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       To learn more about each book, read the Massive Reviews -- click this Link.  



Dancing On The Edge opens with a quote from

Frank Herbert's God Emperor of Dune, 1981:

" Odd as it may seem, great struggles such as the one you can see emerging from my journals are not always visible to the participants. Much depends on what people dream in the secrecy of their hearts. I have always been as concerned with the shaping of dreams as with the shaping of actions. Between the lines of my journals is the struggle with humankind's view of itself--a sweaty contest on a field where motives from our darkest past can well up out of an unconscious reservoir and become events with which we not only must live but contend. It is the hydra-headed monster which always attacks from your blind side. I pray, therefore, that when you have traversed my portion of the Golden Path you no longer will be innocent children dancing to music you cannot hear."

(reprinted by permission of the Putnam Berkeley Group, N.Y.)

Dancing On The Edge was a first effort in exploring the deeper sociological, cultural and historical roots of Beach Music and Shag dancing.

By 1989, it was the result of nearly ten years of research and countless questions: (e.g. what is 'music'? what is 'rhythm'? what is 'dancing'? Why do different cultures perform different dances to the same music; yet claiming they are each dancing to the 'actual' rhythm of the song?).

Dancing On The Edge, Vol. 1 No. 1, September 1989:

  • Freestylin', the opening editorial essay, explores the improvisational roots and influences of Shag culture.
  • In Search of the Shag is an historical essay extending the dance's early boundaries beyond the culturally-accepted origins of 1948-1954.
  • In Shag Line, Hook and co-writer, music and dance critic Fleur Paysour, explore the geneaology of Shag mentoring through one of the most famous lines of dancer-teachers (culminating in Shad and Brenda Alberty, the most prolific instructors of the era).
  • Bop City is a marvelous, slice-of-life story about a seminal Shag club in the first wave of Shag history by Frankie C.
  • Dancing On The Edge Vol 1, No 1 is also packed with
    • Detailed playlists by the Top BJs (beach jocks) of the era
    • Record reviews
    • The Beach & Shag Top 50 Chart
    • Bubbling under charts
    • News from Bop and Shag Clubs throughout the Southeast
    • A look back at the first ten years of S.O.S. (Society of Stranders) yearly celebration / migrations.

To obtain a copy of this one-of-a-kind journal contact John Hook at: ($9.95 @)

Dancing On The Edge spawned the Rhythm 'n Beach News (paper).....a more cost-effective way of publishing charts, news and feature stories (remember the very early issues of Rolling Stone magazine?)

There were five volumes of Rhythm 'n Beach News:

Vol 1, No 1 April 1990

  • Rhythm 'n Beach Views
  • North Meets South....
  • Loose Shoes & Record Reviews
  • In The Grooves DJ Reports
  • The Rhythm 'n Beach Top 50
  • Under the Boardwalk Chart
  • Line Dance Chart
  • Foothills Winter Boogie III
  • Richmond Shag Club Birthday Bash
  • Best Female Dancer of the Decade
  • Good Rockin' Tonight band listings

Vol 1, No 2 May 1990

  • The Last Pavilion?
  • Carolina Records
  • Music City Boppers
  • Drink Small from S.C.
  • The Guard's Shag Contest Finals
  • Red's in Raleigh Shag Contest Finals
  • Loose Shoes & Record Reviews
  • Music Charts
  • Line Dance Chart
  • Sarah Vaughan Retrospective
  • Dexter Gordon Retrospective
  • "Big Twist" Nolan Retrospective
  • They Glow in the Dark
  • Nabs (Rhythm 'n Beach News tidbits)

Vol 1, No 3 Jun 1990

  • S.P.A. (Shagger's Preservation Association Champions)
  • Sammy Davis Junior Retrospective from the Rhythm 'n Beach Perspective
  • The P.C. Bop (Birmingham, Panama City, Florida)
  • Loose Shoes & Record Reviews
  • Ducks S.P.A. Shag Contest results (songs, dancers, cities)
  • Groucho's S.P.A. Shag contest results
  • Lee Atwater: Red Hot & Blues Brother
  • World Line Dance Championships III
  • Hi Fi 50s
  • Back to the Future--1960 (Panama City, Florida revisited)

Vol 1, No 4 Summer 1990

  • Rhythm 'n Beach Views (Local records and originals)
  • Loose Shoes & Record Reviews
  • Please Mr. DJ reports
  • Lotsa Charts
  • Shag club Contests
  • Sand Flea Hall of Fame Induction
  • Birmingham Bop Hits
  • Yab-A-Dab-A-Do
  • "Lightnin' Bug" Rhodes Retrospective
  • Hi Fi 50s (smoothies and swing in Rhythm 'n Beach Music)
  • In Search of the Shag....continued

Vol 1, No 5 Fall 1990

  • Percy Milem issue (the lost performer of 'I Slipped A Little' returns from 1963!)
  • Rhythm 'n Beach Views
  • Wax Museum Beach Catalogue
  • Loose Shoes & Record Reviews
  • Alive & Kicking with the Chairmen of the Board
  • More Charts
  • Nabs, etc.

Each volume of Rhythm 'n Beach News is $4.95 @.

To order Dancing On The Edge and/or Rhythm 'n Beach News 1-5, contact John Hook: for quote for shipping and handling.




Contact Information

For questions, contributions, or alliances with the Endless Summer Network, or if you just want to send postcards or get our business cards which were ordered online after we figured out our income tax refund and personal budget, here are the pertinent connections:

Postal address
500 Hearthside Dr, Winston Salem, NC 27104
Electronic mail
General Information:
Customer Support: John Hook   704-219-1560