‘Beach Ball’ benefits RFL

Published 10:01 am Thursday, August 31, 2017

AHOSKIE – A beach ball typically makes a person think of a colorful orifice being tossed around along a sandy shoreline or at a ballgame.

But there are beach balls and a Beach Ball.

The latter will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Roanoke-Chowan Shrine Club (NC 11 between Ahoskie and Murfreesboro) featuring the legendary Beach Music band Bill Deals’ Original Rhondels.

Bill Deal’s Original Rhondels will perform a Relay for Life benefit show on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Roanoke-Chowan Shrine Club. Tickets are currently on sale for the event. Contributed Photo

Tickets ($20 per person) are now on sale for the event, from where proceeds benefit Hertford-Gates Relay for Life. Judging from past events from which the Rhondels were on stage locally, tickets sell extremely fast.

Those tickets are available at the Duck Thru on Main Street in downtown Ahoskie or by contacting Ricky Myers at 252-287-1074.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 and the Rhondels take the stage at 8:30 p.m. This is a BYOB event that also features a Shag Contest ($10 per couple to enter) and a 50/50 raffle.

Hailing from Virginia Beach, Bill Deal and the Rhondels are a Beach Music tradition who have performed their hit recordings in almost every major city in the United States.

In 1969, Bill began a recording career that would include five hit singles in a 24-month whirlwind. First was “May I” followed by such legendary classics as “I’ve Been Hurt”, and “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am.”

With these three hits charting the top 10, Bill traveled coast to coast as the eight piece ensemble Bill Deal and the Rhondels.

Displaying outstanding choreography, vocals and lots of brass, their hits went to the top of the charts in countries such as Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Germany and Mexico.

Bill recorded the organ solo on Jimmy Soul’s “If You Wanna Be Happy” at the age of 16, which has been featured in movie sound tracks such as Good Will Hunting, Grumpy Old Men, Mask, and others. After years on the road, Bill decided to retire and spend time closer to home.

Over the years, Beach music and certain vintage music had grown in popularity with such magnitude that Bill decided to respond to demand and perform a one night only engagement at Fat Roger’s Beach Club in Virginia Beach. What was designed as an evening of fun and reminiscing with a few friends turned out to be an instant sell-out, a magical event televised by news media. There were more friends and fans outside than inside the standing-room only concert. It would prove to be an evening of some of the best music these gentlemen had ever created. There have been many encores ever since.

Now, decades later with new CDs and tapes to their credit, Bill Deal’s Original Rhondels appear in areas such as Orlando and Tampa, FL, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, SC, Montgomery, AL and Washington, DC. The Original Rhondels repeatedly return to crowds of thousands at various annual Beach Music festivals, college events and concerts throughout Virginia and the Carolinas.

The unexpected passing of Bill Deal in December of 2003 was a great loss to the music industry. The Original Rhondels are committed to keeping alive the great music that Bill’s fans have grown to love over the years.

With Brian Bleakley on vocals and trumpet; Steve Ambrose on sax and vocals; Wayne Kessinger on keys sax, and vocals; Gary Hardy, Rollie Ligart, and Lee Quisenberry on trumpet and vocals; Bruce Harlow on guitar and vocals, and Sonny Morris on drums and vocals, the Original Rhondels are stronger than ever. Check out their latest CD, “Live”.

Please, do yourself a favor and catch what has proven to be a Beach Music tradition for nearly 50 years and help the ongoing fight against cancer at the same time.

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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