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July 15, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

Thank the Good Lord I’m a “Carolina Man.”


“Carolina Man.” General Johnson’s special gift to Beach Music lovers

Darryl Warren

When I first touched General Johnson’s hand, I was living in Savannah, Georgia.  If you’ve ever been to River Street, then you can imagine how awesome the Chairmen of the Board sounded as they echoed off the water.  His booming voice, strong and commanding, vibrated through the soul of everyone lucky enough to witness that summer day’s splendor.  I heard the Chairmen of the Board play before, but that was the first time I actually got to touch a real live super-star.   It was somewhere around 1987.  I remember  working myself to the front of the stage, not to be touched by the General, but to get a closer look at the wild eyed Georgia girls in halter tops screaming his name.  I pretty sure the General was trying to touch the hand of a blond, tanned Georgia girl, not me.

The energy and charisma that I saw on stage convinced me that God had graced me with two great gifts, to be at a General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board Concert in Savannah, GA, and to have been born a “CAROLINA MAN.”  At that moment, I decided to be a life-long fan of THE biggest and best Carolina Man, General Johnson from the Chairmen of The Board.

Like most “Carolina Boys,” I grew up listening to The Chairmen of the Board’s music.  And like most Carolina boys, I also branched out into other genres of music.  Rock, Country, Soul, and Disco was the “cool” music to blast over my Sanyo tape player and Jenson speakers.   Anything loud and fast became my love.  But, deep inside, I had the good sense to keep in my car an old home-made cassette with “Beach Music” scribbled in faded blue ink.   It had the Tams, Embers, the Thymes, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and of course The Chairmen of the Board on it.  I wore that thing out on the lonely drive from Carolina to Savannah.  But, until I moved to Georgia, I had never really “shag danced” that I could remember.   My dancing style was more “Disco meets a lobotomy.”

However, when I saw the Georgia girls and guys Shaggin to the Chairmen of the Board, it didn’t take me long to remember that famous four step slide and twirl.  I soon realized that being from Carolina pretty much made me an expert in all things beach music.  And I knew how the girls loved experts….. 🙂

Thus began my journey towards becoming a true “Carolina Man.”  25 years later, I discovered the General left us a little music to sum it all up nicely.

As he did for the women folk with the best seller “Carolina Girl,” the General has left us with a blue-print for what it means to be a “Carolina Man.”  Though he never had a chance to sing “Carolina Man” live, we can only imagine how deep his love was for our part of the world by reading these lyrics.  Take a minute and read the words.   Now remember one more thing.  If you love Carolina Beach Music, warm Carolina Sand between your toes, and all those beautiful Carolina Girls in halter tops and shorts, then you are a true Carolina Man….So Carolina Men, if you find yourself at a Chairmen of the Board Concert and you see the heavens part and that Carolina sky shines bright on all those lovely Carolina Beauties, raise your hands and let the General know you are thinking about him.  He sure thought a lot about you…..

So read the words to “Carolina Man.”  Go to a Chairman of the Board Concert.  You can imagine how proud the General would be if we all were, “Carolina Men.”

Carolina Man (Written by General Johnson)

I’m a Carolina man with my Carolina girls
Livin’ the good life in a Carolina World
Everyday people, my down home friends
We live and breathe Carolina
I’m a Carolina Man

A little money in my pocket
A beer in my hand
Don’t take much to satisfy a satisfied man
I got the mountains in the winter
The beach in the summertime
I love Carolina
I’m so glad this land is mine

I’m a Carolina man with my Carolina girls
Livin’ the good life in a Carolina World
Everyday people, my down home friends
We live and breathe Carolina
I’m a Carolina Man

Slow and easy
That’s the down home way
We got a whole lot of livin’ to do
Can’t do it all in just one day
So don’t come down here complainin’
about the way Carolina is
Love it or leave it
We love it just the way it is!

I’m a Carolina man with those Carolina girls
Livin’ the good life in a Carolina World
Everyday people, my down home friends
We live and breathe Carolina
I’m a Carolina Man

No doubt about it
When I’m dead and gone
Bury me where I want to be
Carolina is my home

I’m a Carolina man with those Carolina girls
Livin’ the good life in a Carolina World
Everyday people, my down home friends
We live and breathe Carolina
I’m a Carolina Man

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One Comment

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  1. Antonio Johnson / Jul 16 2011 3:14 am

    Thanks Darryl…my dad really wanted to sing this song at least once for true Carolina Beach music fans…like you!!!!

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