Saturday, January 18 2020
January 18, 2020 from Lee Funeral Home
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.