Musicians

Black and white photograph of Cootie Stark

Cootie Stark (Johnnie Miller)

Blues and Gospel singer

Black and white photograph of Arthur Jackson

Peg Leg Sam (Arthur Jackson)

U.S. black blues musician

Bill Anderson wearing a light colored coat and turtleneck shirt

Bill Anderson

Born in Columbia, SC, Bill Anderson is a country music singer and songwriter nicknamed "Whisperin' Bill." 

Cat Anderson on stage with trumpet.

Cat Anderson

Born in Greenville, SC, William Alonzo "Cat" Anderson was a well-known jazz trumpeter who played with Duke Ellington in his orchestra.

An older man wearing a dark suit jack, white undershirt, black glasses, and beret hat.

Pink Anderson

Born in Laurens, SC, Pinkney "Pink" Anderson was a blues singer and guitarist who inspired the "Pink" in the name of the English rock band Pink Floyd. 

An older man in a black cowboy hat holding a homemade guitar.

Mac Arnold

Mac Arnold is a blues musician from Pelzer, South Carolina. He is best known for his gas can guitars.

Nickolas Ashford wearing a black leather jacket.

Nickolas Ashford

Born in Fairfield, SC, Nickolas Ashford was a singer, songwriter, and producer. Together with his wife, Valerie Simpson, they formed the legendary Motown songwriting-production team, Ashford & Simpson. 

Brook Benton in a light colored dress shirt.

Brook Benton

Born in Lugoff, SC, Benjamin Franklin Peay, better known as Brook Benton, was a popular soul singer of the 1960s, with his signature song, "Rainy Night in Georgia."

John Berry sitting on a chair in the middle of the road with a guitar.

John Berry

Born in Aiken, SC, John Edward Berry is a Grammy Award-winning Country Music artist. 

An outline drawing of an older man holding a guitar.

Chris Bouchillon

Chris Bouchillon was known as "The Original Talking Blues Man."

James Brown singing while shadowed people stand in the background

James Brown

Born in Barnwell, SC, James Joseph Brown was a singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, and bandleader.

Peabo Bryson in a dark suit with a light dress shirt, and colorful dark and light blue handkerchief.

Peabo Bryson

Greenville native Peabo Bryson is an R&B and Soul Singer-Songwriter. He is known for singing "A Whole New World" from Disney's 1992 animated feature film Aladdin.

Tommy Caldwell is wearing a light colored cowboy hat. The rim is outlined in black. He is holing a light and dark guitar.

Tommy Caldwell

From Spartanburg, SC, Tommy Caldwell was the bassist and original frontman for The Marshall Tucker Band between 1973 and 1980. 

A smiling Chubby Checker wearing a checkered suit jacket.

Chubby Checker

Born in Spring Gulley (Andrews, SC) with the name Ernest Evans, Chubby Checker is a singer best known for “The Twist.”

A smiling middle-aged man.

Nappy Brown

Nappy Brown was an R&B singer best known for his hits "Don't Be Angry" and "Little By Little."

Gary Davis wearing a dark suit, dark glasses and a dark hat. He is holding a guitar.

Gary Davis

Gary Davis was a blind blues and gospel songwriter and innovative guitarist.

Photograph of Julius Dixson

Julius Dixson

Julius Dixson (sometimes spelled Dixon) was an African American songwriter and record company executive. He was known for the 1958 hit "Lollipop."

A middle-aged man wearing a wide brim hat and holding a guitar.

Cool John Ferguson

Cool John Ferguson is a blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter known for playing his guitar "upside down."

Carlisle Floyd

Carlisle Floyd

Carlisle Floyd was an opera composer and librettist from Latta, SC. He is considered the "Father of American Opera."

A man in a dark shirt and patterned tie stands next to a bookcase with an Oscar award.

Arthur Freed

Arthur Freed was a lyricist and film producer. He produced and was co-lyricist for the iconic film "Singin' in the Rain."

Photo of Walter "Hank" Garland Author: Fabry Studio Source: Scanned from booklet Non-free use Rationale: Though this image is subject to copyright, its use is covered by the U.S. fair use laws.

Hank Garland

Walter Louis Garland, known professionally as Hank Garland, was a guitarist and songwriter. 

A smiling Dizzy Gillespie holding a trumpet and wearing dark glasses and a beret

Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie was a jazz trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and composer.

A woman singing while a man looks at her while playing the piano.

Chippie Hill

Bertha "Chippie" Hill was a blues and vaudeville singer and dancer from Charleston, SC. She is best known for her recording with Louis Armstrong.

A middle aged man with a burgundy and white striped brimless hat and brown glasses sings into a microphone while holding a guitar.

J.B. Hutto

Blackville native J.B. Hutto was a Blues singer and guitarist noted for his slide guitar playing and grandiose singing style.

Color photograph of James Jamerson

James Jamerson

James Jamerson was a bass player most known for creating the "Motown Sound."

Jeezy

Jeezy

Columbia native, Jay Wayne Jenkins, known by his stage name Jeezy, is a rapper.

Etta Jones photo from The Heart album cover.

Etta Jones

Etta Jones was a jazz singer from Aiken, South Carolina.

Black and white photo of Clara Louise Kellogg

Clara Louise Kellogg

Clara Louise Kellogg was an operatic soprano.

Eartha Kitt laying on an orange floor in a sparkly red dress.

Eartha Kitt

Born in North, SC, Eartha Kitt was a singer, actress, comedienne, dancer, and activist.

Linda Martell wearing a dark cowboy hat cocked to the side and holding a guitar.

Linda Martell

Linda Martell is a singer. She became the first commercially successful black female artist in the country music field and the first to play the Grand Ole Opry. 

Edwin McCain wearing a light gray shirt and holding a brown guitar.

Edwin McCain

Edwin McCain is an alternative rock singer-songwriter and musician.

A group of young men posing together on a beach.

Swingin' Medallions

The Swingin' Medallions is a beach music group from Greenwood County, South Carolina.

Toro y Moi wearing a light grey jacket singing into a silver and black microphone

Toro y Moi

Chaz Bear, known professionally as Toro y Moi, is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and graphic designer. 

Teddy Pendergrass lounging in metallic gold suit with a silky red background.

Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass was a singer. He initially rose to musical fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. 

Bill Pinkney wearing a light tan suit with a brown patterned tie

Bill Pinkney

Bill Pinkney was one of the original members of the R&B/Soul group, The Drifters.

A black man with bejeweled sunglasses, a thin mustache and a pompadour.

Esquerita

Esquerita was an R&B singer, songwriter, and pianist. He is known for influencing rock and roll pioneer Little Richard.

An older man wear a baby blue suit jacket and hold a brown and white banjo.

Don Reno

Don Reno was a bluegrass and country musician from Spartanburg, SC.

A smiling Julie Roberts.

Julie Roberts

Julie Roberts is a popular country music singer.

Darius Rucker wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans. He holds a brown guitar as he performs a song.

Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker is a musician and lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish.

Color photograph of Drink Small

Drink Small

Known as "The Blues Doctor," Drink Small is a soul blues and electric blues guitarist, pianist, singer, and songwriter.

A smiling woman.

Clara Smith

Clara Smith was a blues singer from Spartanburg, South Carolina. She was nicknamed the "Queen of the Moaners."

Angie Stone performing in a black, gold, silver, and pink dress.

Angie Stone

Angie Stone is a singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She rose to frame in the late 1970s as a member of the hip hop trio, The Sequence.

Black and white photograph of Lily Strickland

Lily Teresa Strickland

Lily Strickland was a composer, painter, and writer from Anderson, South Carolina.

Rock band on stage under the bright lights

Hootie & the Blowfish

Hootie & the Blowfish is a Grammy-winning rock band from Columbia, SC.

Color photograph of Melanie Thornton

Melanie Thornton

Melanie Thornton was the lead singer o the Eurodance group La Bouche. The group is known for their singles, "Sweet Dreams" and "Be My Lover."

Aaron Tippin in a red turtleneck shirt.

Aaron Tippin

Aaron Tippin is a country music artist and record producer who was raised in Traveler’s Rest, SC.

A smiling Josh Turner holding a guitar and singing into a microphone.

Josh Turner

Josh Turner is a contemporary country music artist.

Josh White in the middle wearing a polka-dot shirt.

Josh White

Josh White was a singer, musician, and civil rights activist.

A smiling middle-age man.

Maurice Williams

Maurice Williams is a songwriter and vocalist of Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

Smiling Mario in a black leather jacket and black sunglasses.

Mario Winans

Mario Winans is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.