Friday, October 15, 2010

General Johnson...

If you grew up in the South, especially the Carolinas, you probably know "The Shag" and good ole Carolina Beach Music. The music that still lives 100% in Myrtle Beach, where they hold several Shag weekends aand weeks a year. You may have grown up listening to beach music, which I did, watching your parents shag, and developing your own love of beach music. Or during you college years, shagged to General Johnson and Chairman of the Board at frat parties, summer parties, and many a deb party while singing along to almost every one of their songs. Here, if you are a member of the National League of Junior Cotillions, then one of the social dances you learn is the shag. In fact, this beach music loving, proud momma is going to brag a minute and let you know my daughter won the shag contest at one of the spring balls.

(being escorted by her Uncle Jack - my brother)

You may ask where I am going with of the greatest Motown artist turned beach music legend, General Norman Johnson, aka General Johnson of the famed group, General Johnson and the Chairman of the Board passed away.

Not only could he put on a show, he was a top-notch songwriter as well. He not only wrote much of the COTB's music, but other artist as well. The General won a Grammy award for his song Patches, that actually put Clarence Carter on the map.

He was a true performer. I remember thinking last year while watching him and the group perform at the NC Seafood Festival, that they still put on a fabulous show at their age. You could not NOT enjoy a show put on by General Johnson. I know that I, like most of the crowd, was dancing and singing along.

I now treasure my Carolina Girls, Best in the World t-shirt even more. On the front it says, "Carolina Girls, Best in the World," and on the back the lyrics continue, "Sweeter than candy, Hotter than heat, More precious than diamonds, They can't be beat." This is probably their top song here in the Carolinas.

To General Johnson, rest in peace. Keep the performances going up in heaven so when I get there, I can still sing along, and hopefully be a true shagger when I join you.

You will be missed!


Rebecca said...

I'm so glad you posted about General Johnson. And you, Jennifer are the perfect one to write such a fine memorial to him. I loved Patches as a teenager and had the 45. I remember many late night dances in my parents living room, spinning COTB records on their console stereo. RIP General. What a great post, Jenn.

Royar said...

Thank you for posting about this! I have always loved to shag to 'Carolina Girls' as it is one of my camps' songs! What a great post!

Beaufort Belle said...

Y'all are most welcome.

According to their website, I think Chaiman of the Board will continue on, just without the General.

Emily said...

I also have that t-shirt! I wanted to purchase another, but couldn't remember where I found it. That is actually how I came across your post, by googling the t-shirt! Do you know where to buy it? I was thinking Judy's House of Oldies, but I couldn't find it on their website.


Beaufort Belle said...

Emily, if you are still around, I got mine at their concert at the NC Seafood Festival. Have you checked their website?