Number One!

Published 5:34 pm Sunday, November 10, 2013

AHOSKIE – It’s been just over one year that a group of local musicians combined their enormous individual talents to form KB and The Shifters.

A shade over 14 months later, the cover song on their first-ever CD has hit number one on the national charts.

As of Saturday, Nov. 2, Fessa John Hooks syndicated radio show listed the ratings from CASHBOX putting “Call Me” by KB and The Shifters at number one in the Beach Music category. CASHBOX is one of the oldest and respected song charts in the country. It covers Country, R&B, Rock and Roll, Top 40 and Beach Music.

“Wow….that about sums it up for us when we learned that ‘Call Me’ had risen to the top spot on the national charts,” said retired Hertford County Magistrate Bobby Beard of Ahoskie who plays the sax and harmonica for the band.

“We thought we had a good thing going from our early practice sessions, now over a year ago, but to think we would rise this far, this fast never crossed any of our minds,” Beard added.

“But I must stress that this isn’t about us, it’s about our fans and those who listen to us and other Beach Music bands,” he continued. “They are the ones who call into Beach Music radio shows and request to hear songs. When it’s your song they want to hear, that makes you feel good about what you’re doing, the direction your music is taking.”

Along with Beard, other members of KB and The Shifters are all veterans in the music business – drummer Robert Earl Dilday of Gates County (who played with the original Shifters back in the late 60’s); Karen and Parks Boyd of Scotland Neck provide vocals and guitar respectively; Jan Raines, a former State Highway Patrol Trooper in the Ahoskie office who now lives in Greenville, plays the trumpet and provides vocals; and Ahoskie’s David Barnes strums the bass guitar.

The band’s newest member is another familiar name on the Beach Music scene. Keyboardist Ken Hardee of Roanoke Rapids joined KB and The Shifters one month ago.

“Ken has added a lot to our group,” Beard noted. “His background covers playing with the country music artist

Nicky Harris, and was playing with the ‘Main Event Band’ out of Greenville for the past several years. He also played with the High Roller Band along with Steve Owens who now has formed the group ‘Steve Owens and the Summertime Band’.”

This weekend, the band was in Myrtle Beach, SC for the annual CAMMY (Carolina Beach Music) Awards. KB and The Shifters are among the five nominees for the Rising Star of the Year Award. They are also part of a compilation CD (Carolina Shag IV), containing ‘Call Me’ and other various artists such as Barbara Carr and the Craig Woolard Band, that is up for an award.

As part of their weekend in Myrtle Beach, KB and The Shifters performed on Saturday at the Ocean Drive Resort and Beach Club as the CAMMY “Showcase Band.” From there, Karen Boyd proceeded to the Spanish Galleon where there is an award presentation program at which time she and other nominated artists will sing their songs.

On Sunday, the group joined all the CAMMY Award nominees and a throng of Beach Music fans at the famed Alabama Theatre to enjoy the show and applaud the winners.

Additionally, local DJ Jay Jenkins of Woodland is nominated in three CAMMY categories – Club/Mobile DJ, Radio Show (“Shagging on the Beach), and co-producer with Keith Houston and Julian B. Fowler for the “Back In The Day” CD featuring various artists.

On tap for KB and The Shifters is a Dec. 7 performance at the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party at Beechwood Country Club. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber. On Feb. 15, the band will be playing for a benefit for the American Legion at Beechwood Country Club to raise money for Veterans. Contact Ricky “Rhondel” Myers at the Shell Station on Main Street in Ahoskie for tickets.

The next July 4th celebration in Ahoskie will see KB and The Shifters on stage. The group will also perform at the 2014 Ahoskie Heritage Day (Sept. 13).

To learn more about the group, visit their Facebook page (

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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