Malcolm Ray “Chicken” Hicks was an early pioneer of “shagging” or the “Carolina Shag.” Coastal historians credit him, along with Billy Jeffers, with its evolution and popularity throughout the 1940s–’50s. Chicken’s love of the R&B sound, then called “race music,” helped introduce this new genre to white audiences throughout Eastern beach communities.
During their teens and twenties, Chicken and younger brother Bobby Hicks would visit the “colored” areas around Carolina Beach, NC to check out the “jump joints.” Picking up moves from black dancers, they would electrify audiences with their flashy style.
Chicken was tall and lean with bleach-blond locks. His rebel attitude and unique dance ability quickly gained him popularity among women, as some are rumored to have waited hours for Chicken to sweep them off of their feet.
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