Lee Funeral Home

11840 Highway 90, Little River, SC


Lester Paul Craver

August 30, 1948January 14, 2020

Little River

Lester “Paul” Craver, 71, died January 14, 2020 at MUSC, Charleston, SC.

Born on August 30, 1948 in Greensboro, NC, he was the son of Lester Paul and Ruby L. Brandon Craver, Sr.

The music bug bit Paul Craver at an early age. The Ripete Records recording artist and Greensboro, NC, native entered high school - trumpet in tow - and quickly joined the school band. After graduation, he took his place in the United States Navy as a Signalman and served in Vietnam.

In 1972, he joined a group called Medium Cool and from his very first gig with the group, no one could keep him away from the microphone. He knew from that point that he had found his calling. After reconstructing the O’Kaysions, now known as the Fabulous Kays, Paul moved to Columbia, SC, in 1981, where he teamed up with Willis Blume to form Shagtime, a band that produced "Mr. Beach." Paul sang lead vocals on the project, and the single became a defining milestone in his career. Paul was a part of several bands over the years, but in 1993, the Men of Distinction band was formed. He sang lead vocals for them and they earned four Carolina Beach Music Awards. Paul has a history of his own in terms of the CBMA with a string of nominations and a good number of wins. He was a 2002 inductee into the Beach Music Hall of Fame. In 2007, he received Smoothie of the Year for "Emperor of My Baby's Heart," released on KHP Music's Keep On Shaggin compilation. In March 2008, Paul retired from the Men of Distinction and devoted more time to his solo career and deejay opportunities. In 2016, he was inducted into the DJ Hall of Fame. Since then, he has had many incredible opportunities to share his musical love and talent with others. In 2011, he was invited to sing in Belgium and was loved by all the people. During a University of South Carolina home game, he performed to the many fans in attendance.

He was the owner/operator of Craver Tile Co. and many will remember the hilarious radio commercials he and Gail made. He loved this country and the veterans that have helped keep us free. He had a great affinity for golf and his golf buddies. He was always on the go, but found the time to spend with Gail and his family. They were the most important to him.

Survivors include his wife of 16 years, Gail Angel Craver; sons Tripp Craver (Jenny), John Stephenson (Amber); daughters, Dotte Watts and Angela Stephenson; and nine grandchildren. He is predeceased by his son, Chris Craver, and brothers Bobby and Frank.

A memorial service, with military honors, will be held at 2 pm on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Veterans’ Welcome Home & Resource Center, 421 State Hwy 57 South, Little River, SC 29566.

A guestbook is available at www.leefhandcrematory.com.

Lee Funeral Home & Crematory of Little River/North Myrtle Beach is serving the family.


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Lester Paul Craver

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jack Martin

January 22, 2020

Paul Craver was a really great guy from my hometown of Greensboro,NC! We did not know each other there but we both sing in the exclusive Civitan Boys Choir at different times! I met him here in Paradise I listened to his great Beach Music and saw him alot at Ducks Beach Club! I called him the King of Beach Music from Greensboro,NC! May he rest is peace! Prayers sent for Gail his wife and for all of his family!

Sue Earnhardt

January 22, 2020

Always had a smile on his face and a song in his heart. Paul will be missed.

Terry and Judy Thomas

January 21, 2020

To the entire Craver Family: We are so sorry for your loss. Paul was a very special person. We got to know him as a DJ at Ducks many years ago and he was always so willing to play our music with that happy smile he had on his face all of the time. I was very fortunate to be able to hire him to DJ my husband's 70th Birthday Party in Ducks Cafe. He did an excellent job of playing songs and doing things that included all the grandkids that were of all ages. We really appreciated that. Everybody loved Paul and Paul loved everybody especially his wife, kids and grandkids which you could always tell. Heaven now has a special angel in heaven to play music for them but we will certainly miss him here on earth. Rest in peace.

R. Mark Black

January 20, 2020

I'm going to miss Paul. He always had a smile, a good word for me and a great personality. We had a great friendship and it all began around music. Don't remember how many songs we recorded together, doesn't really matter, it was all good music and made folks happy. Paul loved sharing and I hope all of us remember that when we think of him. He will never be forgotten as long as we continue to share as well. My prayers are for his wife Ms Gail and his children/grandchildren. May the Lord soothe your aching heart and help you remember every good memory you ever had with Paul. I see him in my minds eye smiling. I'll play for you one last time Paul.

Teresa & Jim Scurry

January 19, 2020

Dottie we have known your father for years. I met him when I was working at Sherwin Williams. He did a lot of tile jobs for some of my clients. And I know you from Bynum Insurance. You were my agent representative for several years. We loved your Dad and loved his music. He truly was an icon in the world of Beach Music. He will be deeply missed by everyone that had the honor of knowing him.

Katherine/Paul Wagner

January 19, 2020

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to Gail and all family members. He was a unique and very talented man who lifted the spirits of many people. We will surely miss him a great deal but are so happy to have known him and enjoyed his music.

Glenn Austin

January 18, 2020

I did not personally know Paul but one of my very favorite Beach Shag tunes was The Emperor. Condolences to the family!

Jeff Jamison

January 18, 2020

A big fan of his music and radio commercials. A loss to the beach music community.

Zandra and Donnie Miller

January 18, 2020

Gail and family

We were so sorry to hear about Paul. Our condolences and prayers are with you all at this sad time.

Kaye Smith-Orman

January 18, 2020

To Paul's family,
I had the pleasure to meet Paul in the early 1980's when he was with the Kay's. I was introduced to him by Tim Loftin and dear brother Billy Scott. During my life I moved a lot, but when in Charlotte or Charleston I would also go she Paul perform. When in Charleston his company did tile work for me at my apartment complex. Great entertainer and great business man. The last time I saw Paul was 2012 and of course the kind gentleman he always was. He promoted Beach Music with a passion. You now have your wings and you are with some the best beach music ions. I can just image what it is going to be like when you, Billy Scott, Clifford Curry,General Johnson, Bill Pickney, Danny Woods get together, as I can only image the Beach Music that will come from you guys. RIP Paul and I can already hear you singing Mr. Beach. It was truly an honor to have know someone like you!
Sending Love and prayers to Gail and your entire family
Kaye Smith Orman Lexington, NC