Frank Guida, the creator of the Norfolk sound, died last Saturday at the age of 84. Now, I was never aware that there was a Norfolk sound, but I was aware that Jimmy Soul's Number One hit "If You Want to Be Happy," from 1963, which Guida wrote and produced, was an excellent song. I realize that the Tidewater area has been one of the most fertile sources of hip-hop in the past decade or so, with the Timbaland-Missy Elliott nexus operating out of there. Funny how certain areas of the country always seem to be hotbeds for music of even disparate genres, like the way Minneapolis produced Dylan (sort of) and Prince and the Replacements and Husker Du.
I can hear that Norfolk sound surviving a little further down the Atlantic coast in the beach music of the later 1960s. In fact, Guida's dying words were: "The O'Kaysions live on."