Behind The Music
Tim Sidden grew up in a small town in the foothills of N.C. called North Wilkesboro N.C. Starting out in the music business at an early age with his dad in a Southern Gospel group. Tim soon found his way to the Blackwood Brothers School of Music at Murray State University in Kentucky where he truly got his start under the direction of successful Nashville Session Musician Gary Prim. This is where the fire started in Tim’s heart to make music his lifelong passion.
Getting Into Recording
In 1984 Tim had worked his way into the recording studios in Mt Airy, NC where he would cut his teeth learning everything he could learn at the early age of 17 years old. Tim states, “I remember my first session there. I really didn’t have a clue, but the good thing was, I was hired as the only session player on a group project where the group brought all their members except for me on piano. The only thing I remember about that session was, it was complete chaos. They had no clue what they were doing and neither did I. In fact, if I am not mistaken, I think the band broke up by the end of the long 14 hour recording session. I know there were several fights and arguments during the day. But one thing is for sure, I knew when I walked out of the building, that was what I wanted to do.”
Carolina Opry & Dixie Jubilee
One thing led to another and through a buddy of his who worked at the Carolina Opry, Tim found himself sitting on the front row of the Opry in Surfside Beach one night with another close friend when, during Intermission… and out of nowhere, Calvin Gilmore offered him a job playing piano for his second show in North Myrtle Beach called the Dixie Jubilee. “Wes Cooke got Brad and myself tickets to the Carolina Opry,” remembers Tim. “But little did I know that Wes had already played Calvin some stuff I had recorded, and at that point, Calvin was looking for a piano player.”
Tim moved to the Grand Strand two weeks later and started as the featured pianist and Cast Member of the Dixie where he remained until Calvin decided to combine the two shows into his newly built 2500 seat theater on restaurant row in Myrtle Beach.
Life Changing Event #1
It was here were things happened that would change Tim’s life forever. Calvin opened a studio in surfside directly across the road from the Old Carolina Opry called CanDock Recording Studios. This would be where Tim would spend much of his time learning from one of the best engineers in the business, Rick Salyer. The most beneficial to his future was that the guy that was doing all the orchestrations for the Opry at the time, basically up and left in the middle of the night. Tim states,”Up until this point, I had never even thought about doing any orchestration work. I had no official training whatsoever, but Calvin insisted that he wanted me to take over the position for TCO.” This proved to be very beneficial for Tim in the future as artist that came to the Opry would hear his work and ask him to Orchestrate their new CDs. He literally was so busy orchestrating projects for Candock and other studios, both in Nashville and other cities, that he had to make a decision whether to stay at the Opry or pursue his first passion of working in the recording studio.
Following His Passion
Tim chose to pursue a career in recording, and after 14 years with Calvin Gilmore moved out on his own. “It was probably the scariest time of my life,” remarks Tim. “But looking back, I would have never thought in a million years I would have been with Calvin 6 months much less 14 years.”
It was not long before Tim moved to Nashville to record and produce. “If you’re in the music business, there is nothing like Nashville TN,” says Tim. “That is a music town.!” Six months after arriving in Nashville Tim found himself with the opportunity to tour with two of his favorite country music artist… Daryle Singletary and Rhett Akins. Rhett Adkins’ son, Thomas Rhett is now doing well on the country music charts. “I was truly living the dream,” remembers Tim. “I was on a major national tour working with some of the best musicians around in the studio. These guys far exceeded anything I had ever been around. And that makes you work that much harder. As much as I loved working the TCO in Myrtle Beach, that did not compare to playing the Grand Ole Opry and touring the country playing for huge crowds and playing some of the largest venues in the country.”
Life Changing Event #2
In 2011, Tim’s life would take another drastic turn. What was originally thought to be a simple outpatient surgery turned into a situation where the family was called in thinking he would not make it through the night. Tim woke up a quadriplegic and spent the next 59 days in ICU and Rehab learning how to walk, eat, and anything else most people take for granted. It would be a full three years before his life resembled normalcy.
Starting Over – Learning About Beach Music – Hip Pocket Band
I started over playing at the VFW with a few friends of mine to build strength in my arms,” remembers Tim. “I had to learn how to do everything I once knew… all over again. I still had the knowledge of my playing in my mind but could not translate that to my fingers.” Shortly thereafter, Tim started filling in for a guy named Matt Boswell whose drummer was none-other than Camron Dudley… now Jim Quicks drummer. “When he landed the job with Jim, he started telling me about the beach industry,” remarks Tim. “ He told me about all the amazing players that had migrated to this little known paradise of music called Beach Music. Surprisingly enough, I worked on Main Street at the Dixie Jubilee for several years and did not realize this amazing industry was just right down the road from me. My best friend and I decided we would attend SOS in the spring of 2014 and we both agreed, that was the best 7 days we had ever had.I remember sitting on the front patio of Fat Harrold’s with this 60s R&B music blaring through the outside speakers and the sun shining on my head remembering, ‘This is the life’. I was hooked.” One thing led to another and a band called, Hip Pocket, offered Tim a position. He had no idea what he was getting into. It had been years since he was in a band. Three years later…he’s still with Hip Pocket.
“We Are Beach Music” Project
Over the course of the last three years with Hip Pocket, and through Jim Quick and other friends Tim met a guy named Rob Harvell. “I knew Rob as the guy that produced the ‘Down South’ video for Jim Quick,” remembers Tim. “I also heard he knew how to have a good time (laughs). We had talked Production from time to time along with different marketing ideas. He said he had heard some of the work I had done in the past with other artist. He called me one day with the concept of creating a ‘Beach Music Mashup’ song. I don’t think either of us had a clue what we were getting ourselves into at that point. So, between he, Jim Quick, and I, we came up with some songs to be included.”
-Choosing The Songs & Musicians
For the project, the group finally landed on “Ms. Grace”, “Stay”, “Carolina Girls” and “I love Beach Music”. They started working on the arrangement and enlisted the talents of Hugh “Tuff” Blanton to play bass on the track.Tim laid down all the keyboard parts and enlisted the help of Dustin York to play guitar, Camron Dudley on percussion, and Jim Stoudemire, Keith Stone, and Leroy Harper Jr., for the horn parts. The song was ready for vocals.
The biggest challenge was recording all the vocals. “I remember thinking there might be twenty people singing on this song”, recalls, Tim. “Little did I know the Beach Music world was much larger than that.”
When all was said and done, there were over 50 vocal tracks recorded. On most projects where there are that many vocals, they are all recorded together… at the same time. On this particular track, every vocal was recorded separately… most of them on different days. This was a very time consuming project. One of the challenges was to find a place for the recording. Zeus Digital Marketing was just a mile from Main Street, North Myrtle Beach, and had a green screen studio for video. Jeff Gilder of Zeus Digital created a vocal booth for recording. Now they could cut vocals then shoot video of each artist all in the same room while the vocals were still fresh on the artist minds.
“I don’t think Rob and myself realized (in the beginning) what a huge undertaking we had gotten ourselves into,” remarks Tim. “But both he and I believe this project will stand the test of time. If nothing more, it will serve as a timestamp of this era for future Beach Music enthusiasts.
During this same period, Tim produced and recorded two singles for Hip Pocket. The first song “Dr. Radio” by Dustin York, was actually cut along with two others in Nashville before Tim and Dustin joined HIp Pocket. They decided to release as a beach music tune. The first recording had more of a country feel. The second song, “North Myrtle On my mind” is a recent release and was also written by Tim. The recording of this song includes all the members of Hip Pocket and is a 50s Doo Wop and an “a cappella” arrangement. Tim States, “I wanted to try something different for the beach Industry. Most every song you hear playing on beach radio is full blown productions with horns, strings and a full band. That’s not bad, I just wanted to do something totally off the cuff and project the party-like atmosphere that surrounds Hip Pocket and the beach music industry in general.”
Carolina Queen & Friends
Tim is currently in the process of putting the final touches on another song to be released in March 2018 written by Matt Lovette, Dustin York, and himself. It’s an idea Tim came up with several years ago called “Carolina Queen”. “I’m very excited about this song,” says Tim. “It is one that will be part of my solo CD release (this year) that I have been working on since 2003 entitled ‘Friends’. It features yours truly on vocals and my oldest son, Dallas on guitar.”
“The Beach Music industry needs people like Rob Harvell and Jim Quick,” says Tim. “They are fresh thinking Beach Music lovers who have the desire to take our little world to the next level. As far as myself, I am just happy that life has given me a second chance and that Jim and Rob gave me the chance to be a part of the ‘We Are Beach Music’ project. It’s not everyday you’re able to record some of the greats of our industry that are showcased on this song…especially all on the same song. We were lucky enough to do it. More than anything, I hope this song reaches people who, like me, for years had not heard of our style of Beach Music. I’m hoping that after hearing this song, they come to North Myrtle Beach and sit on the front patio of Fat Harolds or Ducks Beach Club… like me… and discover the same kind of music I did in 2014 during spring SOS. In my opinion it is some of the best music in the world.