Still kicking myself for not driving to Charleston a couple days ago to Art’s Bar & Grill in Mt. Pleasant for the first live set in over ten years from the original Groovy Cools, so instead I’ll share what I remember and what you can find online these days.
The Groovy Cools were a popular bar band in Charleston, South Carolina in the late 1980s and early 1990s, releasing a few independent albums on things like cassettes, mostly. Unusual for focusing so much on their original music in a scene that (still) favors cover bands for the tourist trade, the band boasted a crisp, clean pop sound framing lyrics that explored unlikely subjects such as algebra. Frontman Jim Orr had played a number of bands prior to the Groovy Cools (including the mostly covers band The Detectives, who were my senior prom band in 1985), but this group, pairing him up with guitarist Keith Bradshaw and drummer Jonathan Jackson, is what most Charleston music fans remember him for.
Bradshaw, sadly, is the only one of the three still playing music full time, with the popular local cover band Plane Jane, while pursuing photography part-time. Orr has worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for years now, and Jackson has a video production company in Bluffton, SC.
Curious, or want to reminisce a little more?
“I Miss the Groovy Cools” Facebook fan page — tons of fan memories, the band members are also on it
Jim Orr on Myspace Music — a bunch of Groovy Cools recordings to listen to here
Black and White — photo blog of Bill Emory, longtime friend of Orr; some recent shots of the band posted this week