by Scott Buttram, editor
TRUSSVILLE – The Swingin ‘Medallions formed their group in 1962 in Greenwood, South Carolina. By 1966, they had sold 1.5 million copies of their biggest single and were a hit on college campuses and southern theaters. On Friday, September 24, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., baby boomers of all ages can experience the Party Band of the South at Ferus Artisan Ales in the Trussville Entertainment District.
According to their website, their musical roots came from listening to early rhythm and blues acts. The music most often associated with the band is beach music, frat rock, R&B, or shggin ‘music. After a few years of touring colleges from the Carolinas to Bayou, Louisiana, John McElrath took the band to Arthur Smith’s studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, to record Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love).
The song hit a million sellers in 1966 and has been a party classic for college students for decades. She Drives Me Out Of My Mind and Hey, Hey, Baby were top 40 hits in 1966 and 1967, but “Double Shot” remains the Swingin ‘Medallions’ flagship song.
The membership of the Swingin ‘Medallions has changed over the past three decades. The group’s staff has always included around eight members with at least a four-piece brass section. The high-energy party-style stage performance of the early Medallions was passed on to the group performing today. Medallions’ present stage show gave them the name “The Party Band of the South”.
Many medallions attended and graduated from Lander University in Greenwood, SC, while performing in the Southeast. The University of Georgia was also the home of some of the group members.
The music of the Swingin ‘Medallions has been featured in countless movies and TV shows.
Lewis Grizzard (Southern comedian and writer) called the Medallions “The Party Band of the South”, a nickname that has become forever synonymous with the name Medallion. Grizzard wrote in a nationwide column: “Even today when I hear Double Shot of My Baby’s Love, it makes me want to stay outside in the scorching sun with a mug of milkshake full of beer in one hand and a college girl. slightly dipped in the other. “
Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene wrote an article titled The Swingin ‘Medallion View of US History. He summed up America’s love affair with “Double Shot” with his discovery of the song played and sold in the Smithsonian Institute gift shop. When asked why it was available in the largest history directory in the country, the clerk replied, “Because it’s as much a part of our history as anything we sell.”
You can watch the videos below as the band perform It’s Alright in the first video, and join Bruce Sprinsteen on stage for Double Shot.