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Wednesday 22 May 2019

State of the Union - South Carolina

(He was born in this state)

George writes:

This week, it’s back to the south of the USA, and to a state named after King Charles I of Great Britain, South Carolina - Carolus is latin for Charles -and not named after King George II’s wife, Caroline.  Rampant bigot Strom Thrumond was senator for this state for 48 years, the civil war started in the state at Fort Sumter, it’s got a 60 mile (98km) long beach, and had a governor called Pitchfork Ben Tillman, who tried to disenfranchise the blacks and poor whites in the early 20th century.He also  once talked about wanting to lead a lynch mob, as well as wanting to prod then president Cleveland (presumably with a pitchfork). We have a pitchfork at the farm, but it is not be used by anyone for prodding any presidents of the USA…

(He wanted to pitchfork a president…..allegedly

Greenville, South Carolina is the birthplace of Jesse Jackson, and two hundred km south-east (ish) is the town of Bishopville, home to The Button Museum, where you can see various items, not just clothes, covered in buttons.

It’s not easy getting a suitable song, many songs reference “Carolina” but of course that is too vague. But the mighty Junior League Band come to the rescue with a splendid blues track, it’s got trumpet, banjo, dobro guitar, and I think mouth harp too. And a great ramshackle feel to it:

And South Carolina is home, allegedly, to the world’s largest ginkgo farm.  A ginkgo is a tree.

Born  in Jonesville, Peg Leg Sam was a blues harmonica player, who occasionally toured in medicine shows with native of Laurens,bluesman Pink Anderson. And the man responsible for the most famous banjo song ever, the one in Deliverance, was born in Clinton (Arthur Smith).

The Charleston dance, that one where the dancers kick backward from the knee down and prance about, is named after Charleston, South Carolina and not any of the other twenty two places called Charleston in the USA.. And I have listened to “You can have Charleston” by Darius Rucker, so now you don’t have to do so. Mr Rucker, you can have the song back. The rules of the series do not allow me to post the Alabama song “Dancin, shaggin in the boulevard” even though it is about Myrtle Beach. And the songs is beyond dreadful. But even worse is “South Carolina low country” by Josh Turner. The Shag, by the way,  is the official dance of South Carolina, and CC and myself both first heard The Shag on an Andy Kershaw broadcast many many years ago.
The Fantastic Shakers “had the notion to get down to the ocean” at Myrtle Beach. I had the notion to stop listening to this idiocy after twenty seconds. BANDCAMP!!!!!!! CALLING BANDACMP!!!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!

This is fantastic, but I’m not buying it

There’s 51 tracks on the album, but I can’t see me playing them all. But please listen to at least one. If I was still teaching I would play that to a class whilst they were doing a test “hands up who think music helps them concentrate?” I would ask, in full expectation of at least half them raising a hand………

And so it came down to choice of two, between a bunch of “salt and sauce” youths and a band from Colorado. Country music wins:

I have been working on this article for about 9 hours. Admittedly it is not very strenuous, sitting in the Music Room hauling out cds and records, doing a bit of internet searching, going to Bandcamp, but Man Alive this has been a bit tedious, I’ve listened to six pages worth of songs on Bandcamp,  terrible songs, called South Carolina. And too many songs called Myrtle Beach.

A different state next week……….

CC writes:
I was struggling but then found something on The Essential Bobby Bare CD

Bobby Bare - Charleston Railroad Tavern


  1. I listened to 2 tracks on the "Courier's Text Atlas of The United States of America" and I todally understand why you wouldn't buy it.

    Loved the Junior League Band track and will investigate further.

    1. I tried, with no success, so if you do find something please let me know

  2. In South Carolina there are many tall pines

    Opening line from which song?

    1. Correct
      It was about to feature until Bobby Bare popped up

    2. ...and Hickory Wind does not meet the criteria for the series anyway.

    3. I know but for a while it was the closest one I could come up with

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Bill Murray lives in Charleston. That's the only endorsement I need.

  5. Black Girls - South Carolina pretty good, but even better:

    Gil Scott Heron - South Carolina (Barnwell)