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Fans scream in delight as Chairman of the Board’s ‘Carolina Girls’
By Mark Schulman
Fans crowded the aisles of GPAC and shagged to the rhythm of the Carolina Beach Music band Chairman of the Board on March 31.
The auditorium was almost completely filled for the 2 ½ hour show that opened with the uplifting tunes from the Band of Oz, another band that performs tunes of the surf and sand.
For decades these two bands have lightened the hearts of America defining memories of relaxing in the sand, cruising the strip and falling in love.
Band of OZ
The eight member music group Band of Oz began the evening by showcasing their talents using a vast array of horns.
The five frontmen were dressed identically in casual beige Dockers and relaxed button-down shirts thrilling the fans with their synchronized dance moves.
Children in the front row tenaciously attempted to replicate the footwork of the performers.
The good vibes reverberated through GPAC for several songs including one of the band’s most famous recording.
The last performance continued with the Motown groove and led into one of music’s popular artists, James Brown.
The stimulating mesh of songs the Band of Oz showcased were “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Feel Good,” among others.
The group finished their set with the nation’s rock ‘n’ roll anthem, “Living in America” and got a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience.
Chairman of the Board
The successful Beach Music band Chairman of the Board came out onto the GPAC stage and instantly went into one of their biggest hits, “Gone Fishin.”
Front man General Johnson did not waste any time setting the mood in GPAC.
Wearing a light-breezy suit, he told the audience, “There is so much goin’ on in the world, we are gonna play a happy song.”
From there, Chairman continued to pump energy directly into the audience song after song as people danced, shagged and clapped to the good feeling music.
One of their most popular summertime songs and a crowd favorite was “Carolina Girls.”
General Johnson explained that he wrote the classic because, at the time, the Beach Boys “California Girls” was conquering the air waves across America.
Being a Carolina native, he felt that the best girls in the world were not from California but from the Carolinas.
“I wondered why they put those girls on pedestals way out in California while I was here in Carolina,” Johnson told the audience. “So it was time to straighten this mess out right then and there.”
The fans screamed in approval and “Carolina Girls” raised the energy level to greater heights.
Reacting to the exciting atmosphere, 5-year-old Shawn McNeill of Red Springs was cutting dance moves in the front row putting even John Travolta to shame.
This called the attention to the band so they brought the little man onstage and the crowed roared as the youngster boogied down to the funk music.
Good times and good music drew to a close with the last song, “Give Me Just a Little More Time.”
National Music Charts
This tune hit number three on the pop charts in 1970 putting Chairman of the Board in the national music scene.
After the show, audience member Tracy Locklear of Pembroke explained why she came to see the concert.
“I can remember my daddy when I hear those songs because he used to listen to them,” Locklear said. “When I listen to this music, I think of him.”
Hall Of Fame
Chairman of the Board has been inducted into the South Carolina Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame.
The Chairman of the Board is the final performance of the 2005-06 Nostalgia Concert Series.
Look for upcoming concerts next year including the rock band Survivor who will be performing the theme from the popular Rocky movies, “Eye of the Tiger.”