Carolina Shag, the new limited-engagement channel on Ch. 13, is a deep dive into the vintage R&B sounds of what came to be called Beach Music.

 

 

In the years following World War II, young people in the south flocked to the beach pavilions and juke joints of the Carolina shore to dance to the Rhythm and Blues they weren’t hearing in their more conservative hometowns.

They developed a dance they called “the dirty shag” – a slowed down offshoot of the jitterbug. And the R&B they were moving and grooving to began to be known regionally as “Beach Music.”

As summers in the ’50s and ’60s rolled by, a generation of “shaggers” came of age dancing beachside to the latest R&B, music from artists like The Drifters, Billy Stewart, Jackie Wilson and more. The ’70s brought a new wave of Beach Music by show bands like The Catalinas, Fantastic Shakers, The Band of Oz and The Embers.  But the sound kept the beach bars full and The Shag alive and well.

Today, The Shag is the Official State Dance of South Carolina, and North Myrtle Beach is a living shrine to the history of the dance and the Beach Music that gave birth to it.

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