Flying A Kite (Music For A Trip To The Beach)
Beach music, also known as Carolina beach
music, and to a lesser extent, Beach pop, is a regional genre which developed from various
rock/R&B/pop music of the 1950s and 1960s. Beach music is most closely associated with
the style of swing dance known as the shag, or the Carolina shag, which is also the official
state dance of both North Carolina and South Carolina. Recordings with a 4/4 “blues shuffle”
rhythmic structure and moderate-to-fast tempo are the most popular music for the shag, and
the vast majority of the music in this genre fits that description.
Though primarily confined to a small regional fan base, in its early days what is now known
as Carolina beach music was instrumental in bringing about wider acceptance of R&B music
among the white population nationwide. Thus is was a contributory factor in both the birth
of rock and roll and the later development of soul music as a subgenre of R&B.
While the older styles of R&B have faded from popularity nationally, the Carolina shag has
gained wide popularity in swing dance circles around the US. This has not generally led
to increased appreciation for the music of the beach bands, however. Many of these new
shag dance aficionados prefer the “R&B oldies” and/or shagging to currently popular tunes
that happen to have the required beat. As more networking is being done on the Internet
among shag deejays and beach music fans nationwide, however, there is a growing acceptance of
the regional bands by the “new shaggers”.