Staff Note: Notes from the Music Staff is a series of posts discussing what the
library offers music fans. From our widely varied collection of music CDs to our nonfiction and fiction books covering all aspects of music, we've got something for everyone and we want to share our love of music with you!
This time of year I wax nostalgic for childhood summers spent on the beach in Panama City, Florida, where my Dad’s family lived. I would go down there as soon as school let out in June and live with my Aunt’s family on the bay and room
with my girl cousin (who was only 1 month younger). Of course she had a pesky younger brother, but we tried to ignore him, unless we wanted him to take us out in the boat.
were the days…salt air, sunshine, surf and the summer sounds of beach music. The Hampton Roads area has an extensive history with beach music. Remember the crowded clubs, beautiful people and, most of all, the music in Virginia Beach during the ’60s and ’70s? Atlantic Avenue was alive with music; beach locals, Richmond regulars and tourists from everywhere came to dance at the oceanfront. National acts such as Fats Domino, The Platters, and The Police played Virginia Beach clubs. Bigger names like The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix came to the Dome convention center.
The most important band was the local group that went national: Bill Deal and the Rhondels. Where they went, crowds followed. From The Top Hat to The Peppermint Beach Club to Rogues, the longest lines formed wherever Bill Deal took the stage.
Bill Deal & the Rhondels were formed in 1959 in Portsmouth, Virginia, crossing blue-eyed soul and beach music. They had three hit singles in 1969, "I've Been Hurt" (U.S. #35), "What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am" (U.S. #23) and "May I" (U.S. #39). The band disbanded in 1975, but reformed at various times until the death of Bill Deal in 2003.
Want to relive your own summertime memories? Check out our music collection to find some more great music, including these summertime favorites:
Visit our online catalog or call the library at 757-890-5100 to reserve some summer tunes today.