Chappell, Epics Enter Hall of Fame

Blythewood’s Jim Chappell and the Sensational Epics were inducted recently into the Carolina Beach Music H.O.F.

MYRTLE BEACH – Jim Chappell of Blythewood, and the other members of the 1960s beach music band The Sensational Epics, were inducted into the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame recently along with another great beach music band, The Coasters. The two groups join Ray Charles, The Drifters, The Platters and more.

Back in the ‘60s, the group, which also included Gregg Pierce, now a Richland County Councilman, was the hottest beach band in the Southeast playing on stage with Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Tams, the Drifters, Curtis Mayfield, the Impressions and other top recording artists of the era. They recorded several national hits including “I’ve Been Hurt” and “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” for Cameo, Warner Brothers, Capitol and other record labels.

It all started in Chappell’s parents’ living room in 1963 when he and four buddies organized themselves into one of the umpteen jillion high school bands that were sprouting up in garages across the country. But this one proved to be different. They quickly went from performing at high school assembly programs to touring the university circuit throughout the South to performing in the biggest beach music venue in the country at that time, The Beach Club in Myrtle Beach.

The Epics eventually evolved into a nine-piece show and party band, featuring five horns and a talented rhythm section. As college graduation, marriage and the raging Vietnam War entered the picture, the band dissolved. Then, in 2000, they were asked to reunite at the fountain in Five Points for a charity performance and they were a hit all over again. They now have a solid schedule of venues booked months in advance performing classic hits from the 1960s and ‘70s.

Chappell no longer performs with the band, except for a cameo appearance when the band plays Blythewood’s Beach Bash each spring.

“The idea of tearing down a band stage at 1:30 in the morning doesn’t appeal to me anymore,” Chappell said with a laugh. “But it was a good time.”

And now he’s got the trophy to prove it.