Medallions have been based out of the Greenwood South Carolina area,
since the early 1960's. Their musical roots came from listening to
the early rhythm and blues acts. The music most often associated
with the band is beach music, frat rock, R&B, or shaggin' music.
After a few years of touring colleges from the Carolinas to the
Louisiana Bayou, John McElrath took the group to Arthur Smith's
Studio in Charlotte North Carolina, to record "Double Shot (of My
Baby's Love)". The song became a million seller in 1966, and has
been a party classic for college students for decades. "She Drives
Me Out Of My Mind" and "Hey, Hey, Baby" were top 40 hits in 1966 and
1967, but "Double Shot" remains the signature song of the Swingin'
The members of the Swingin' Medallions have changed over the past thirty years, with John McElrath being the leader and only member to be performing today. The personnel of the band has always included around eight members with at least a four piece horn section. The high energy party style stage performance of the first Medallions has been passed down to the band that performs today. The present Medallions stage show has coined them the name "The Party Band of the South."
Many of the Medallions attended and graduated from Lander University in Greenwood, SC while performing in the south east. The University of Georgia was also the home of some of the band members.
Lewis Grizzard wrote in a 1993 article that, "Even today, when I hear the Swingin' Medallions sing "Double Shot of My Baby's Love, " it makes me want to stand outside in the hot sun with a milkshake cup full of beer in one hand and a slightly-drenched nineteen-year-old coed in the other."