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What Is Shag Music?

Over the years there have been great debates over what "shag music" is. Ask a member of the general public, or a college student, and you will most likely hear that it is music from bands such as the Tams, Catalinas, Chairmen Of The Board, etc. A die-hard shagger will tell you that most of the music created by those bands should be referred to as "beach music", not shag music, and that not all of the "beach music" is "shag music" because some of it is too fast or too slow for shagging. Or, he may refer to music from those bands as "bubblegum beach". Next, he will probably tell you that " real shag music" is R&B music created in the 40's and 50's by various black artists.

It is probably true that the refined shag dance originated by those listening to old R&B tunes. But, any true shagger will tell you that today's shag music can encompass any tune that falls within a range of about 115-130 beats per minute that a person finds suitable for the shag.

What Types Of Music That Have Been Used For Shagging?

Over the years there have been popular shagging songs from Country, R&B, Blues, Rock, Ballads and other styles. Examples include::
Earthquake - Ronnie Milsap - Country
Going Back To Louisiana - Delbert McClinton - Country
The Flame - Fine Young Cannibals - Top 40/Rock
Do You Believe - Cher - Top 40/Rock
Picture Of You - Boyzone - Top 40/Rock "Smoothie"
I Want To Hug You - John Lee Hooker - Blues
Never Make A Move Too Soon - B.B. King - Blues
As Soon As I Get Paid - Keb Mo - Blues
Mojo Boogie - Henry Gray - Blues
Shake, Rattle And Roll - Big Joe Turner - R&B "Upbeat"
Your Heart's In Good Hands - Al Green - R&B
Donut And A Dream - Mills Brothers - R&B "Smoothie"

These may not be the best of examples, and we might even debate what category they fit in (R&B, Blues, etc.). But, hopefully this will help give first-timers insight into the different music that shaggers have enjoyed.

Here is a listing of well-known artists with one or more songs that have been very popular with shaggers. How many do you recognize?

Alabama, Arthur Alexander, Hank Ballard, Coastline Band, George Benson, Earl Bostic, Backstreet Boys, Nappy Brown, Eric Clapton, Natalie Cole, Dion, Aretha Franklin, Bee Gees, Dobie Gray, Etta James, Billy Joel, Elton John, Tom Jones, Uncle Kracker, Patti Labelle, Taj Mahal, Johnny Mathis, Jimmy McCracklin, Bette Midler, Amos Milburn, Anne Murray, Aaron Neville, O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Carl Perkins, Little Richard, Billy Scott, The Shakers, The Tractors, Sarah Washington, Peter White.

Aren't Some Of The Songs Too Fast/Slow?

Yes, but here is an important note about DJ's who play shag music. Unlike other dances where songs are played as they are recorded, shag DJ's vary the speed or tempo of the music with specially designed equipment. The songs are sped up or slowed down to get them into the right range of beats per minute.

What Songs Are The Best Right Now?

The list changes day to day, and week to week. There are several radios stations, music vendors, and others who maintain listings... all different and all subject to individual opinion. Still, it is possible to get an idea of some of the more popular songs at any given time.

Where Can I Buy Shag Music?

Some "shag" music can be purchased most anywhere you can buy any other type of music, since it comes from the various types. Just take your list to the local music vendor. But, so many of the songs are hard to locate or find, that a dedicated shag music vendor is your best option. There are a few local that are excellent. There are also a few in the North Myrtle Beach area that are also very good. All of these vendors will take your order via phone or Internet, and ship items to you. We will have various music vendors listed here very soon. Please check back later.



We will soon list names, locations, phone numbers, and web sites or email addresses of shag music vendors.

We will soon have links to radio station web sites that play shag music over the Internet


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