Before Myrtle Manor made it cool to relax in Myrtle Beach, the Sammies lived at the Sea Gypsy on that same crystal coast. It is there that they honed their musical skills and became the band you know today. “You realize selling frozen lemonade up and down the beach, ladies just don’t respect you. I’d be like, hey, if you think that’s good, give me them digits and we can cook some fish nuggets tonight at me casa. They’d either laugh or get mad as a fire ant, but maybe it was just the brain freeze from the lemonade, I kept mine real cold,” says Don Yale. So, to get out of selling lemonade to vacationers, and to earn the respect of females who can see, the Sammies started playing music.
"My brother, Frank, couldn’t get a spot on Who Wants to be a Millionaire to save his life. He was pretty good too! He made it past the phone quiz 3 days in a row, just to be let down in the end. He wanted a way out as well. First we did the 2 piece thing at Boardwalk on the Beach, right outside of the NASCAR Park. It went well, we knew lots of Skynard.” Bobby Freedom was waiting for a table with his family one night at Margaritaville and heard the guys jamming so he walked over. “He was really into C&C Music Factory, in fact, that’s all he seemed to know” recalls Yale. “But, I kissed my first girl at a C&C concert, so we had common ground. He asked if he could come by and jam the next night, and then we were 3.” Frank had done some community service with Conrad (future bass player) at the Horry County airport, over some bogus pot charge. “Cutting grass and being charged with carrying grass made it ironic,” says Frank, “but we would just pay local kids to do the work, and sit back and talk about being famous, what we would wear when we played the Alabama Theater, you know, stuff like that.”
Conrad had just quit his job at Blockbuster Video and wanted to focus on his music. Frank mentioned they had a small gig down by the Boardwalk, and the next night Conrad was playing bass with what was now the Sammies. Seeing there was no future for their act in Myrtle at the time, they left with Bobby Freedom’s family that Sunday, and moved to Charlotte. Frank and Don managed to find work pretty easily at a club called Chasers. “All of the guys at the club were super nice, and really looked up to us, especially when we were on stage, I mean, the stage is where we belonged, we knew that, and it was good practice. One night this guy, Chuck, walks in, and is floored by our show! We told him about the band and he booked us that next weekend at a little club called the Room. We’ve been playing music ever since."