Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Sonny's Pavilion

Marker ID: SCHM 26-21
Location: N. Ocean Blvd. & Sea Mountain Hwy., Cherry Grove, North Myrtle Beach, SC
County: Horry
Coordinates: N 33° 49.66    W 078° 38.589
  33.82766666    -78.64315
Style: Free Standing **


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 by the O.D. Pavilion Social and Shag Club, 2009


More Information:
Wikipedia - beach music
Wikipedia - Carolina shag
Wikipedia - Shag (1989 film)