Shag Icon Judy Collins Passes Away at 66
A beloved icon of the North Myrtle Beach shag dance and beach music scenes has died.
Her sister, Jeannie Faulk Elmore, told The Sun News that Collins was sick the last six years of her life due to diabetes, which ultimately took her life. She said she hopes that she is remembered as the "queen of beach music."
"She heard things in music that other people did not hear," Elmore said.
Collins, who excelled at dancing, DJing, and producing, won numerous awards in the industry, including an induction into the Beach Shaggers National Hall of Fame in 1999. She even produced her own CDs and had a song that was No. 1 on the charts: "My Kinda Girl" by Billy Scott.
"I was surrounded with all kinds of music at a young age," she wrote in a letter to the Beach Shaggers National Hall of Fame following her induction. "Working every day after school and on weekends at my father's store, I soon found myself leaning toward the ‘Beach Music' as my favorite sound. Working in the music business also gave me access to some wonderful people that I knew loved the music and also really knew how to do the dance called ‘the shag.'"
Collins shared the floor with Jeppy McDowell, her longtime shag dance partner, from the beginning.
Lulu Quick, who knew Collins since the 1980s, told The Sun News that she frequently stood behind the bar at Judy's House of Oldies and watched Collins teach shag lessons.
"She was a ball of fun," Quick said. "She did so much to keep beach music, the bands and shag alive—and it takes a lot to keep it alive."
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A service to remember Collins' life is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday at McMillan-Small Funeral Home in Myrtle Beach. Afterwards, family and friends plan to gather at Fat Harold's Beach Club to continue celebrating her life.
Memorials may be made to The Shaggers Hall of Fame Foundation, P.O. Box 4070, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29579.