Aunt Pearlie Sue and Gullah Kinfolk Present Benefit Performance for Angels Charge Ministry

DSC_9456Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk will deliver their Gullah singing, dancing and storytelling in Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Spartanburg, SC, to support the Angel Charge Ministry Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM .

Angels Charge Ministry helps women rebuild their lives without condemning or judging them. It is based on Psalm 91 referring to God’s angels watching over and helping others. Since April, weekly Bible sessions involving praise services and prayer requests are held for women at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.

Nannie Jefferies, executive director of the ministry and pastor of Maranatha Free Church of Jesus Christ, 350 Garner Road, organized the program and is expanding it to help women once they are released from jail.

“The idea is to look at why these women continue to have a life of incarceration and what it will take to stop it,” Jefferies said. “We know the program is not for everyone, but it is for those who want to be whole. This program also deals with restoring their lives.”DSC_9400

Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk are the most exciting musical sensation ever to come from the South Carolina Sea Islands. Virtually all related, the closeness of this dynamic group is apparent from the first song. Audiences nationwide have been mesmerized by their unique style, memorable performances and uplifting renditions of their historical repertoire. The group was formed by Anita Singleton-Prather; best known for her beloved character Aunt Pearlie Sue, in an effort to preserve Gullah history and the Gullah dialect. A performance by the Gullah Kinfolk is a rare treat that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for students.  For more information and to purchase tickets contact Nannie Jeffries at 863-529-5472 or nanniejeffries@yahoo.com.

 

Born Above the Kitchen

by Sally Gomez

I was blessed to have a wonderful childhood, a bit different from most of my friends.  My parents owned and operated a small hotel called Spruce Mountain House in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.  Spruce Mountain House originally began as a farm and boarding house when my great grandfather bought some land in the early 1920’s.  My grandparents then took over in the late 1930’s, added a few more buildings, and did less farming.  My parents bought the property in the mid 1940’s, and no longer  farmed.  After all, my father grew up farming and my mother, who was a city girl, wanted nothing to do with that aspect.sally gomez

What they did, however, was build up a wonderful hotel business that was open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That was the way the area’s small hotels operated until the late 1960’s when the tide turned and the American travelling public wanted more.

I can still picture our letterhead, designed by my mother,  that read “Less Work for Mother.”  She recognized that women made most of the vacation decisions.

I remember as a child of about 8 hearing my parents discuss the merits of adding more amenities.  Instead of swimming in the lake, we should build a swimming pool.  Instead of playing badminton in the grass, we should add a tennis/badminton/basketball court.  And we did.  And boy, were my sister and I happy.  And boy, did we have more friends than previously.

However, in the late 1960’s, the smaller family-owned hotels began to disappear.  My parents decided to sell Spruce Mountain House and its surrounding 100 acres rather than hang on to something the public no longer loved.  Although some of our guest rooms had private baths, some did not and guests shared the bathrooms down the hall.  Our activities such as hayrides, square dancing, and horse back riding could no longer compete with golf courses, cocktail lounges, and cruises.

Our guests were always weekly, Saturday to Saturday, and many families came year after year, often the same week each year.  We got to know them well, and some became life-long friends.  Although my sister and I realized that what my parents had decided was necessary, we knew we would miss our wonderful summer experiences.

She and I waitressed in our beautiful blue and white dining room from age 13 on.  We were not paid, nor did we expect to be, but we were allowed to keep our tips.  I also organized all of the children’s activities from 9 am-12 noon to give the parents free time.  We had a little building (formerly a chicken coop) that we renovated into The Children’s Clubhouse.  I loved taking the kids to The Clubhouse each morning, not only because I loved the children, but it allowed me to get out of clean-up from the breakfast shift!

We served three unbelievably wonderful meals a day for our guests, all prepared by our chef, Mr. Jerry Johnson from Lynchburg, VA.  Mr. Johnson was a black man who got on the train a few days before Memorial Day, leaving his family at home, and returning the day after Labor Day.  We had no diversity in our little village, and Mr. Johnson (who was also a teacher and preacher back in VA), was really my idol and mentor.  I especially got my love of baking from him.  Not only did he prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, he did all of the baking, including daily pies, cakes and sticky buns.  His work ethic, as well as others at that time, was something to be emulated.

After my parents sold the hotel and retired, my sister and I were married and raising our own families.  When my children were school age and I wanted to go to work, I really only wanted to work in the hospitality industry.  I worked in several large resorts that were still viable in the Poconos, starting as sales coordinator and working up to director of sales.  However, after my divorce and with my two sons now adults, I took a vacation to Myrtle Beach and felt it calling me.  That was in 1992, and I was thankful to be hired by Matthew Brittain to be the director of sales at Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort.

Things were happening along the Grand Strand, and I wanted to be part of it.  There were so many terrific things about to burst onto the scene.  Broadway at the Beach would open and offer visitors a Barefoot Landing-type of experience.  Calvin Gilmore would leave Surfside Beach and his Southern Country Nights show for his beautiful, new theater to house the Carolina Opry.   Dolly Parton would bring her exciting Dixie Stampede to the beach as well.  There were so many activities and amenities, in addition to our beautiful beaches, for vacationers to enjoy.

Fortunately, my new husband agreed that Myrtle Beach was going to be a good fit for us because he was a golf lover, and we all know that Myrtle Beach is the golf mecca of the East.  In addition to loving the varied golf options, he bought several food businesses over the years, including O’Henry’s Ice Cream Parlors at the former Waccamaw Pottery area, and later the Grumpy Grouper seafood restaurant in Socastee.

I continued working in the hospitality industry, moving on from Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort to several other properties, finally spending the last five years as manager of private events at beautiful Brookgreen Gardens.  Those events included many weddings, and prior to retiring, I decided to become a private wedding planner.  Coastal Wedding Consultants was born, and I have a dedicated partner, Mary Rana, who was my wedding volunteer at Brookgreen.  I also do a little public relations work for a restaurant in the Hammock Shops, and finally have time to volunteer.  I love to entertain residents of the area’s nursing homes and senior living communities, often relating stories from my childhood which I turned into a self-published memoir titled Born Above the Kitchen.  I take along my guitar, sing some songs from my wonderful childhood, and if a few folks are willing, I get them up to take part in an easy square dance.gomez book cover

I believe my parents would be happy to know that I continued in their footsteps.  I think that our old Spruce Mountain House square dance caller (Mr. Sam Jones of the Pocono Potato Peelers…true name) would be glad to know that some of the old dances are kept alive here in the greater Myrtle Beach area.  The Pocono Mountains have had a hard time keeping up with the wants and needs of the traveling public, but thankfully, the Grand Strand has not.  We may not be perfect here in our corner of the state, but we are doing the best we can to accommodate visitors and locals alike.  I’m happy to be doing my part.  Sally_Gomez_Flyer_062911_3_3_

Artist and Flutist Elise Wood Exhibits in South Carolina

Elise Wood

Elise Wood, the daughter of two writers and niece of a fine arts painter, has always lived in an artistic environment.  Both her talent in music and art were recognized at an early age, and she was selected to be in exhibits and perform throughout her education.  She has attended classes at the Art Students League and the City College of New York and continues to expand her knowledge of mediums and availing herself of live models and museum trips with professors and students.    She has exhibited nationally including Blue Skies Gallery in Hampton, VA; Cornelia Street Café, Theater for the New City and Jadite Gallery, in New York; and North End Trilogy Gallery in New Jersey. Currently her paintings in acrylic or oil on canvas are on exhibit at Salt Gallery in Beaufort, SC.

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An accomplished flutist, she is an active member of the New York Jazz Flutet, a six-flute jazz ensemble that includes an instrumentation from contra-bass flute to piccolo with drums. She recorded frequently with her late partner John Hicks on HiWood Records, among others.

Artist Statement

As an artist I try to surround my work with an aura – despite the subject matter and to draw out the subtleties of light and shadow and the colors therefore produced.   Texture inspires the flow of the paint that holds together the form.  My subject matter is parallel with my fantasy of isolating a moment of beauty in time and space.

Contact us for more information about her art or her performances.

Meet Elvis, Sinatra and More!

Aug2014 024Krispy KremeJCACRockinSinging Telegrams’ for a discount this month, especially the “Patriotic Singing Telegram” for Veteran’s Day, and the “Thank ya! Thank ya very much!” for Thanksgiving, and the Anniversary and Birthday Telegrams with 3 songs plus “HAPPY _____ DAY,” usually $75, now $60, including jumpsuit (Elvis), costuming (Motown, Sinatra, etc.) with portable PA system, background, and great photo opps too.

Available at your location! Ask us for details about these and more talented performers.

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Cool John Ferguson: One of the Best Guitarists in the World

Cool John Ferguson

Cool John Ferguson will be featured in the Labor Day Music & Art Festival September 1 on Hilton Head Island.

Cool John was born in Beaufort, SC in 1953.  He learned to play the guitar by the age of 3.  By age 5, Cool John played gospel music professionally and astounded musicians 10 times his age.  At that time his family realized that the world had been gifted with a musical genius.  Cool John was the featured entertainer for Lowcountry Sing on Channel 5, Charleston SC, for three  years, appearing with three of his sisters, the Ferguson Sisters, an outstanding gospel trio. Over the years, he has formed bands playing psychedelic music, rhythm and blues, pop and jazz.

Early in life Cool John made a decision to follow his dream of becoming a renowned guitarist, pianist, organist, drummer and singer.  Accomplished musicians, music industry leaders and his fans all agree that Cool John’s dream is now reality. Cool John’s fingers just seem to glide effortlessly across the guitar strings as his audiences watch in amazement.

Cool John spends his life conveying messages through his music and traveling wherever he is led by the music.  He has performed at numerous concerts and major blues festivals throughout the world to include The Savannah Blues Festival, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, the Lucerne Blues Festival and the Blues-To-Bop Festival in Switzerland, the Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia and Wasago Beach Festival, Toronto, Canada.

You never know what he’s going to play next. He seamlessly combines styles of gospel, funk, country, jazz, and rhythm and blues to name a few.  He has been active on tent revival circuits, played with LaFace Records of Atlanta, GA, and collaborated with several well known artists throughout the world including Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, BB King, Beverly Guitar Watkins, Barbara Carr, Al Green and the Stylistics.  He has provided sound tracks and scores for countless events and movies.   Living Blues Magazine honored Cool John for two consecutive years as Most Outstanding Guitarist, and he has featured in international publications to include the National Geographic magazine.

Taj Majal stated that “Cool John Ferguson is among the five (5) greatest guitarists in the world and is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.  Cool John is among the ranks of Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhart.”

Cool John’s fans will tell you emphatically, “He is the best of the best guitarists in the world.” Cool John is a recording artist, and his most recent CD is  “With These Hands.”

Labor Day Music & Art Festival Announces Entertainment

Festival artThe first Labor Day Music & Art Festival is scheduled for Sunday, September 1, from Noon until 7 pm in Shelter Cove Park, Hilton Head Island.  Featured entertainers are Earl Williams Band, The Heritage Steel Band and Cool John Ferguson.

Artists exhibiting include Amiri Farris, Hank D. Herring, Dorneisha M. Batson, Geraldine Smith; and Professional Products Unlimited will be distributing free samples of hair products. The original artwork presented by popular regional artists includes fine art, folk art paintings, prints, abstract pastels, wood carving, pottery and a wide variety of styles and products.

Beer, water and Pepsi beverages will be available for purchase, along with hot dogs, chili dogs, she crab soup, gumbo and baskets of fried fish, shrimp, oysters and wings.

The public is invited for an afternoon of entertainment, shopping and dining. Adult admission is $10, and children 12 or younger are $5.

The festival is presented by the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce and the Native Island Business and Cultural Affairs Association.

For more information, please visit www.bcbcc.org or contact nibcaa@aol.com or BeaufortBlack@gmail.com.

Natalie Daise “Becoming Harriet Tubman”

Harriet TubmanNatalie Daise returns to Piccolo Spoleto in historic downtown Charleston, SC with her original one-woman dramatic performance “Becoming Harriet Tubman.”

The 60-minute show explores the life of Tubman as she transformed from a seemingly insignificant little girl, former slave-turned abolitionist, Union spy and conductor of the Underground Railroad.

The program in the  LANCE HALL, 150 MEETING ST., THE CIRCULAR CHURCH is scheduled for May 24 and June 7 at 8 pm and May 31 at 6 pm.

Tickets are online. $18 adult/$16 student or senior.

harriet tubman piccolo

Contact us to schedule Natalie’s programs at your location. Contact us by clicking the link to email or complete our confidential contact form to request information about any of our speakers, entertainers or events. We are happy to recommend additional professionals or to assist with your event planning.