August 21, 2012


(Press Release)
Pleasure Island has another great week of FREE activities for your vacationing and leisure-time fulfillment.  There is always something for everyone on our little slice of paradise.  Please plan on joining us for Thursday nights’ FREE concert on August 23rd from 6:30 until 9:30 featuring the Radio Flyer.

Interview written by Jeff Reid of the Beat Magazine
Radio Flyer Band ; A Long Strange Trip
Shorty Watkins, was born and raised in the Wilmington area. He was introduced to the guitar by his father and uncle who were always playing guitars together at family gatherings and "white lightning" parties. "My dad bought me my first guitar for my 8th grade graduation" recalls Watkins. "It was a Stella and he got it from Finkelstein's Music." Leslie Amen, who played with local favorites Hayseed and the Rhythm Range Riders, taught Shorty a few chords and how to tune and he was on his way.

Like most local musicians who wanted to perform, then and now, Shorty's career was fueled by the tourist trade. "In the early 60's I started playing in bands on the party boats at Carolina Beach for Carl and Skippy Winner," states Watkins. The atmosphere was infectious---huge crowds hung around the docks, girls chasing musicians, musicians chasing girls. During the summer, the boats were being filled several times a night, seven days a week with tourists taking a musical moonlight cruise. Musicians that Shorty -played with at the time reads like a list of Wilmington's who's who; Buddy Skipper, Pug West, Charlie Daniels and Paul Peek. "Peek especially, was a legend at the time," explains Shorty. "He had been a member of Gene Vincent's Blue Caps, was in a movie with Jane Mansfield, appeared on the Ed Sullivan show twice and had recordings in the charts."

It was this connection with Peek that helped jump Shorty's career from the party boats to the road circuit. Shorty continues, "I was working at Wilson's grocery during the day and Pug West came by to ask if I wanted a job with Paul Peek. I quit Wilson's that day and moved up to Jacksonville." Soon after, they formed Shorty and the Shays and hit the road playing the Whiskey A-Go-G0 circuit and made Atlanta, Georgia their home base. "I was looking for the big time," states Shorty. "I was introduced to the Bill Lowery Talent Agency and started to do session work in Atlanta studios."
Working with the future Atlanta Rhythm Section producer Buddy Bui, sessions included work with the Classic's 4 and BJ Thomas.

And don’t forget to stay for our fantastic Fireworks show at 9:00 pm (weather permitting).  Come join your family and friends at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for a night of FREE fun, music and fireworks.

The following night, we will be presenting our final FREE Summer Concert Series at the Ft. Fisher Air Force Recreation Area with the crowd favorite – The MAKO Band.  The Mako Band has been performing in the Carolinas & Virginia since 1992. The Band plays a variety of 70's, 80's and 90's Beach, Boogie & Blues.  Featuring Keyboards - Saxophone - Guitar - Bass & Pulse Pounding Drums topped off with Polished Vocals, Comprises this highly experienced group of Entertainers.

Don’t forget about Family Night every Tuesday at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk from 6:30-8:30, followed by Cash BINGO at the Gazebo Stage from 7:00-9:00 on Wednesday evenings. Let’s not forget, the very popular Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Carolina Beach Lake.

To close out the week, this Sunday, August 26th, the movie at the Carolina Beach Lake will be a blast from the past with the presentation of Elvis’ 1962 classic Blue Hawaii, with renditions of two of his biggest hits “Rock-a-Hula Baby” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”. The fantastic 1962 feature will sure be a hit with the Ladies on their night out in Carolina Beach!  The showing will be at 8:45 pm at the Carolina Beach Lake at the corner of South Lake Park Boulevard and Atlanta Avenue.

. Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surf-board, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His father wants him to go to work at the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company, but Chad is reluctant. So Chad goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend's agency. Also starring Joan Blackman and Angela Lansbury. 

All movies are weather-dependent, so be sure to call ahead (910-458-8434), if the weather seems threatening to make sure the show will go on.

These films are free and open to the public. Popcorn, candy, soft drinks, cotton candy and other popular concessions are available at reasonable prices. This is a true summer time treat for adults and kids alike.

Please contact the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce if you have questions and don't forget to check out our exciting Pleasure Island Calendar of Events.

For more information please call the Chamber at 910-458-8434 or email at
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