Beach Music, the style of music closely associated with the history and culture of the Grand Strand, will be going to college soon as a result of an agreement signed recently by Coastal Carolina University and the Beach Music Association International (BMAI).
Coastal President Ronald R. Ingle, BMAI President Harry Turner and BMAI board chairman Billy Scott recently established a partnership, which will integrate Beach Music into Coastal's curriculum.
The study, which will focus on the cultural, sociological and musical aspects of the genre, will be positioned within Coastal's Waccamaw Center for the Cultural and Historical Studies. Center director Charles Joyner is an expert on Southern musical styles and his upcoming book on Southern music includes a chapter on Beach Music. Joyner has plans for the center to host an academic conference related to Beach Music in 2003.
Coastal Carolina already has ties to the Beach Music industry. Bill Pinkney of the Original Drifters received an honorary degree in 2001 from the university. Pinkney is scheduled to perform the national anthem at Coastal Carolina's first football game in Sept. 6, 2003. Steve Nagle, professor of English at Coastal, wrote the entry for Beach Music in the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.