A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Each month, Our State senior editor — and resident soundtrack maker — Mark Kemp, a former music editor of Rolling Stone, curates a one-of-a-kind Spotify playlist featuring North Carolina songs

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Each month, Our State senior editor — and resident soundtrack maker — Mark Kemp, a former music editor of Rolling Stone, curates a one-of-a-kind Spotify playlist featuring North Carolina songs

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Each month, Our State senior editor — and resident soundtrack maker — Mark Kemp, a former music editor of Rolling Stone, curates a one-of-a-kind Spotify playlist featuring North Carolina songs

An Our State Playlist: Carolina Beach Music

Each month, Our State senior editor — and resident soundtrack maker — Mark Kemp, a former music editor of Rolling Stone, curates a one-of-a-kind Spotify playlist featuring North Carolina songs and musicians.


Break out your sun hats and your shaggin’ shoes — it’s June in the Old North State, and that means we’re taking a trip to the Carolina coast! Naturally, we’ve compiled the perfect soundtrack for your vacation, filled with plenty of Carolina beach music, of course, but also songs about boats, sailors, and fishermen.

Some of the tracks are from North Carolina-related artists: “Captain Jim’s Drunken Dream” by onetime Chapel Hill resident James Taylor; “Barefootin’” by country singer and Garner native Scotty McCreery; “Oak Island Man” by Asheboro-born blues rocker Terry Vuncannon; and “Fisherman’s Prayer” by the cast of Pump Boys and Dinettes. And then there are the Carolina-born R&B-based beach music classics by legendary Winston-Salem combo The “5” Royales (“Think”), Henderson native Ben E. King (“Stand by Me”), Greenville’s Band of Oz (“Ocean Boulevard,” “Shaggin’”), Charlotte’s The Catalinas (“Cool Breeze”), and Raleigh’s Jackie Gore (“I Love Beach Music”).

We’ve also opened the lens to allow for some beach music and country songs that may not be North Carolina-born but are definitely played all up and down the Carolina coast: songs by Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, Christopher Cross, Loggins & Messina, The Drifters, The Tams, The Chairmen of the Board, The Beach Boys, Harry Belafonte, and more.

Don’t forget to pack sunscreen — if you’re shaggin’ on the boardwalk or sailing on the sound, you’ll need it.