Rising up from the Ashes:
The South Carolina Entertainment & Music Hall of Fame
In the blink of an eye, priceless South Carolina history went up in flames. This guitar. That jacket. These letters.
When the South Carolina Entertainment and Music Hall of Fame burned to the ground in 2013, the state lost an important treasure too soon. Now, an effort is underway to bring the SC Entertainment and Music Hall of Fame back, bigger and better.
The Hidden Side of Fame
The Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization was developed to honor natives and people with strong connections to Carolina who have achieved national success. However, fame is just the bar for entry. Founder Dr. David Godbold had a vision of honoring those who’ve used their success to improve the South Carolina communities they are connected to, or even the entire state. Oftentimes their off-stage giving goes unnoticed.
So much of what we learn about South Carolina’s most prominent entertainers is fueled by sensationalism and money. Most of the public does not hear the story of the musician who goes back to his hometown with a donation of thousands of pairs of socks for people in need. The resources, visibility and our entertainers have brought back to their communities often does not get the recognition it deserves.
The path to success is also an important theme among inductees. “You don’t hear about the time people have spent sleeping in their cars and doing $100 shows just trying to make a living and a name for themselves,” Godbold has noted. Before fame was ever on the horizon, many of our inductees have overcame significant life challenges even beyond the tough road of building their careers.
Hall of Fame Ambition
Just like the people it recognizes, the plan for the SC Entertainment and Music Hall of Fame was bold from the beginning. That vision is expanding under the New Executive Director Justin Ray Williams.
Plans for its new iteration are even more ambitious. They include a public presence that will match the lofty aspirations of its founders and its honorees, from a state-of-the-art exhibition space to a rousing annual induction ceremony, monthly events, weekly radio program, Roku/Fire Tv channels, Hall of Fame entertainment conferences and holding educational workshops on South Carolina’s deep entertainment history along the way.
South Carolina was the first state selected to have an Entertainment and Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony on National TV. CBS/TNN along with Producer Jim Owens, a major entertainment executive, helped Godbold pull off the biggest show in Hall of Fame history. Proceeding this was the induction of the super group, Marshall Tucker Band. This event turned into a Southern Rock reunion that was hosted by Charlie Daniels.
“As we’re saying to everyone who will listen, our goal is to keep the South Carolina entertainment and music legends in the minds and hearts of all who visit the Hall of Fame, as well as propel up and coming artists toward Hall of Fame status by having regular events and concerts.”
The new venue is set to be located in the Downtown Greenville area, a business center that in recent years has been growing in notoriety as an arts and entertainment destination. The city’s bustling downtown – itself a source of national notoriety for the state – was the obvious choice for Williams and the board. Artifacts that escaped the fire only because they were still in storage will be put on the display, and the Hall of Fame is renewing the effort to grow the collection.
Ongoing events that work for artists have been a longstanding vision for Williams, who has worked in entertainment for more than two decades. BMI award-winning singer and songwriter Zack Turner is also at helm keeping entertainers’ needs central to the organization.
With a growing team of active supporters, the future of a Hall of Fame lies in the hands of the community. The South Carolina Hall of Fame has reflected the creativity, determination and enthusiasm that comes from South Carolina people. With ongoing support, it will enter the next phase as a rallying point for many of the state’s biggest champions, famous or otherwise.
Media Partner for The SC Entertainment & Music Hall of Fame