“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cherry Grove Beach in Horry County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Sonny’s Pavilion

Sonny's Pavilion Marker (front) Photo, Click for full size
By Cindy Bullard, January 15, 2010
1. Sonny's Pavilion Marker (front)
Inscription. Sonny’s Pavilion, built in 1949 by N.F. “Sonny” Nixon, was an open-air pavilion on the Grand Strand. The rhythm & blues of the post-World War II era—later called beach music—was played on jukeboxes at area pavilions where dancers perfected the Shag, named the state dance in 1984. Beach music was named the state popular music in 2001. Nixon bought a small gazebo here and added a jukebox in 1947, then built a large pavilion here in 1949.

Ocean Drive had a strict midnight curfew for its clubs, but Cherry Grove did not, and Sonny’s became a favorite of late-night shaggers from midnight to dawn. Sonny’s was one of several area pavilions destroyed by Hurricane Hazel in 1954, but Nixon rebuilt it the next year. It remained popular with shaggers and other fans of beach music until it became a family arcade in the 1970s. Sonny’s was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
Erected 2009 by the O.D. Pavilion Social and Shag Club. (Marker Number 26-21.)
Location. 33° 49.667′ N, 78° 38.589′ W. Marker is in Cherry Grove Beach, South Carolina
Sonny's Pavilion Marker (reverse) Photo, Click for full size
By Cindy Bullard, January 15, 2010
2. Sonny's Pavilion Marker (reverse)
, in Horry County. Marker is at the intersection of North Ocean Boulevard (State Highway 65) and Sea Mountain Highway (State Highway 9), on the right when traveling north on North Ocean Boulevard. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: North Myrtle Beach SC 29582, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Randall (approx. 1.4 miles away); Roberts Pavilion / Ocean Drive Pavilion (approx. 1.8 miles away); George Whitefield (approx. 2.6 miles away but has been reported missing); Chestnut Consolidated School (approx. 2.7 miles away); Rebecca Randall Bryan (approx. 3.8 miles away); Atlantic Beach (approx. 4.6 miles away); Boundary House (approx. 4.8 miles away); South Carolina / North Carolina (approx. 5.5 miles away in North Carolina).
Also see . . .  How The Weather Influenced The Birth Of The Shag. “Without exception, the old wooden pavilions that had been the venues of the Shag were blown down and carried away. Roberts Pavilion, in Ocean Drive, ( where the current O.D. Pavilion stands now, was cut in half. Sonny’s Pavilion (Cherry Grove, SC) was simply gone. According to eye witnesses in
Sonny’s Pavilion Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, February 13, 2010
3. Sonny’s Pavilion Marker
Myrtle Beach, the only thing left of Spivey’s Pavilion was a rusty water pipe sticking out of the ground. In the minds of many Shag dancers, neither the beaches, nor the dance itself, was ever the same after that. The connection between the kids and the beach pavilions had been almost mystical. It had to do with the coming of age, rebellion, and the passing of innocence. In memory, they represented timelessness never-ending youth and vigor.” (Submitted on February 22, 2010.) 
Categories. 20th CenturyEntertainment
Construction at Location Photo, Click for full size
By Cindy Bullard, January 15, 2010
4. Construction at Location
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,574 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina.   3. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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