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Influential People that call South Carolina their home!

Happy Black History Month! We hope you enjoyed learning about some wonderful places from this past weeks blog. This week we would like to shine a light on some influential People that call South Carolina their home. While these are certainly not all of the influential people that have called South Carolina home, these are a few who are near and dear to many of our hearts and minds. So without further ado, we would like to share with you some of South Carolina’s finest folks!


Dizzy Gillespie - He was born in 1917, and passed away in 1993, His given name was John Birks, but he became known as “Dizzy”. He  taught himself to play trumpet at age 12 and began recording at the age of 20. His unique style played a major role in the rise of bebop and modern jazz. Some of his most famous hits were “Salt Peanuts,” “Woody 'n' You,” “Con Alma,” “Groovin' High,” “Blue 'n' Boogie,” and “A Night in Tunisia”. They all became jazz standards.


Eartha Kitt - She was born in 1927, and passed away in 2008. Eartha was a world-famous entertainer with a star on Hollywood Boulevard. Although she had a hard time landing jobs due to her refusal to perform for segregated audiences, she went on to become well known for her 1953 recording of Santa Baby and her role as Catwoman on TV’s Batman.


James Brown - He was born in 1933, and passed away in 2006. He became known as the “Godfather of Soul” and was called “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.” Some of his greatest hits include “Get Up Offa That Thing,” “I Got You”, and “It’s A Man’s World.”


Chubby Checker - He was born in 1941. His given name is Ernest Evans, but he is best known as Chubby Checker. Chubby Checker is famous for his hits “The Twist,” “Pony Time,” and “Limbo Rock.”


Viola Davis - She was born in 1965. She is the only black woman to be nominated three times for an Academy Award. She is also the only African American to win the “Triple Crown of Acting,” by earning two Tonys for King Hedley II and Fences. Viola won an Emmy for How To Get Away With Murder and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the screen version of Fences in 2017.



Charlton Singleton - He was born in 1971. He is a well known composer, arranger, and bandleader. He began his musical education at 3 years old with the piano. He added the violin and trumpet to his repertoire in grade school. In 2008 he co-founded, served as the Artistic Director, and Conducted the Charleston Jazz Orchestra.



Ranky Tanky - This Grammy Award winning, Charleston, South Carolina based quintet performs timeless music born from the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands. Their debut album was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the TODAY show. It also soared to the #1 position on the Billboard, Amazon, and iTunes Jazz Charts. Playful game songs, ecstatic shouts, and heartbreaking spirituals can all be found on their latest release Good Time, which also offers the groups first original songs inspired by Gullah tradition. The group includes Quentin Baxter on the drums and percussion, Kevin Hamilton on the bass, Quiana Parler as a vocalist, Clay Ross on guitar and vocals, and Charlton Singleton on trumpet and vocals.


You know we love our Gullah cultural heritage, so of course we had to end with a group who brings to life some of that richness. We at Carolima’s encourage you to spend some time this week listening to some of the greatest hits from these people and groups, as well as viewing their performances. We hope you have a fabulous week and we will meet you back here next week to bring a spot light to some more of South Carolina’s great treasures. Happy Black History Month everyone!

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