“I Love Beach Music”
Since The Embers first stepped onto the sandy music scene stage in 1958, more than 30 musicians have been part of this N.C.-based beach music band.
The shag outfit’s current lineup is anchored by drummer Bobby Tomlinson, the only original member, and, according to the group’s press, “the most consistent performer in beach music.” The remaining members of this hard-working band — they reportedly play somewhere in the range of 300 shows a year — are lead vocalist Jerry Tellier, vocalist/trombonist Wayne Free, trumpeter Stephen Pachuta, bass player Josh Campbell, keyboardist Debby Mac, and saxophonist Clay King.
Although the lineup of the Embers has changed over the years, the timelessness of the music hasn’t, especially here in South Carolina where shag, unlike cotton, remains king. Case in point: 1977’s “I Love Beach Music,” arguably the most popular shag song ever recorded. Stop by a tailgate party during football season at any one of the Palmetto State’s fine institutions of higher learning, throw this ditty in the CD player, and witness spontaneous shagging in action. That’s love, folks. But before you begin thinking that The Embers have been content to let their back catalog carry them through the years — which they easily could — the band still cranks out new material. In 2004, they released Beach Music, Super Collaboration, which featured contributions from Grammy-winner George Benson and Cuba Gooding Sr. of the Main Ingredient (“Everybody Plays the Fool”). The beach music favorites have completed work on their latest album, The Show Must Go On, featuring the single “The Last Time I’m Sayin’ Goodbye,” and expect to release it shortly. —Chris Haire