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August 22, 2011

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August 22, 2011

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Remembering Virginia Beach

Bear with me...I'll get to the story! I've been taking my beautiful daughter, Caragh, on college tours in Virginia. We've been to Tech, JMU, VCU, and Christopher Newport. We had the CNU tour today, 8/18/14. I told my daughter that we could make a little detour to Virginia Beach, since Caragh had never been there. I didn't know what to show her or where to take her. But, lo and behold, driving north on Atlantic Avenue, brought back so many memories of the time I was stationed at NAS Oceana, with VF-33. That was back in the late '60's. Anyway, we were driving north on Atlantic Ave, and hit the circle at the end where Rudee Inlet is. Believe it or not, When I was stationed there, a couple of buddies and me lived in an old frame house that had been there for years. If memory serves, it was known as the Voss House. As renters / residents of this great old house, we were also the recipients of some rather cold temps. I can remember having to open up the electric oven and turn it on, just so we had some heat in the house.

This is getting a little bit tangled in the weeds, but after we left Rudee Inlet, we pulled into the parking lot of an old beach establishment - The Raven. I couldn't believe it was still there! My daughter and I had a great and leisurely lunch, during which, I told Caragh about Bill Deal and the Rhondells and how they used to play at the Peppermint. I told her how nicely the people dressed at the time and that the music was "beach music". She asked if it was like the Beach Boys. I told her that was West Coast stuff and what we heard in Virginia Beach, at the Peppermint, was nice dancing - the shag!! Great stuff!!

After I paid the lunch tab, my daughter went into the Raven gift shop. I hope I haven't lost you on this circuitous tale...I was talking with the manager of the gift shop, I think his name is Bobby. We talked about our past Navy days; he was a SEA BEE (CB) and I was a Navy electronics technician. He was a heck of a nice guy. Anyway, my daughter bought a "T" shirt from the Raven and, by the way, she bought one for me. When Caragh paid for the shirts, Bobby asked her if she had a CD player and she said yes. Bobby, out of no where, gave her a CD of Bill Deal and Ammon Thorp - The Original Rhondells (The Sound of Virginia Beach). You would not have believed the look on Caragh's face when she saw the name "Bill Deal" on the CD case. I think she thought I was telling tales. However, Bobby, the manager of the Raven gift shop, chimed in and said that everything I told my daughter was true.

After leaving the Raven, We drove into Croatan and I showed my daughter how the "poor people" live. I don't remember it being that ritzy. From Croatan, we drove back to NAS Oceana and stopped at the POW/MIA eternal flame. I was still on active duty when it was dedicated.

I took my daughter on the "cooks tour" of Virginia Beach. Didn't do a lot but the time to have with her, is absolutely priceless.

Joe (Lambert) Poels 15 days ago

dancing in the day

the best dance music kept us on the dance floor for hours. i could never sit down!! the kids today don't know what they are missing--this was fun exercise and we never needed a fitness center. think about that!!!

betsy wilshire 29 days ago

Top Hat Club

Played sax in a band named the Blue Chords at the Top Hat Club during the summers of 60-62. The Blue Chords were from Bluefield. It was so much fun during the summer. One stage was next to the door that opened onto the boardwalk. Packed house on the weekends with 3.2 beer and two bands for non-stop music; http://www.garagehangover.com/BlueChords/

John Laughter 247 days ago

Soul Music Radio Station

The "Soul Music" radio station mentioned in the article was actually WRAP (not WARP). Interesting article!

Sammie Logan 292 days ago

Great historical article

I thoroughly enjoyed the article, very well written with tons of great sources. The article does mention Fats Domino as being the first African-American artist to play Virginia Beach, but he was pre-dated by multiple artist, most notably Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington at the Cavalier. Not sure if they are referring strictly to when Virginia Beach was incorporated, or the oceanfront in general. Outstanding article though, I learned a lot.

Trey Gares 292 days ago

Miss the Beach Music

I am a native of Virginia Beach and remember the Peppermint well. I am now in my 50's and miss the beach music venue.........no stations play it anymore.

Kathy more than 1 year ago

Beach music played

Try tuning into the beach music radio show on Saturdays, 12-4 pm on 88.7 FM or cp.schools.com.

Pam Barnes 54 days ago

Earlier history

Just to clarify --- It was the Peppermint Beach Club that was named "The Casino" in 1956.

Dick Brodfuehrer more than 1 year ago

Earlier history

I don't know when the name changed, but in 1956 it was "The Casino," and I had the house band there during the summer under the name "The Dick Burgess Quintet. We played during the 1956 summer season from 9:00 to midnight seven nights a week and conducted jam sessions on Sunday afternoons.

Dick Brodfuehrer more than 1 year ago

Rogue's Gallery of Clubs / Knights Boys Club

I'd like to add to your article that the Knight's Boys Club was started by Henry Capps who was also a captain with the Virginia Beach Police Department. It began in the mid 1950's and lasted until approximately 1963. He volunteered his time to the club as long as it lasted and was a positive influence on many lives. It was a great place for teenagers to go on the weekend and have a great time.

Jerry McClanan Harris more than 1 year ago

PEPPERMINT BEACH CLUB

DOES ANYONE KNOW THE ADDRESS OF PEPPERMINT BEACH CLUB

JOE SCHOOFF more than 1 year ago

Bad Journalism.

As a tidewater native and an avid beach music fan I find some major eras in your article. First off, Bill Deal and Ammon Tharp rejoined in the late 80's and continued for quite awhile as the Sheks of Shag. Not only did I see them numerous years at Seawall Festival in PTown I also still have the cassette they released. Hardly a one night event. Also. The Original Peppermint Beach club closed in 1994 not '82. I was there that night.

Jeff Paschall more than 1 year ago

Dinner and Show scene 1970-1977

There was a Dinner and Show group that played in Virginia Beach and toured all over VA and even Cleveland OHIO at the Final Approach. Cant remember their name but Jim and Carolyn Rowland were members a gentleman played one heck of a Sax named Charlie and the rest of the band all were really good. does anyone remember them?

James Banfield more than 1 year ago

Sunny Days Revue

The name of the show band you describe was called "The Sunny Days Revue." The were organized in 1972 by Charlie Cheek on sax and flute and Sonny Morris on drums. Charlie passed several years ago and Sonny is now the drummer for Bill Deals Original Rhondels.

Rick Jewell 292 days ago

Charlie Cheek

Can you tell me anything about his passing? I was his friend and gigged with him in the old days

Esdras Lubin 291 days ago

The Top Hat Club.

I was stationed at Ft. Monroe, Va. from 1967 to 1969. Spent many wonderful Saturday nights at The Top Hat Club!!!!! Great times made better because I did not have to go to VietNam. Take care. Tim Elenbaas, Cadillac, Michigan.

tim elenbaas more than 1 year ago

memories of 1965

I remember Virginia Beach in late 1964 and early 1965. I was stationed at Fort Story , for a duty station in the Army. I worked in the medical unit and we had a leave on weekends. I liked to dance, and we would go downtown Virginia Beach. We were military, so we had short hair, and probably stood out, but there were quite a few people in the military, during Viet Nam. In the summer of 1965 we spent a lot of time at a dance club. I'm not sure of the name( it may have been the TOP Hat. What I remember about the place was it was very large, had two raised dance floors, and was right off the boardwalk. Boy people down there really liked to dance, and lot's of us would line dance facing out to the crowd. Met some really great people, but I was shipped out to Germany in the fall 1965, so I only got to enjoy one summer there. I also remeber the "DUCK-IN" . Had great clams there.
If someone could let me know the name of the club I would appreciate it.

Ron McMullin more than 1 year ago

Top Hat

Don't remember what year it was,But me and my band , The Undertakers ,were the last band to play the Top Hat.The week before us was Fats Domino....I went to Virginia Beach High School...A little more VB music history...

Dana Hughes more than 1 year ago

Rogues in the late 90s

Interesting to hear about the beach scene. I missed most of it doing other things in VA Beach in 80s. It wasn't until the late 90s when Rogues was opened again that I had the pleasure to be a regular. The place started going downhill after about two years (98,99). To bed but alot of great memories.

Ray R more than 1 year ago

PEPPERMINT BEACH CLUB AND PEABODY'S T-SHIRT FACTORY

I MOST RECENTLY READ "A ROGUE'S GALLERY OF CLUBS" ABOUT VIRGINIA BEACH NIGHT LIFE IN THE 1960'S AND 70'S BY JAKE DENTON. I JUST WNTED TO RESPOND BY SAYING THAT IT BROUGHT BACK MANY MEMORIES FOR ME. EVERY YEAR FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, MY PARENTS WOULD TAKE MY BROTHER AND MYSELF ON VACATION TO VIRGINIA BEACH. OTHER THAN CHRISTMAS, IT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR YEAR. WE OFTEN STAYED 2 WEEKS OR MORE AND WOULD STAY AT THE RUDEE INLET. IT WAS NOT A LUXURY HOTEL, BUT A VERY NICE EFFECIENCY APARTMENT. IT WAS CLEAN AND COZY AND WE WERE ALWAYS REMEMBERD AND TREATED LIKE FAMILY DURING OUR STAY THERE.SOME OF MY FONDEST MEMORIES ARE OF MY FATHER AND I CRABBING ON THE INLET BEHIND THE HOTEL AND COOKING THE DAYS CATCH FOR SUPPER THAT EVENING. YUM!! EVERY NIGHT WE WOULD WALK THE BOARD WALK. ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE PLACES WAS THE SEASIDE PARK, AS THE DOORS WERE OPEN AND NIGHT LIFE SPILLED OVER TO THE BEACH ITSELF I LOVED THE MUSIC , IT WAS LIKE A MOVIE COME TO LIFE AS THOSE WERE THE DAYS OF ANNETTE , FRANKIE AND BEACH BLANKET BINGO. I NEVER DID GET TO DANCE OR ENTER ANY OF THE DANCE CLUBS AT THE BEACH, BUT I WAS ABLE TO ENJOY THE MUSIC FROM OUTSIDE . THESE DAYS THERE IS MUSIC AT THE OPEN AMPITHEATER, AND ON THE STREET CORNERS, THERE IS DANCING IN THE STREETS AND MUCH FAMILY ORIENTED ENTERTAINMENT.
I AM IN MY LATE 50'S NOW, AND I CONTINUE TO MAKE MEMORIES AT THE BEACH. I HAVE TAKEN MY CHILDREN AND MY GRANDCHILDREN EVERY YEAR ON VACATION. THEY ARE NOW MAKING THIER OWN MEMORIES AND I HOPE THAT THEY WILL BE AS WONDERFUL AS THE ONES THAT I HAVE CHERISHED FOR YEARS!

MARGARET SKINNER MORRIS more than 2 years ago

va beach rudee heights

I can ditto your article on Rudee Heights,the apartments by the inlet. My family traveled from near Pittsburg, Pa to VA.Beach,usually in JUly. Loved going to Dan Hurds and Pine tree inn.my father walked
me down to the beach when I was a baby, I did the same with my daughter by the wooden pier. My love
for the sea has flowed in my blood and now my daughter. Thanks dad. My dad convoyed out of Hampton Roads during WWII in the Merchant Marines. Do you remember the castle out by the motel?

george gerba 40 days ago

memories

fantastic article. I moved to Virginia in 1965 from Louisiana. newly wed to a sailor stationed in Norfolk.The article brought back memories of that great Beach movie sound I remember so well the names of some of the clubs mentioned Bill Deal was my favorite. I still have one of his albums.
I remarried in 1977 to a Norfolk gentleman and we was married until, he was taken to Glory with cancer in 2000. yes Virginia is truly a great Beach music area. I miss all that now that I live in oklahoma
once again I want to say thanks for the great article.
Ellen

ellen more than 2 years ago

Carrie Davis-Southern Rock

Carrie, I think you're referring to the band Snuff. Cecil Hooker was the Asian-American with long hair who played fiddle for Snuff. There was a bar near Peabody's called Country Comfort where Snuff played also. Band is not together now but members are still playing in the Tidewater area.

Chandler Albrecht Edmunds more than 2 years ago

Southern Rock

One important factor to mention is that drinking age was 18 until 1981 (I think). I was wondering what the name was of the bar next to the Peabody's T-Shirt Factory-live southern rock bands played there. A big time favorite band had a fiddle player who was Asian American with long black hair! Anybody know the name of the place or band? I was thinking Country Comfort?

Carrie Davis more than 2 years ago

southern rock band with fiddle player long hair

SNUFF & Cecil Hooker was the awesome fiddle player. If you watched SNUFF then you should check out Facebook Group Snuff-National Recording Artist .

Darlene Coughlim 175 days ago

Southern Rock

The band was "Snuff"...a few U tube videos under that name and Ron Herbert who was their producer..They had 2 albums and a version stills plays special events occasionally

Mike Cleckley 168 days ago

Snuff-National Recording Artist on MCA is a geat group site if you have memories & shaing of the group family and friends!

Check out the group site on FB

Darlene Coughlin-Palmetto Fl by way of Richmond Va 132 days ago

Southern Rock

One important factor to mention is that drinking age was 18 until 1981 (I think). I was wondering what the name was of the bar next to the Peabody's T-Shirt Factory-live southern rock bands played there. A big time favorite band had a fiddle player who was Asian American with long black hair! Anybody know the name of the place or band? I was thinking Country Comfort?

Carrie Davis more than 2 years ago

Southern Rock

It WAS country comfort but it wasn't next to Peabody's.It was on Pacific, just a few doors north of 17th St. You could see Bullfeather's on 17th from the Comfort's door. The fiddle player was Cecil and I believe he played with Snuff back when The Zodiac was still open.

Randy Hernandez more than 1 year ago

playing at the Peppermint

My band Sandcastle was playing at the Peppermint in 1972. One of the electrical outlets on stage was sparking while we were playing. Without cutting the power, Chester replaced the outlet as the band played on. I was impressed by that "the show must go on" attitude as well as his market adjusted cover charge.

Steve Thomas more than 2 years ago

Dates

Nice article about special times! One slight quibble, based on personal experience: the implication on page 5 is that the Rhondels returned to The Peppermint in 1975. The band I was in at the time played 3 weeks with the Rhondels at the Peppermint the summer of 1974. They were there on a nightly basis for the entire summer of '74 except for occasional one-niters elsewhere. An exciting and highly educational time for me!

Alfred Walker more than 2 years ago

60's dancing

This artical is great!! It brings back many great memories.
Left out was the seaside park-now where 31th street ends, we danced every tues night, left there we all went to the top hat, oh yes a great place.
The dome----I'm "dating" myself by saying that I remember seeing the Beach Boys, James Brown,and many other groups during that era.
Then came oh yes the fabulous "Rouges" What a great place it was -every wed's was locals nite-Thurs was Show night-once played were-Frankie Vallie,Fats Domino,even the Temptations!

Again that point in time was so great,the music will live forever...

Chuck Heeb---The Late Carole Heeb more than 3 years ago

Did Fats D every play at the Peperment Beach Club

I was 16 I think and remember going there one night and I think he played there. I was friends with the guy that managed Bill Deal James Tatum who die a early age with drugloverdose. He was an only child. I still have pictures of us when we were 10 and 6 years of age.

Helen Barnes Bellamy more than 1 year ago

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