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Second Nature rocks it to the Hall of Fame

Posted: November 10, 2016 5:36 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Longtime favorite local band Second Nature will be formally inducted tonight into the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame at the Ocean Drive Beach & Golf Resort in North Myrtle Beach.  The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. with a dance – music provided by the guests of honor, of course – to follow.

The band’s founder, Tommy James of Camden, was inducted personally into the CBMA Hall of Fame in 2004; tonight, the rest of the band joins him in the honor.

James has been playing the sand-shuffling beats and breezy chords for thousands of beach music lovers in South Carolina and across the country for more than five decades. Being able to play music with great friends and musicians is a blessing; achieving success and recognition for doing something they love is icing on the cake, James said. 

“We are very thankful and honored for the 2016 CBMA Hall of Fame award recognition,” James said.  “Thanks to all who have supported us for the past 46 years.”

James, known to all as “TJ”, moved to Camden from Sumter in 1968 to take a job with DuPont, but never stopped playing music.

“I've been in a band continuously since the fall of 1960, and worked my way through college playing piano, organ and singing in bands that I joined or started,” said. “This month marks 56 years of playing in a band -- 46 of them with Second Nature.”

Second Nature formed in 1970 when two friends and former band mates, guitarist Archie Jordan and vocalist Hank Martin, approached James about forming a new group. Over the next few months three other former band mates were recruited, including several who had played together in their first band in Sumter. When one mentioned that it was like “Second Nature” for them to be in a band together, the new name was born.

Second Nature began performing in Jan. 1971 and rapidly found success in the private event market, James said.  In addition to live performance they recorded extensively during the 1970’s and released several singles including a cover of “Sixty Minute Man” which was a regional hit in 1973. In 1975 they released an album called “Second Nature, Volume 1”, recorded in Atlanta, while they were under contract with Bang Records – Neil Diamond’s original record label. Other hits over the years included a collaboration with Warren Moise and General Johnson,“Christmas, The Best Time of the Year”, “Who’s That Guy”, “Only You Will Do”, “Just Another Day in the Breeze”, and “Missing You.”

By the end of the 1970’s, three of the original members were pursuing solo careers in Nashville. In fact, Archie Jordan wrote a number of  hits for Ronnie Milsap as well as continued a strong personal and musical relationship with Beach Music greats The Tams and Clifford Curry, and wrote and produced several of their Beach Music hits.

James stayed in Camden and kept the band going with new personnel including the addition of horns in 1981. This added much versatility, and many new (and old) R&B songs that were now being called “Beach Music” were added to the band’s repertoire, he said.

Current members and the year they joined the band include Tommie James (’71), John Miranda (’90), Larry Kelly (’93), Buzzy Deas (’94), April Amick Caughman (’04), Belton Caughman (’08), Dennis Griffin (’13), Andy Shull (’15).  The original group in 1971 included vocalist Buzz Arledge, who is married to Ouida Gotto from Camden. When Arledge left in 1973, his replacement was Robbie Spence Rush of Camden. Robbie’s husband Max Rush replaced Jordan on guitar in 1973.  In 1974 the band added a road crew, Hollis Halford and Ken Lillard, Jr. Halford moved to Nashville in 1981 and became a successful studio engineer before starting his own CD production company. Another sound tech with Camden roots was Arnie Chardukian. Original lead vocalist Hank Martin moved to Nashville in 1978, and Dale McCaskill took his place. When Dale left in 1993, Larry Kelly took his place and is the band’s current lead male vocalist.  Jim Wheeler, brother of Jean Redfearn of Camden, took over on bass guitar and vocals for a short time in 2015. A gifted musician and music educator, Wheeler passed away on May 1, 2016 after a short but courageous battle with cancer.

In addition to tonight’s show in North Myrtle Beach, Second Nature will be playing Nov. 17 at the 3rd Annual Oysters & Bar B-Q, benefit gala for the Kershaw County Community Clinic. Tickets are $40 for that event. For more information call 713-0806 or visit the website at www.cmcofkc.org.

 

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