- News & Events
Published: Aug 1 2012
Size: 6.00 x 8.75
Phil Sawyer and Tom Poland
Phil Sawyer earned his undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees from the University of South Carolina. A native of Salley, South Carolina, Sawyer is a U.S. Army veteran and retired university professor. An integral part of the shag movement, Sawyer serves as president emeritus of the Society of Stranders and was honored with its Lifetime Achievement award in 2011.
Tom Poland is a native of Georgia and a University of Georgia graduate. He has published six books, three of which were coauthored with Robert C. Clark and published by the University of South Carolina Press, including Reflections of South Carolina.
"The S.O.S. was a product of serendipity, good luck, and shoot-from-the-hip planning. Intended to be a one-time reunion for a few hundred former Ocean Drive Beach teenage diehards of the 40s and 50s, the beach party is still going on after some thirty-two years of revelry. It has been attended by many tens of thousands! Tom Poland and Phil Sawyer have captured in Save the Last Dance for Me some of the joie de vivre, fun and hijinks that went into making the South's largest adult party such a roaring success!"—Gene Laughter, S.O.S. Godfather
"Dr. Phil Sawyer is one of a kind, and in the small genre of Carolina shag history books, Save the Last Dance for Me is also one of a kind. You are about to learn that, decades ago, a radical merger of cultures and customs created a social dance more graceful and beautiful than the sum of its partners. By the time you finish, you will know that, without Phil Sawyer's love for the dance and his loyalty to it, the Society of Stranders would have drifted into oblivion. The 15,000 SOS dancers, young and old, who continue to migrate to the beach three times every year owe Phil big time.——"—Richard S. Durlach, dance instructor, University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance
"A must read for all who have, at one time or another, been touched by the shag and the music that made it possible. Save the Last Dance for Me presents an excellent history of our dance, the shag, emphasizing how it started, the people, the places, the music, the good times and the bad, and the growth and preservation. If you love the shag, you will love this book."—Charlie Womble and Jackie McGee, nine-time National Shag Champions
"When the novelty bottle washed ashore at Ocean Drive in 1980 announcing the inaugural Society of Stranders, the beach again became a second home for dancing and music enthusiasts. My friend Phil Sawyer shares that and other shag stories beautifully. Thank you, Phil, for your rare imagination, making Ocean Drive, South Carolina, the shag–dancing Mecca of the world."—John J. "Bubber" Snow, South Carolina House of Representatives, 24 years
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