In the mid-1960s, hundreds of teenagers in central and north Alabama traveled weekly to Oporto Armory in east Birmingham for "Medallion Mondays."

They experienced "the party band of the South" and heard the Swingin' Medallions play their biggest hit, "Double Shot of My Baby's Love."

On December 1, those teens, now mostly in their 70s, will recreate that scene. The Medallions and their fans reunite in Gadsden on Friday, December 1, at "210 at the Tracks." 210 Locust Street. Doors open at 7. Sixties music starts at 8.

Tickets can be purchased for $25 at 205-393-3153.

Some music commentators who do not know as much about this as I do call the Medallions a "one-hit wonder." It's not true. While "Double Shot" was their biggest national hit (top 20) and had a cult following in the South, they had other hits:

A cover of Bruce Chanel’s number one hit, “Hey! Baby!”

“She Drives Me Out of My Mind”

“I Wanna Be Your Guy”

The Medallions who perform now are a second generation of the originals. Shawn and Shane McElrath are the sons of the founder of the Medallions, John McElrath, who has been called a musical genius along the lines of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. John played keyboards and the bass line with his left hand on the black keys. He arranged most of the songs. John contracted Parkinson's, stopped playing, and died in 2018. His two sons carry on his legacy.

Greenwood, S.C., is the hometown of the Medallions and remains their base. They have been credited with popularizing "the Carolina sound."

The Medallions do not just sing and play their instruments but also dance. They have dance routines that are choreographed to each of the songs. They even invented their own dance to their big hit, the "Double Shot" dance.

The Medallions' playlist is a review of arguably the best and most danceable songs of the '60s:

“Carolina Girl” by The Chairmen of the Board

“Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” by The Tams

“Get Ready” by Rare Earth

“I Ain’t Got Nobody” by Louis Prim

“Knock on Wood” by Eddie Floyd

“Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett from Prattville, Alabama

“Under the Boardwalk” by the Drifters

“Domino” by Van Morrison

“Old Time Rock & Roll” by Bob Seger

“Stand by Me” by Ben E. King

“Celebration” by Spanky & Our Gang

“Boogie Shoes” by KC & the Sunshine Band

 One particular Medallions' rendition, "Love Train," causes the audience to get up and form a Conga line, one behind the other, dancing in a line moving all around the floor.

In many performances, the Medallions open with "Double Shot" and close the night playing it again. No one complains. If it were left up to the audience, they might play "Double Shot" every other song.

Neither Elon Musk nor Steve Jobs invented a time machine, but the Swingin' Medallions did, and they will turn it on December 1 in Gadsden, back to the '60s.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected]

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