Early History – Part 1

In November 1993, Algie Grubbs, a real estate agent, moved from Columbia, SC to Hilton Head Island on the belief that real estate market there provided considerably more opportunity. At that time, the most popular island lounge for the over forty crowd was Cheryl’s Le Cabaret Piano Bar at Heritage Plaza . Algie, a bachelor, soon became a regular. Cheryl didn’t play much beach music, but responded quickly to the urgings
of Algie.
Island Singles, sponsored by St Francis by the Sea Catholic Church and First Presbyterian Church, held weekly TGIF’s at six p.m. at Cheryl’s Le Cabaret which Algie also attended.
Sometime in January or February 1994, Algie asked Cheryl to Shag dance. She replied, “What’s that?” Algie explained. Cheryl said she’d give it a try. After the dance Algie said, “We need to start a Shag club down here.”

Cheryl answered, “That’s a good idea and the club can meet here.”

Shortly afterwards, Algie, who had been a member of the Palmetto Shag Club in Columbia for sixteen years, contacted Dr. Phil Sawyer, then president of the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs, with the idea of
starting a Shag Club on Hilton Head Island. Phil responded, “We’ve always wanted to see a club started down there. I’d be happy to come down when you have an event and talk with your members.”

Algie asked for a recommendation on a dance instructor. Phil suggested Ellen and Carl Taylor of Edisto Beach . Ellen was a Shag Hall of Famer.

On March 17, 1994 , an organizational meeting was held at Le Cabaret with Phil Sawyer and his wife, Chick, in attendance. Phil recalls that, “Algie had thirty or forty people from his singles club meet at a piano bar. We talked about the benefits a Shag Club could bring to a community and did a little demonstration dancing.” The would-be Shaggers at Le Cabaret called Ellen Taylor and arranged for the Taylors to drive down to Hilton Head Island weekly and teach lessons. The lessons would cost members thirty dollars for five weeks of instruction.