At A Time), February
23, 1944-July 16; Lucius Gill, founding member of The El Rays, which became The
Dells the year after Gill's departure, 1935-July 18; Russell J. Birnbach,
better known as Jim Russell of Jim Russell Rare Records in New Orleans,
Louisiana, 1920-July 20; TK Records
co-founder Henry Stone, instrumental in the careers of James Brown, Ray Charles
and KC & The Sunshine Band, June 3, 1921-August 7; Russetta Hightower, The
Orlons (Wah Watusi, Don't Throw Your Love Away), June 23, 1944-August 2; Tommy
Gough, founding member of The Crests (16 Candles, The Angels Listened In, Step
By Step), October 15, 1939-August 24; Joe Poonanny Burns (Let It Roll, Hole In
Your Drawers), 1940-August 27; Wendell
Lee of The Avons (Tell Me Baby, Where Would I Be) 1937-August 28; singer,
dancer, producer and songwriter Bob Crowe (wrote Silhouettes for The Rays),
November 12, 1930-September 11; Paul Revere Dick of Paul Revere & The
Raiders (Louie, Louie), January 7, 1938-October 4; Joe Sample, singer, composer
and pianist (Rio de Janero with Randy Crawford), February 1, 1939-September 12;
baritone singer Bea Best, The Jive Five (I'm A Happy Man), My True Story)
1933-September 15; John Holt, The Paragons (Oh Lovin' You, The Tide Is High),
July 11, 1947-October 10; Tim Hauser, founder and member of The Manhattan
Transfer (Operator, Groovin' and Tuxedo Junction), December 12, 1941-October
16; LeRoy Crume, who sang with Sam Cooke in The Soul Stirrers, June 20,
1933-October 21; bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce, who was a member of Cream
with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton, combining blues rock with the sound of hard
rock and psychedelic rock, May 14, 1943-October 25; English clarinetist and
singer Acker Bilk (Stranger On The Shore), January 28, 1929-November 28;
blues singer Little Joe Washington, March 1,
1939-November 13; Motown recording
artist Frances Nero, March 13, 1943 in Asheville, North Carolina-November 13;
blues soloist Mickey Champion, who also recorded with The Nic Nacs (The
Robins), April 9, 1929-November 24; lifelong rocker and saxophonist Bobby Keys,
who toured with Buddy Holly and played sax with The Rolling Stones, recording
the sax solo on Brown Sugar in just one take, December 18, 1943-December 2; Edward
“Sonny” Bivens, founding member of The Manhattans (I'll Never Find Another
(Find Another Like You), Call Somebody Please, Kiss And Say Goodbye), January
15, 1936-December 3; Richard Levista, who sang with the black group, The Earls
(Lovin'Jim), 1927-December 7); Richard Lavister, The Mello Kings (Tonite
Tonite, Kid Stuff), 1931-December 7; Winfred “Blue” Lovett, also a founding
member of The Manhattans, November 16, 1940-December 10; The Harptones' (Sunday
Kind Of Love, Life Is But A Dream) pianist and arranger Raoul Cita, February
11, 1928-December 13; songwriter Larry Henley, who co-wrote Wind Beneath My
Wings (popularized in our market by Lou Rawls), was also a member of The
Newbeats (Bread And Butter); English rocker and blues singer Joe Cocker (Unchain
My Heart, Watch The River Flow), May 20, 1944-December 22; Jo Jo Benson worked
with Peggy Scott to record Lover's Holiday and Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries, May
2, 1944-December 23 and trumpeter and saxophonist Melvin Jackson, who worked
with B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland, 1935-December 30.