Blast From SC Past: The Killer Whales

Back in the very early 1980’s the biggest band in South Carolina was the Charleston-based Killer Whales, who recorded a few albums, appeared on Star Search for a couple weeks, and faded away as the band members got older and got ‘real’ jobs. They have reunited a few times since that golden era, and singer David Bethany can still be found playing solo acoustic gigs around Charleston that include the occasional Killer Whales tune. He once described the band as “The Police meet Elvis Costello at a party thrown by Bo Diddley for Marvin Gaye,” which says it better than I can.

Last week Bethany posted the following nostalgia trip on Youtube, which features their best song, “Marlene”, along with some great photos and posters from the early days of the band. Look closely and you’ll spot a very young version of producer Don Dixon in several shots.

And for a bonus, here’s the band’s biggest hit, “Who Controls The Video Screen?” from their Emotional Geography album.

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14 thoughts on “Blast From SC Past: The Killer Whales

  1. Is there anywhere I can download or purchase this albumn on CD. I have the vinyl original but is it’s in pretty poor shape. We playe dit to death in 80’s!

  2. They did a CD release once several years back and were selling them at their live shows and on a Web site they put up. But the Web site is no longer maintained and I can’t locate any used copies of the CD. If you hear of it, though, I’d like to know, too!!! jwsbraces@aol.com

  3. Wow- such awesome memories of being at CofC in the early eighties! Dancing/drinking at Captain Harry’s and going to the beach! Glad I stumbled upon this.

  4. Best time of my life the 80’s, Captain Harrys, in Charleston these guys were Mega, had to go buy roto toms after first time hearing them

  5. Hey David , was thinking bout long time ago, found myself singing monkey in a birdcage, looked the whales up. Hope ur doing well, hell I remember meeting you many years ago , and you made a difference bro, from FNWK to the greenstreets hall man.1985.27 years. Hope ur well and Thank you

  6. Whales are playing at The ‘Jammer on Saturday, July 21, 2012!!! BE THERE or BE, well…, ELSEWHERE.

  7. Oh for Cap’n Harry’s in the day. Dancing til we dropped to the Killer Whales. I may just have to drive from GA to see them again in July. Definitely worth the trip

  8. Looking forward very much to seeing them live again in Juiy while I am on the East Coast.

  9. Thanks to Doug Goolsby for tipping me off about the Windjammer Gig.

  10. Great to finally find the Whales online! Nice to hear the guys are still in touch & hitting a few licks here & there. Brings back some special times and some fantastic music.

  11. I was thrilled to hear you mention the Killer Whales….they used to play long closed places like the now defunct Gun and Garden club and were going to be bigger than the fellow acts of the B52’s and R.E. M. Thanks for the memories!

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