Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Mark VII Beach Music Yesterday & Today
I just joined the hey baby days blog today. I am not very proficient at blogging. Anyway, I grew up in Summerville, Georgia and graduated from high school there in 1971. I had the great opportunity during the late 60's or early 70's to see the Mark VII play and it could have been at Prom in Summerville in 1970 or 1971. I had wondered what had happened to that band for years because I do remember them playing "beach music" and other great dancing tunes. It looks like you had put together some book on beach music and bravo to you!!! Good luck in your endeavors. (Summerville is about 24 miles north of Rome)
The stretch between Summerville and Ft. Payne, Alabama is one of the most scenic in the state. I have gone through there many times over the last couple of years on business. Regarding Mark VII, it was not too long before we went to press with the book that I finally able to find a member of the Mark VII, Gary Coley, and he graciously sent us a photo of the band that was used in the book. We worked for five years trying to locate the Mark VII type bands and were lucky enough to find a majority of them but there were still some that we missed.
I saw the band perform one time and liked them. They had three or four horns and played the great party music of the times. They were one of the Swingin' Medallion knock off bands that were very popular in the mid to late 60s. I booked them to play for a sorority at Valdosta State and got great reviews. They recorded at least one single which I have and will try to add to the blog later. One visitor to the site indicated that they had recorded an album. If there is an album by the Mark VII from back in that period, my expectation is that there will be at least two or three covers of the Tams.
One question is beach music still alive and kicking in Myrtle Beach?
Secondly, do you think there is a market for old and maybe some "new" beach music?
Yes and Yes ! Beach Music is very much alive in Myrtle Beach and there is a world wide market for Beach Music. I think Ripete Records www.ripete.com ships quite a few of their many compilations all over the world.
There’s both “new” Beach Music and “eternal” Beach Music. I enjoy a blend of the standards along with newly crafted music still being made by the pioneers bands plus many new very good ones that have come on the scene.
I get emails from many of the different groups and would be happy to send you their links. Also, we have linked many of the bands that are still performing to the Bands page at www.heybabydays.com Click on the little website icon under a certain band if they have a web site, it will take you directly to their site. You may be surprised that many of these bands have current CDs or ones made in recent years. The music as a whole is quite remarkable.