“We had the desire to recapture classic R&B and Carolina Beach music the way it was meant to be — performed live, with four-part harmony as the star of the show,” says keys man Larry “Sugarbritches” Williams, of local group the Coppertones.

The formally-dressed, six-piece band formed in Charleston during the summer of ’04 with the intention of providing “great party entertainment” with a touch of old-school class and style to the shag audiences around the region. Soon after playing their first few opening gigs for Billy Scott and the Coastline Band, word spread among beach music fans, clubs, and radio DJs in the Coastal Carolina shag scene.

This spring, they released two piano-driven originals as radio singles — “Party Down the Street” and “Eat Mo’ Grits.” Both apparently had just the right shag beat and fun-lovin’ vibe to catch on.

“‘Party Down the Street’ was first released on a promotional compilation disc called SOS (Sounds of Spring) by Craig Fleming of Beachmusic45.com,” says Williams. “The CD was sent to over 200 radio stations and DJs. We went into the studio with the intention of recording a very good demo. The next thing we know, ‘Party…’ is on over 25 radio stations.”

The Coppertones lineup includes Williams on organ, piano, and vocals as well as bassist/vocalist J.R. “Rainman” Ryan, drummer Tom “Whitey” Moran, pianist, vocalist and harp player “Memphis” Rich Fowler, guitarist Jim “Kavorka” Hensley, and vocalist Judy “The Gidget” Marshall.

The Coppertones plan to perform and record over the summer. They should have a full-length ready for release by the year’s end. —TBL

The Coppertones perform a free show on Sat. July 22 at 8 p.m. at the spacious Charleston on the Beach venue, located at the Folly Beach Holiday Inn at 1 Center St. Call 588-2500 or check www.thecoppertones.com.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.