August is quickly approaching, as is the Seventh Annual Charleston Beach Music and Shag Festival, which will be held on August 25 & 26, 2012 at the Embassy Suites in North Charleston and in the ballroom of the North Charleston Coliseum. 

The festival is put on by Big Mamma Entertainment and the Beach Music and Shag Preservation Society of South Carolina, a non-profit organization that was formed in 2006 to promote, preserve and perpetuate the renowned South Carolina state dance "the shag,"  as well as the state's popular "beach music." 

Harriett Grady, president and founder of the organization, has had a passion for her state and its culture for as long as she can remember.

"I owned a shag club called J.B. Pivots Beach Club for over 17 years," said Grady. "Due to the economy, I had to close it."

Grady, along with J.B. Pivots Beach Club, received a lifetime achievement award from the Carolina Beach Music Academy in 2002 and can be found featured in the CBMA Hall of Fame. Despite the closing of the club, Grady's passion has lived on in the Beach Music and Shag Preservation Society of South Carolina, which opened a private membership clubhouse just last year as a part of the non profit organization. It is the only private, non profit beach music and shag clubhouse in all of Charleston.

"We teach shag lessons to our members and to the public, and we also have junior shag lessons on Mondays," said Grady. "We are now also starting a teen club for the kids to practice the dance on Saturdays."

The festival, which is to be held in late August, is a fundraiser for the organization and its cause. Both days are jam packed with an impressive line-up of some of South Carolina's most prominent and noteworthy beach music bands. The Castaways Band, Rickey Godfrey Band and the Carolina Soul Band will perform on Saturday, while the Fantastic Shakes, Johnny Rawls Blues Band and the Mighty Joe Pope Tams will perform on Sunday.

To support this rich tradition, please visit www.pivotsbeachclub.com or www.bmspssc.com to find out more information and to purchase tickets!

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