HISTORY 101 | MUSIC IN SOUTH CAROLINA

"Music in South Carolina"

Many are known to you but you may be amazed at the length of the list and those you did not know were South Carolinians rising from the little towns across the state to become national and international stars.

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WILD HARE GARAGE TRAVELERS REST SC

Since this edition of Upstate Exposures Magazine is dedicated to music I decided to investigate the history of music and musicians in South Carolina.  South Carolina and especially the upstate area here in Spartanburg has a multitude of talented musicians and I'm not sure if it is the water or the climate that spawns them but music is definitely a large part of our past and today. Examine the following list of notable performers . Many are known to you but you may be amazed at the length of the list and those you did not know were South Carolinians rising from the little towns across the state to become national and international stars. The following information was found on Wikipedia .

Perhaps the best known rock band to hail from South Carolina is Columbia's Hootie & the Blowfish, but other groups such as Spartanburg's The Marshall Tucker Band, The Swinging Medallions, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, alternative metal band Crossfade from Columbia, Charleston's indie Band of Horses, and Southern rock band Needtobreathe also hail from the Palmetto State.

Jazz saxophonist Chris Potter from Columbia has released over 15 CDs as a leader and performed as a sideman on more than 150 other albums.[1] He is the leader of the Chris Potter Underground and has regularly performed with many world-class jazz musicians including Dave Holland and Pat Metheny. In the December, 2014 issue of Down Beat magazine, which featured the results of the annual readers poll, Potter was named the number one tenor saxophonist in the world.[2]

Other prominent musicians and singers born and/or raised in the state include James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Chubby Checker, Eartha Kitt, Peabo Bryson, Arthur Smith, Cat Anderson, Tom Delaney, Freddie Green, Drink Small, Johnny Helms, Jabbo Smith, Bill Benford, Tommy Benford, Nick Ashford, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Bill Anderson, Edwin McCain, Duncan Sheik, Rob Thomas, John Phillips, Walter Hyatt, and David Ball.

 

The state's bluegrass scene has produced important bands such as The Hired Hands featuring pioneering 3-finger banjo player Dewitt "Snuffy" Jenkins and old time fiddler Homer "Pappy" Sherrill. Other notable groups are The Hinson Girls, featuring four sisters from Lancaster, and Palmetto Blue, featuring three South Carolina Folk Heritage Award Recipients: Chris Boutwell (2014), Ashley Carder (2012), and Larry Klein (2004), along with the Davis sisters Shellie and Anna, and banjoist Steve Willis. Bluesmen Pinkney "Pink" Anderson and Reverend Gary Davis were both from Laurens, S.C.

The Beach music classic "Stay" by Lancaster's Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. James Brown's soul and funk song "I Got You (I Feel Good)" was #3 on the Hot 100 in 1966, and #1 on the Rhythm and Blues Singles. Greenville's Peabo Bryson's r&b song "A Whole New World" from Aladdin was #1 on the Hot 100 in 1993. Hootie & The Blowfish's roots rock song "Only Wanna Be With You" was #1 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in 1995. Hootie's debut album Cracked Rear View was the best-selling album of 1995, the 7th best-selling album of the 90s, and is the 16th-best-selling album of all time. Their 2nd album Fairweather Johnson also went to #1 on the Billboard 200.

The Upstate band Needtobreathe had a #2 album on the Billboard 200 with Hard Love in 2016. Country star Darius Rucker has had 2 #2 albums on the Billboard 200: Charleston, SC 1966 in 2010 and True Believers in 2013. Country singer Josh Turner from Florence County had a #2 album on the Billboard 200 with Your Man in 2006. And country singer Lee Brice from Sumter had 2 #5 albums on the Billboard 200 with Hard 2 Love in 2012 and I Don't Dance in 2014. Toro y Moi, a popular electronic artist (who had a #1 album on the Dance Chart with Anything in Return in 2013), and rapper Lil Ru are both from Columbia. Crossfade's "Cold" was on the compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 17 (U.S. series) in 2004, and Hilton Head's Trevor Hall's reggae rock song "Brand New Day" was on Now That's What I Call Music! 40 (U.S. series) in 2011.
Other prominent musicians and singers born and/or raised in the state include James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Chubby Checker, Eartha Kitt, Peabo Bryson, Arthur Smith, Cat Anderson, Tom Delaney, Freddie Green, Drink Small, Johnny Helms, Jabbo Smith, Bill Benford, Tommy Benford, Nick Ashford, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Bill Anderson, Edwin McCain, Duncan Sheik, Rob Thomas, John Phillips, Walter Hyatt, and David Ball.

I hope after reading this you will take the time to get out and support live music.  The venues that provide these entertainers are the driving force behind the continued growth and the future of music not just here in South Carolina but the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_South_Carolina

Randy Simpson, Contributor

Randy is a graduate of Clemson University and veteran of the U.S. Airforce. He is a 10th generation South Carolinian and history buff. He also plays bass for Loaded Toad. Randy will be covering Upstate history for Upstate Exposures. You may contact him directly at AnOldReb@AOL.com

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One thought on “HISTORY 101 | MUSIC IN SOUTH CAROLINA

  • March 24, 2017 at 11:35 am
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    You forgot about one very important musician, Doc Mac Arnold!!

    Reply

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