By Brian M. Howle
We all have an inborn love of the place we were born and raised: our home, our base, our never-ending love of who we are and where we are from, and the memories that form that sweet, precious feeling.
And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that, when it comes to memories, one of the strongest triggers known to humankind is music. We have all become familiar with the phrase, “soundtrack of our lives,” because that’s exactly what they are – and audio scrapbook that coalesces all those wonderful times in our lives that we each hold dear in our minds and hearts.
So what better way to document life in South Carolina than an actual soundtrack of all the tunes related to or about life or artists in one of the sweetest places on God’s green earth?
Answer: The S.C. Soundtrack.
This project was put together back in 2007, but knowledge about music and musicians from one’s home state never gets old. SCIway.net, the South Carolina Information Highway Web site, has put together a South Carolina soundtrack, with songs either about the Palmetto State or by artists who were born here.
These folks suggested songs and took suggestions from readers, and then narrowed down the South Carolina soundtrack to 15 South Carolina- inspired songs, including beach music, country, blues, bluegrass and even some rock ‘n’ roll, gospel and jazz.
Songs receiving the most votes (a tie) were “Carolina in My Mind” by James Taylor and “Carolina Girls” by (the late) General Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board.
The rest of the songs were selected based on popularity. The SCIway site, http://www.sciway.net has more details about why the songs were chosen in the “liner notes” section.
Here they are, in no particular order:
The Twist – Chubby Checker
Hailing from Spring Gully (near the town of Andrews along the Georgetown / Williamsburg county line), Chubby Checker (aka Ernest Evans) was born in 1941. He grew up in South Philadelphia. Mostly known for his 1960 summer hit, The Twist, Checker was instrumental in changing the way people danced to music. The Twist introduced people to the concept of “dancing apart to the beat” (as opposed to slow dancing). In 1964, Chubby Checker married Catharina Lodders, Miss World 1962. He is still touring and promoting his line of snack foods (Chubby Checker Snacks). Find out more at ChubbyChecker.com.
I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
Even though Georgia repeatedly tries to claim Brown for its own, The Godfather of Soul was actually born in Barnwell County. He spent the last 30 years of his life on an estate in Beech Island, near Aiken. Along with Dizzy Gillespie, he is South Carolina’s most famous and widely-renowned musician. Dubbed “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” he was a tireless performer – a singer, dancer, and organist who is said to have burned 700 calories per show! In addition to recording numerous soul ballads, he helped bring about the “funk revolution” of the 1970s.