Aired on Treasure Island OldiesJun 2012

What would a summer beach party be without some Beach Music from the Carolinas? And who better to entertain us then the Showmen with one of their regional hits from 1963.


The Showmen were led by singer/songwriter Norman Johnson who was often referred to as simply the “General.” They were an R&B group out of Norfolk, Virginia that found success when they moved to New Orleans to record in 1961.

After a seven-year stint with this group, the General ended up in Detroit in 1968, working with the fledging Invictus label. With his new group, Chairmen Of The Board, he released six records that made it onto the charts, most notably “Give Me Just A Little More Time,” “Pay To The Piper,” and “Everything Is Tuesday.”

In 1976, the General went solo but eventually ended up back in the Southeastern U.S. and the Beach Music sound.

During his days with the Showmen, they had a number of regional, Beach Music hits, the most famous being “It Will Stand,” a song that made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961 & 1964. Today, it is regarded as a Rock & Roll anthem.

In 1963 the group released a Beach Music ballad about a beautiful girl, labelled “39-21-46.” However, the labelling was done in error as the actual title of the song was “39-21-40 Shape,” which  can be clearly heard in the recording.

What makes this song so great is the distinct singing style of General Norman Johnson. A true lost treasure, here are the Showmen and “39-21-40 Shape,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.

YouTube video of this song:

 This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.