The Swingin' Medallions
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1964_Carroll Bledsoe, (left), and Steve Caldwell (right). Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1964_Steve Caldwell delivering vocals. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1964_Perrin Gleaton on guitar. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1964_Left to right: Steve Caldwell, John McElrath, Brent Forston, and Fredie Pugh. From the Perrin Gleaton Medallion Scrapbook

1964_John McElrath on keyboards. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1964_Joe Morris on drums. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1964_The Swingin' Medallions. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1964_The Swingin' Medallions. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1964_Fredie Pugh doing the inverted sax. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1965_Live from the Old Hickory. Photos from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1965_Live from the Old Hickory. Photos from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1965_Live from the Old Hickory. Photos from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1965_Live from the Old Hickory. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

1966_It is obvious (hopefully) where this photo was taken....this was the equipment van...the van left Washington directly for Los Angeles CA...the band hopped on a plane.....when in CA, they played for Tina Sinatra's Birthday Party...and actually got to meet Frank....then went on to play the TV show, "Where The Action Is".....

Early group photo.

Early group photo.

Early group photo.

Early live show.

Early live show.

Early live show.

Early group photo.

The original band lineup that recorded "Double Shot" (back row left to right) *Charlie Webber-trumpet, vocals *Steve Caldwell - saxophone, vocals *Jimmy Perkins-saxophone, bass guitar, vocals *John McElrath-keyboards, vocals *Carroll Bledsoe-trumpet,vocals *Jim Doares-guitar, vocals (front row) *Brent Fortson-saxophone, flute, vocals *Joe Morris-drums, vocals

Early group photo.

1968_Photo from DJ Dave "Rockin" Roddy from WSGN, Birmingham. His playing of "Double Shot" back in 66’ helped turn it into a hit! The photo is of the groups' very first “Medallion Monday” in Birmingham at the Hollywood Country Club. If you were lucky enough to attend one of these shows, you know how famous they would become.

Early group photo.

Early live performance.

Early live performance.

Early live performance.

Band practice, working on those moves!

Band practice, working on those moves!

Joe Morris on drums.

Early live performance.

Early group photo.

Early group photo.

1970's group photo.

1970's group photo.

1980's group photo.

Original members of the Swingin' Medallions pose for a photo during a reunion concert at Chastain Park in Atlanta, GA. in the early 1980's. From left are Charlie Webber (deceased), John McElrath (deceased), Jimmy "Jimbo" Doares, Joe Morris, Brent Fortson, Steve Caldwell (deceased), and placing bunny ears over Caldwell's head, Carroll Bledsoe. In 2016, original and current members of the band came together in uptown Greenwood to celebrate the 50th anniversary of "Double Shot Of My Baby's Love"

1987_Group photo.

2000_Group photo.

2011_Performing at Tybee Island GA.

2011_Performing at Tybee Island GA.

2011_Performing at Tybee Island GA.

2011_Performing at Tybee Island GA.

2011_Performing at Tybee Island GA.

2011_Performing at Tybee Island GA.

2011_Monroe, GA set list.

2012_Performing live.

2012_Sandy Springs, GA.

2013_Performing live at the Thomasville, GA Rose Festival.

2013_Performing live at the Thomasville, GA Rose Festival.

2017_Performing live at Lake Blackshear, GA.

2017_Performing live at Lake Blackshear, GA.

2017_Performing live at Lake Blackshear, GA.

2019_Live on the beach!

2019_Performing live.

2019_John McElrath delivers some vocal!

2019_Performing live!

2019_Band lineup photo op at Icehouse Ampitheater in Lexington, SC.

1967_Smash Records recording artist promo sheet from the set of the "Mondo Daytona" film.

1968_Capital Records recording artist promo sheet.

1969_Promo sheet.

1970_Capital Records recording artist promo sheet.

1970_Capital Records recording artist promo sheet.

1981_The Original Swingin' Medallions reunion concert.

1990_Promo sheet.

1990_Promo sheet.

2000_Promo sheet.

1964_Article from the Greenwood paper. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

2016_Greenwood, SC Proclamation issued by the Mayor recognizing the 50th anniversary of the release of "Double Shot Of My Baby's Love"

John McElrath receives The Order of the Palmetto award issued to him by Governor mark Sanford.

2018_Book release of "An Insider’s History of the Swingin’ Medallions" by Carroll Bledsoe.

1966_Live at The Flame.

1966_Live at the Salem Armory Auditorium.

1968_Movie poster for "Mondo Daytona".

2013_New Years Eve live at the Melting Point.

2013_Live at the Southern Ground Amphitheater.

2013_Live at the Vidalia Music Festival.

2014_Live at Coleman Lake Summer Jam.

2015_Par 3 Partee.

2016_Live at The Foundry.

2017_Hometown Hope Jam.

2017_Shaggin' at Hangar 8.

2018_Live at the Birmingham Nostalgia Reunion

2019_Live at the Border Bash.

2019_Hendersonville, NC Block Party.

1965_"I Want To Be Your Guy". Dot Records release Side 2.

1965_"Bye, Bye Silly Girl". Dot Records release Side 1.

1965_"Double Shot". 4 Sale label 7" release version Side 1.

1965_"Here It Comes Again". 4 Sale label 7" release version Side 2.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" front cover.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" rear cover.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" Side 1.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" Side 2.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" 45 RPM Single release front cover.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" 45 RPM single release Side 1.

1966_"Here It Comes Again" 45 RPM single release Side 2.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" 45 RPM single release Side 1. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1966_"Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" 45 RPM single release Side 2. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1966_"Don't Cry No More" 45 RPM single release Side 1.

1966_"I Found A Rainbow" 45 RPM single release Side 2.

1966_"I Don't Want To Lose You Baby" 45 RPM single release Side 1.

1966_"Night Owl" 45 RPM single release Side 2.

1966_"She Drives Me Out Of My Mind" 45 RPM single release Side 1.

1966_"You Gotta' Have Faith" 45 RPM single release Side 2.

1966_"She Drives Me Out Of My Mind" 45 RPM single release Side 1. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1966_"You Gotta' Have Faith" 45 RPM single release Side 2. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1967_"Where Can I Go To Get Soul" 45 RPM single release Side 1. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1967_"Bow and Arrow" 45 RPM single release Side 2. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1967_"Turn On The Music" 45 RPM single release Side 1.

1967_"Turn On The Music" 45 RPM single release Side 1. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1967_"Summer's Not The Same This Year" 45 RPM single release Side 2. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1968_"Hey, Hey Baby" 45 RPM single release Side 1.

1968_"Sun, Sand and Sea" 45 RPM single release Side 2.

1970_"We're Gonna' Hate Ourselves In The Morning" 45 RPM single release front cover.

1970_"We're Gonna' Hate Ourselves In The Morning" 45 RPM single release rear cover.

1970_"We're Gonna' Hate Ourselves In The Morning" 45 RPM single release Side 1.

1970_"It's Alright (You're Just In Love)" 45 RPM single release Side 2.

1970_"We're Gonna' Hate Ourselves In The Morning" 45 RPM single release Side 1. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1970_"It's Alright (You're Just In Love)" 45 RPM single release Side 2. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1970_"Rollin' Rovin' River" 45 RPM single release Side 1. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1970_"Don't Let You Feet Touch The Ground" 45 RPM single release Side 2. Promotional copy only, not for sale.

1981_"Sun, Sand, and Sea" front cover.

1981_"Sun, Sand, and Sea" fold out.

1981_"Sun, Sand, and Sea" rear cover.

1997_"Anthology" front cover.

1997_"Anthology" rear cover.

2001_"Christmas Party" front cover.

2001_"Christmas Party" insert 1.

2001_"Christmas Party" insert 2.

2001_"Christmas Party" rear cover.

I really enjoyed researching and putting this showcase together – there is a lot of musical history behind The Swingin’ Medallions that goes far beyond their signature hit song, “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)”. Once you dig down into it you discover it’s not just the song but rather a state of mind that they represent. Much like a celebration, The Swingin’ Medallions are going to entertain you, show you a fun time, help you get your groove on and bring a smile to your lips.

 

A big "Thank You" to Robby Cox for his help and guidance in putting all of this together. I’m proud that this band and that song were born in South Carolina and there is comfort in the fact that the name and the idea behind it pass from generation to generation of great musicians and dedicated fans. Historically speaking there is only a handful of true classic party songs and even fewer true classic party bands and the Swingin' Medallions are right there at the top!

The band was formed as The Medallions in 1962 adding the "Swingin'" in 1965. Based out of the Greenwood South Carolina area their musical roots came from listening to early rhythm and blues acts. The music most often associated with the band is Beach music, Frat rock, R&B, or Shag music. Many of the Medallions attended and graduated from Lander University in Greenwood, SC.

 

After a few years of touring colleges from the Carolinas to the Louisiana BayouJohn McElrath took the group to Arthur Smith's studio in Charlotte North Carolina to record their first single, "I Wanna’ Be Your Guy", it was inadvertently released under the name, "Swinging Medallions" instead of "Swingin' Medallions". It did not chart, but the second release, "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)", written by Don Smith & Cyril Vetter and originally recorded by Dick Holler & the Holidays, reached #17 in the U.S.  Billboard Hot 100 in 1966, and propelled their full-length album to #88 on the Billboard 200WIST radio jock Tom Gauger was called in to re-mix for a release on Smash records. The follow-up single "She Drives Me Out of My Mind", hit #71, but the next single, "Hey, Hey, Baby", did not chart. The band continued to be popular in the American South.

 

In the early-1960s, they frequently played at the Oporto Armory in Birmingham, Alabama where their songs got national airplay by Dave Roddy on WSGN. The band was also a popular attraction in Panama City BeachMyrtle Beach, and Auburn University. In 1967, Brent Fortson and Steve Caldwell left the band and with six members of The Tassles out of North Carolina formed the Pieces of EightJohnny Cox and Hack Bartley replaced the two at saxophones.

 

One alumnus of the group, drummer Michael Huey, went on to become the staff drummer for the Bill Lowery studios in Atlanta playing on hit records for the WinstonsSami JoJohnny NashJoe SouthFrankie MillerAllen Toussaint, and others. Huey moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and played on numerous hit records and tours with Walter Egan ("Magnet and Steel"), Juice NewtonGlenn FreyJoe WalshEtta JamesLindsey BuckinghamMichael Martin MurpheyJohnny Lee, and the Miami Vice television series, among others.

 

The members of the Swingin' Medallions have changed over the years. The personnel of the band have always included around eight members with at least a four-piece horn section. The high-energy party style stage performance of the first Medallions has been passed down to the band that performs today. The present Medallions stage show has coined them the name "The Party Band of the South."

 

The cast of the hit television series “Aly McBeal” sang along with the original recording of “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)” in a 1998 episode. Bruce Willis sang the song in an episode of “Moonlighting”. In 1999, it was again featured in the NBC miniseries, “The 60’s”. It was heard on the big screen in the movie, “Sorority Boys” and most recently the lead character in the 2017 movie, “The Big Sick”, wore a Swingin’ Medallion T-Shirt in scenes throughout the film.

 

In 2003, they joined forces with Coors Brewing CompanySterling Marlin and hundreds of fans for a Cruise of the Caribbean. In 2007, they were chosen to headline the Inaugural Party for the Governor of South CarolinaMark Sanford. Also in 2007, they performed for the Governor of GeorgiaSonny Perdue’s Inaugural Ball. In early 2008, they were invited by the United States Ambassador to Canada to perform in Ottawa, Canada for a July 4th Celebration.


In September 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band invited the Medallions on stage at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville SC to join in for a rendition of "Double Shot". This was definitely an historic moment and one of the highlights of the show. Springsteen has even labeled “Double Shot” as “The greatest fraternity rock song of all time”.

 

Lewis Grizzard (Southern humorist and writer) labeled the Medallions as “THE PARTY BAND OF THE SOUTH”, a moniker that has become forever synonymous with the Medallion name. Grizzard wrote in a nationally syndicated column, “Even today, when I hear “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)”, it makes me want to stand outside in the hot sun with a milkshake cup full of beer in one hand and a slightly drenched coed in the other”.

 

Chicago Tribune nationally syndicated columnist Bob Greene wrote an article entitled The Swingin’ Medallion View of U.S. History. He summed up America’s love affair with “Double Shot” with his discovery of the song being played and sold in the gift shop of the Smithsonian Institute. When inquiring as to why it was available in the nation’s foremost repository of history, the clerk replied, “Because it’s as much a part of our history as anything else we sell”.

Members before 1965:

(formed in Ninety Six South Carolina)

 

Larry Roark

Bobby Crowder

Dwight Styron

Ronnie Stone

Cubby Culbertson

Jimmy Roark

Johnny Hancock

Richard Hall

Carroll Bledsoe

Fred Pugh

Perrin Gleaton

Rick Godwin

Joe Morris - drums

John McElrath – keys

Members 1966:

 

Charlie Webber- trumpet, vocals

Steve Caldwell - sax, vocals

Jimmy Perkins - sax, bass guitar, vocals

John McElrath - keys, vocals

Carroll Bledsoe - trumpet, vocals

Jim Doares - guitar, vocals

Brent Fortson - sax, flute, vocals

Joe Morris - drums, vocals

Members 1967:

 

When Steve Caldwell and Brent Fortson formed the Pieces of Eight in 1967, they were replaced by Hack Bartley and Johnny Cox.

 

Grainger (Brother) Hines was added to the band in late 1967, when Michael Huey became the Drummer. 

Members between 1968 and 1984:

 

Irvin Hicks

Ron Nobles

Gerald Polk

Bobby Taylor

David Eastler

Tim Goldman

Steve Eddy

Paul Perkins

Al Pearson

Jerry Sims

Howard Smith

Ray Youngblood

Jim Giles

Gary Elrod

John English

Jayne McElrath

Vannessa Cox

Marvin Kerber

Eddie Bailey

Chris Alexander

Jimmy Graham

Robert Sigman

Dale Williams

Hazen Bannister

Ronnie Goldman

Larry Freeland

Chip Jennison

Taylor Stokes

Richard Crocker

Members since 1984:

 

Rick Constant

Scott Cox

Robby Cox

Monty Johnston

Kos Weaver

Sanborn Buchan

Grey Hines

Wayne Free

Ashby Stokes

Brad Anderson

Andrew Dudley

Alex Smith

Justin Gilbert

Jake Bartley

Matt Sprouse

Current Members:

 

Shawn McElrath

Shane McElrath

Chris Crowe

Richard Loper

Josh Snelling

Paul Perkins

John Smith Buchan

Larry Roark

Ronnie Goldman

Medallion road crew members:

 

Tommy (Wildman) Langley

Herman Mitchell

Joey Goldman

Pat Hindman

Thomas Kinard

John Smith

Brad Burton

Rich Crabtree

Karl Burns

Andy Ellison

Matt Elrod

Jeff Kubu

Stuart Driver

Russell Adams

Christopher James Sample

Eric Brennan

Ben Clark

Eric Clark

Tyler "Tito" Liegaber

Ryan Frederick

Paul Jones

John Smith Buchan

Chris Long

Dustin Livingston

Don Reese

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1964_Perrin Gleaton on guitar. Photo from Perrin Gleaton Medallion scrapbook.

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