Is Beaufort Residents' Classic film "Shag: The Movie" One Of The Top 10 Movies Made In The South?
August 17, 2022
A very fun movie. A bit of a gal version of "Animal House?"
From "Forrest Gump" to "Gone With the Wind," the South has been the backdrop for some of Hollywood's greatest films. Southern lifestyle magazine Garden & Gun recently compiled a list of the Top 10 movies made in the South and is asking voters to pick a favorite by April 30. "Shag: The Movie," written by Lanier Laney and Terry Sweeney of Beaufort, made the cut. Their lighthearted, coming-of-age movie follows four girls from Spartanburg, who road trip to Myrtle Beach for a last-hurrah weekend of fun and dancing before one of them is married.
Although the 1989 film lacked star power or a big budget, it was a hit among girls and sororities that came to idolize the main characters -- four Southern belles who were classy and chaste, yet knew how to have a good time. And it was quintessentially Southern in that it featured shag, the state dance of South Carolina. "In L.A., they act like it doesn't exist. Here, there are girls who have seen it 40 times," Laney said.
Laney, who grew up in Spartanburg, said he was inspired to write "Shag" after going to New York in 1977 and being shocked at how Southerners were perceived there. "We were KKK meets Dukes of Hazzard," he said. "That's not the South I grew up in."
Laney's South was family vacations to Pawleys Island and shagging to beach music, which was called "race music" in the 1960s, when the movie takes place. It was in the Grand Strand area of the state where the music and dance had its greatest impact among white teenagers, who flocked to black nightclubs and juke joints, where it was a staple. As an adult, Laney took Sweeney, a native of Long Island, N.Y., to Pawleys Island to write "Shag." Tapping into the female perspective of the film's protagonists was easy, Laney said, because he spent many summers around the pool at The Country Club of Spartanburg, listening to girls gossip about boys and beaches and having fun. "You had to be Southern to get it. But you can be an upper class girl and be wild and go crazy," he said.
The dichotomy of innocence and debauchery, combined with a healthy dose of dancing and humor, made "Shag" appealing, even if non-Southerners didn't understand the culture or South Carolina's state dance. The fact that Laney and Sweeney were former "Saturday Night Live" writers also helped. Once the story was written, Sweeney pitched it to the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. "The guy said, 'I don't know anything about this dance or what you're talking about, but you're very funny and I'm going to greenlight it,' " Laney said.
"It's kind of a miracle it happened in the first place." "Shag: The Movie" is serendipitously in contention for the South's greatest film on its 25th anniversary. The film is currently in third place behind "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Gone With the Wind." "We're grateful Garden & Gun recognized it," Laney said. "I'm such a cheerleader for this region ... and the movie really promotes the Lowcountry. "I just hope that we can keep the dance and the culture alive and that the movie will stand the test of time."
The Movie Soundtrack:
The Shag Performed by Tommy Page Composed by Tommy Page and Andy Paley Published by Doraflo Music Inc., Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. Copyright Control Recording courtesy of Sire Records Co. Harlem Shuffle Performed by Bob & Earl (as Bob and Earl) Composed by Earl Nelson (as Nelson), Bob Relf (as Relf) Published by Marc-Jean Music, Keyman Music Administered by Bug Music Recording courtesy of Original Sound Entertainment Saved Performed by La Vern Baker Composed by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller Published by Trio Music Co., Ltd. Let Me In Performed by The Sensations Composed by Yvonne Baker (as Baker) McDaniel, Rodgers Published by Tristan Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of MCA Records Inc. Easier Said Than Done Performed by The Essex Composed by Linton, Huff Published by Planetary-Nom (London) Ltd. Recording courtesy of Roulette Records (ABZ Music Corp.) What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am Performed by The Tams Composed by Whitley Published by Chappell Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of MCA Records Inc. Stay Performed by The Voltage Brothers Composed by Maurice Williams (as Williams) Published by Lorna Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of Midnight Maneuvers Since I Don't Have You Performed by The Skyliners Composed by Jimmy Beaumont (as Beaumont), Janet Vogel (as Vogel), Joe Verscharen (as Versharen), Wally Lester (as Lester), Jack Taylor (as Taylor), Joseph Rock (as Rock) and Lennie Martin (as Marvin) Published by Southern Music Publishing Co. Ltd. Recording courtesy of Original Sound Entertainment Diddly Daddy Performed by Chris Isaak Composed by Bo Diddley (as McDaniel), Harvey Fuqua (as Fuqua) Published by Jewel Music Publishing Co. Ltd. Recording courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Seven Lonely Days Performed by k.d. lang and The Reclines Composed by Earl Shuman (as Shuman), Marshall Brown (as Brown) Published by Earl Music Company Recording courtesy of Sire Records Co. 39-21-40 Shape Performed by The Showmen Composed by Johnson Courtesy of SBK Unart Catalog, Inc. Recording Courtesy of Charly Records International ApS Unknown Waltz Composed by W. Warren Published by De Wolfe Music Ltd. Catfight Performed by Andy Paley Composed by Andy Paley (as Paley) Copyright Control Recording courtesy of Sire Records Co. Ready to Go Steady Performed by The Charmettes Composed by Jonzun, Andy Paley (as Paley) Published by Warner Bros. Music/Copyright Control Recording courtesy of Sire Records Co. Shaggin' on the Grand Strand Performed by Hank Ballard Composed by Hank Ballard (as Ballard), Andy Paley (as Paley), Stein Copyright Control Monkey Time Performed by Major Lance Composed by Curtis Mayfield (as Mayfield) Published by Ivan Mogull Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of CBS Records Inc. Dixie Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett (uncredited) Performed by The Royal Doulton Band Arranged by Gardner Published by Valentine Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of Bandleader Records Ltd. Up on the Roof Performed by The Drifters Composed by Gerry Goffin (as Goffin), Carole King (as King) Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd. Re-recording courtesy of Kilo Music Ltd. Weekend Whirlwind Performed by Ehm's Law Written by Robert Jones / Leslie Ehm Published by Palace (Myrtle Beach) Ltd. Under the Boardwalk Performed by The Drifters Composed by Arthur Resnick (as Resnick), Kenny Young (as Young) Published by T.M. Music Ltd. (Carlin Music Corporation) Re-recording courtesy of Kilo Music Ltd. Oooo Ahhh Performed by Jacki O Composed by White, Williams, Milligan Published by Seven Songs & Me-Benbish Music Inc. Recording courtesy of Original Sound Entertainment Alley Cat Song Performed by Bent Fabricius-Bjerre (as Bent Fabric) Composed by Bjorn, Harlen Published by Chappell Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of Metronome Records Oh, What a Night Performed by Nick Kamen Composed by Marvin Junior (as Junior), Johnny Funches (as Funches) Published by Arc Music Corporation Recording courtesy of WEA/Sire Records Every Day I Have to Cry Performed by Ben E. King Composed by Arthur Alexander (as Alexander) Published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. I'm in Love Again Performed by Randy Newman Composed by Fats Domino (as Domino), David Bartholomew (as Bartholomew) © Reeve Music Co. Sub-Published by Francis Day & Hunter Ltd. t/a Bluebird Music Recording courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Alley Oop Performed by The Hollywood Argyles Composed by Dallas Frazier Published by Accoustic Music Inc., Cavelin Music Inc., MCA Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of Kilo Music Ltd. I'm Leaving It All Up to You Performed by La Vern Baker & Ben E. King Composed by Harris, Terry Jnr. Published by A.T.V. Music Corp. Sixty Minute Man Performed by The Voltage Brothers Composed by Rose Marks (as Marks) and Billy Ward (as Ward) Published by Carlin Music Corp. Produced and Arranged by Midnight Maneuvers It Will Stand Performed by The Showmen Composed by Johnson Published by SBK United Partnership Ltd. Recording courtesy of Charly Records International ApS Stagger Lee Performed by Lloyd Price Composed by Lloyd Price (as Price), Harold Logan (as Logan) Recording courtesy of MCA Records Inc. Far Above Cayugas Waters Written by Archibald Croswell-Weeks (uncredited) and Wilmot Moses Smith (uncredited) Courtesy of Cornell University Surrender Performed by Louise Goffin Composed by Louise Goffin & Domonic King Published by Warner Bros. Music, Chrysalis Music Recording courtesy of WEA Records Ltd. Our Day Will Come Performed by k.d. lang and The Reclines Composed by Bob Hilliard (as Hilliard), Mort Garson (as Garson) © Rosewood Music Corp./Day Music Co./Hilliard Music Co. Sub-Published by Francis Day & Hunter Ltd. Recording courtesy of Sire Records Co. Blue Hawaii Composed by Leo Robin (as Robin) / Ralph Rainger (as Rainger) Published by Famous Chappell Produced by Tony Cox Baby Work Out Performed by Jackie Wilson Composed by Alonzo Tucker (as Tucker), Jackie Wilson (as Wilson) Published by Blue Ribbon Music Ltd. Recording courtesy of CBS Special Products (a division of CBS Records)