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What the press is saying about...

"Top Attraction in Myrtle Beach."

CNBC “The Carolina Opry, a music variety show, is a hit with visitors.” The New York Times

“A Big Hit!” USA Today

“A hot ticket.” New York Post

“Calvin Gilmore…is getting Myrtle Beach in tune with the entertainment world.” CNN

“Talk about high energy. That’s entertainment.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Calvin Gilmore’s shows set the standard.” The Charlotte Observer

“The grandest of the Grand Strand shows.” Detroit Free Press

“Myrtle Beach has Calvin Gilmore to thank.” Variety


Magazine Staff Publisher Editor Janis Gilmore

Executive Editor Jordan Watkins

Art Director

Jordan Watkins

Finance Director David Olive

Advertising Sales Marilyn Doss (843) 913-1457

SMOKING IS PROHIBITED IN THIS THEATER.

WARNING: The audio or video recording of any performance without the written permission of the management is prohibited. ©Copyright 2011. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Spotlight is published by Gilmore Entertainment Group, LLC

Fashion, Monograms, Company Logos & Kids' Selections.

The Carolina Opry P. O. Box 7576 • Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 (843) 913 - 4000 • (800) 843 - 6779 www.TheCarolinaOpry.com www.SpotlightMagazineOnline.com 5/11

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6 • Spotlight Magazine

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Spotlight Magazine • 7


Produced and Directed by

Calvin Gilmore Costuming/Production Manager/ Choreography

Margaret Rice Scott

Musical Direction

Producer/Director

Kevin Hughes ‑ Band Gary Brown ­‑ Vocals

Jeffrey Gilmore

Sound Design

Paul Sweetman

Allen Conner Brian Buckley

Vince White

Video Design/Assistant Production Manager/Costuming

Wendy Sweetman

Lighting Design Stage Manager

Cast Gary Baker

Brad Long

Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

Calvin Gilmore

Vocals, Guitar

Gary Brown

Ralph Geddes

Comedy, Guitar, Vocals

Musical Orchestrations, Keyboards, Piano

Brad Long

Vocals, Guitar

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin, Lap Steel, Steel Guitar, Dobro

Kym Shurbutt Vocals, Guitar

Eric Gumm

Steve Sifford

Martha Brown

Banjo, Steel Guitar, Guitar

Comedy, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals

Emcee, Guitar, Vocals

Tangena Church

Rita Gumm

Christie Templeton

Vocals

Vocals

Jim Ed Hodges

Steve Templeton

Vocals

RC Clemmons

Violin, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

Vocals, Dance

Matt Davis

Vocals

Trent Wideman

Kevin Hughes

Percussion, Drums

Bass Guitar, Vocals, Acoustic Bass, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano

Jeff Simmons

Saxophone, Keyboards

Hammered Dulcimer, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Comedy, Vocals

Kim Perry Williams Vocals

All That! Michael Curtis

Mark Clifford

Brad Berry

Joel Harrison

Dancers Stephanie Kistler-Bonn Emily Becknell Dance Captain Jen Karacz Alexander Chairman/CEO

Calvin Gilmore

President

David Olive

8 • Spotlight Magazine

Megan Daniel Curtis

Theater General Manager

Richard Scott

Facilities Manager

Jimmy Williams


9 • Spotlight Magazine


Congrats, Calvin! Calvin Gilmore, who is credited with starting the year-round theater industry on the Grand Strand with The Carolina Opry, was recently awarded the Ashby Ward Pioneer Award, bestowed each year on the individual who has best exhibited a significant, positive impact on the Myrtle Beach area. Among those to congratulate Gilmore via video at the award gala were Governor Mark Sanford and Vanna White. Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer also made a surprise appearance and presented Gilmore with the Palmetto Patriot Award. The Palmetto Patriot Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their fellow citizens and the State of South Carolina. The award is the highest the Lieutenant Governor can bestow. In his acceptance speech, Gilmore stated that it is one of the more meaningful awards that he has ever received, because it comes from his peers in the tourism community. He also gave credit to his wife and children whom, he said, “. . . were pioneers with me.” The success of The Carolina Opry is the stuff of legend. Gilmore opened his first theater in May, 1986 in a defunct nightclub building in Surfside Beach, turning it into the hottest evening entertainment venue

on the Strand. In 1992, the successful theater moved into the 2,200-seat show palace that continues to be its home. Along the way, Gilmore has also brought the Strand such longrunning shows as Good Vibrations and The Carolina Opry Christmas Special in Myrtle Beach, The Dixie Jubilee and Tribute! The Concert in North Myrtle Beach, and Southern Country Nights in Surfside Beach. Gilmore was also the first to bring live Christmas shows to the Grand Strand. When Gilmore opened The Carolina Opry in 1986, most area businesses closed after

Gilmore Named Pioneer of the Year

10 • Spotlight Magazine

Labor Day and re-opened in April. Calvin Gilmore helped change what was known as the off-season along the Strand into a thriving economy welcoming visitors all year long. Congratulations on your achievments, Calvin Gilmore - and thank you for 25 years of quality family entertainment!


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Spotlight Magazine • 11


Cooking with the Cast A sampling of cast recipes from our kitchen to yours - enjoy!

Gilmore Family "Shorty" An important Gilmore family tradition is the serving of the "shorty" on Christmas Eve. Calvin's grandmother, Annie Donald, moved to this country from Dundee, Scotland when she was seventeen years old, bringing with her this family recipe for shortbread (which her family called "shorty") and the Christmas tradition which her family had practiced for generations. Shorty is served late on Christmas Eve, along with sharp cheese, hot chocolate, and convivial conversation. Calvin and Janis Gilmore still continue the tradition with their children every holiday season, as do other members of their extended family. The recipe is enough to make two cakes of shorty. It should be made on Thanksgiving weekend, wrapped first in foil, then in a clean cotton kitchen towel, and placed in a tin with a tight-fitting lid and left until Christmas Eve. Shorty is always broken into pieces, never cut. 3 Sticks Butter 1 1/4 Cups Sugar

2 Eggs 4 Cups Flour

Blend thoroughly, then split the resulting dough into two portions. The dough will be thick and sticky, requiring floured hands to work. Press into pie plates, kneading with floured hands to work, leaving the top somewhat wavy in texture. Prick the tops with a fork several times. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until it begins to brown on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes and gently turn the cakes out of the pans. - Submitted by Calvin & Janis Gilmore 12 • Spotlight Magazine


Spotlight Magazine • 13


Cooking with the Cast Fettuccine Alfredo 1 lb. noodles cooked al dente 1.2 lb. butter (2 sticks) 1 qt. heavy cream

2 tsps. parmesan cheese 2 tsps. oregano 4 egg yolks (beaten)

Melt butter. Add noodles, then heat at medium temperature. Add cream and spices. Cook until liquid disappears. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat and add egg yolks. Serve piping hot! - Rita Gumm

Banana Split Dessert 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup margarine 8 oz. package cream cheese 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1 egg 5 bananas 1 large container Cool Whip 1/2 cup walnuts 12 maraschino cherries

16 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained) Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and margarine together. Firmly press into bottom of a 9 x 12 inch cake pan (bottom only). Blend cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and egg with a beater until well-blended. Pour cream cheese mixture over graham crackers. Slice bananas in half lengthwise in pan. Spread the drained pineapple over the bananas. Spread the Cool Whip over the pineapple. Chop walnuts and sprinkle over topping. Decorate with cherries. Chill for 5 to 6 hours before serving. - Steve Templeton 14 • Spotlight Magazine


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Top Ratings from CNBC!

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Spotlight Magazine • 17


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Calvin Gilmore A Profile

“...he participated in

Norman Rockwell

a vanishing

lifestyle...”

20 • Spotlight Magazine


alvin Gilmore grew up in the Ozarks C of southern Missouri. The son of a farmer, on a third-generation farm, he participated in a vanishing Norman Rockwell lifestyle which centered on the one-room community schoolhouse, the country church that his family had helped to found, and the community of farmers that banded together on threshing days. By the time he was twenty, he had taken his guitar to Kansas City, where he worked in the Hallmark mail room by day, and sang in restaurants and bars in the evenings. When a Nashville label encouraged him to execute a quality demo tape, Calvin needed some capital. He decided to try his hand at real estate, moving to the Lake of the Ozarks, a resort area not too far from where he grew up. His life took an unexpected detour when he met with almost immediate success; within a year he was able to buy the real estate company for which he worked. Just a week after closing the deal, Calvin married Janis Walker. A few years (and two children) down the road, Calvin realized that he wasn’t doing what he had always meant to do. A devoted family man, he wouldn’t consider a life on the road. He came up with the idea of creating a musical variety show, so that he could perform and remain in one place: home. It took him three years, but by 1986 he had selected Myrtle Beach as a likely market, found a theater (he would renovate a defunct nightclub), and worked out the financing (he would risk everything); and he and Janis moved with their young children to Surfside Beach in March 1986. The success of The Carolina Opry is the stuff of legend. Over the years, Calvin Gilmore and his casts have entertained millions of Myrtle Beach visitors. On May 2, the show celebrated its 25th anniversary, a milestone by any standard. His exceptionally high standards for tal-

ent and production quality have been recognized by the industry and the public. The Carolina Opry is the only show to have won the coveted Governor’s Cup (South Carolina’s highest tourism award), and the only show to have been voted the state’s Most Outstanding Attraction. It has been voted The Best Show every year in the Myrtle Beach Sun News poll. Gilmore has spawned the growth of a new entertainment industry on the Grand Strand of South Carolina, and under his leadership The Carolina Opry has blossomed into an institution on the Grand Strand. It has garnered coverage from NBC Nightly News, USA Today, CNN, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, and a host of others. Twenty-five years later, Calvin is still enjoying producing and performing at The Carolina Opry. In 2003, he began appearing several times a year on the stage of the world famous Grand Ole Opry, where he never misses an opportunity to invite their loyal nationwide radio audience to visit Myrtle Beach. In 2005, he introduced Good Vibrations at the theater; performed by the Carolina Opry cast two or three times each week, it takes you back to the sights and sounds of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, and is an alternate to the classic Carolina Opry show which is performed the rest of the week. As we approached the landmark of The Carolina Opry’s 25th anniversary, Calvin reflected on the events of those years: the pursuit of excellence, the creativity, the esprit de corps of cast and company, the struggles, and the successes. “I have had the great blessing of being able to do what I love and make a living at it. My heartfelt thanks to all of those who have enjoyed the show down through the years, and sent their customers and guests. May we all enjoy twentyfive more together.” Spotlight Magazine • 21


Meet the Cast Steve Sifford

Emcee, Guitar, Vocals Steve grew up in northeastern Arkansas, the son of a Southern Baptist minister. He credits his musical family, and an uncle in particular, as his earliest musical influences. In his career as a professional entertainer, Steve lived for several years in Nashville, singing demos and commercial jingles, and performing. In 1986 Steve moved to Branson, Missouri, where he joined the cast of the Roy Clark Celebrity Theater. That year he was honored with the “That’s Show Biz” award, which recognizes Branson’s most talented newcomer. His interests include sports in general, with basketball being his passion. Steve has been with The Carolina Opry since June of 1992. He now makes his home in Myrtle Beach with his family. 22 • Spotlight Magazine

Rita Gumm

Vocals Rita resides in Myrtle Beach with Eric, her husband and fellow cast member. Reflecting on her life Rita says, “I feel fortunate to have grown up in a Christian home with a wonderful family (parents who taught me first and foremost to love and trust Jesus Christ, our heavenly Father), the greatest husband, a precious daughter, and my darling grandson.” Rita has performed to millions worldwide promoting a “dream come true” gospel album. National television appearances include the 700 Club, TBN, and Old Time Gospel Hour (hosted by Jerry Falwell). Rita was part of the original cast, making her debut with The Carolina Opry at its premier performance in 1986.


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Spotlight Magazine • 23


Meet the Cast Kym Shurbutt

Comedy, Guitar, Vocals Kym Shurbutt, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, has been entertaining for more than thirty-five years—over twenty-five of those years spent here at The Carolina Opry, where he was an original cast member, and is best known for the character “Bogie.” Also a vocalist and musician, Kym has performed at the legendary Bitter End in New York. When not performing, Kym has volunteered for such causes as Promise Land Crisis Center and Hurricane Katrina relief. He also helped form a men’s devotional group, which he attends weekly. Kym’s favorite quote is “People will forget what you say, and people will forget what you do, but people will never forget how you make them feel.” Kym takes great pride and pleasure in his son Cody.

Eric Gumm

Comedy, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals Eric grew up in the small towns of Weaubleau a n d Wa r s a w, Missouri, where his parents (both school teachers) instilled in him a love of music and sports. When Eric was seven, his father taught him 24 • Spotlight Magazine

to play the guitar, and he grew up playing and singing in church with his father and his sister. Eric enjoys playing basketball, softball, and golf, watching The Kansas City Chiefs on Sundays, riding his motorcycle, and spending time with his grandson Hunter. Eric reads the Bible daily and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior when he was nine years old. He is married to the love of his life, Rita, who is a featured vocalist at The Carolina Opry, and whom he met onstage at The Carolina Opry in March of 1989. Eric joined Calvin Gilmore Productions in 1989 as an original cast member of The Dixie Jubilee in North Myrtle Beach. Eric loves to make people laugh and says that being in The Carolina Opry cast “is like having a second family.”

Steve Templeton

Vocals Steve was born in Statesville, a town nestled in the foothills of western North Carolina, where he lived until becoming an original cast member of The Carolina Opry in 1986. But long before then—at the age of four, in fact—Steve began singing. Two years later he appeared on television for the first time and also recorded his first songs. It’s obvious to audiences that Steve’s precocious love of country music continues to thrive. Steve is an avid hunter and when he is not spending time with his wife Christie and their two children, Lauren and Cole, he is in the woods looking for places to hunt.


25 • Spotlight Magazine


Meet the Cast Christie Templeton

Vocals Christie grew up at Lake Wylie, South Carolina. At age nine she went to see A Chorus Line and fell in love with Broadway show productions. Her first professional role was playing the lead in a production of Annie. She later toured with Lee Greenwood and was a featured vocalist in his show at the Lee Greenwood Theater in Sevierville, Tennessee. She also shared the stage with Billy Ray Cyrus, John Michael Montgomery, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Lorrie Morgan. In her free time Christie enjoys spending time with her husband Steve and their children, Lauren and Cole.

Martha Brown

Banjo, Steel Guitar, Guitar Martha was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she grew up playing bluegrass music. She began playing banjo at age twelve and was performing in Archie C a m p b e l l ’s Hee-Haw show 26 • Spotlight Magazine

in Gatlinburg by age fifteen. She later enjoyed several hits on local radio as part of the Knoxville-based band New Dawn. Martha later began playing steel guitar and traveled extensively throughout the ’80s with her husband Gary, as well as working in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area.

Gary Brown

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin, Lap Steel, Steel Guitar, Dobro, Musical Director Gary, who was born in Walnut Cove, North Carolina, attributes his choice of music as a career to his parents’ love of music, particularly bluegrass. He began traveling at age fifteen with the band Boot Hill from WinstonSalem. After high school, Gary moved to Knoxville, where he attended the University of Tennessee and met his wife Martha. They married in 1980 and worked in bands together, traveling throughout the ’80s. In 1989 Gary and Martha became original members of Calvin Gilmore’s Dixie Jubilee in North Myrtle Beach. In his spare time Gary is an avid tennis player.


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Spotlight Magazine • 27


Meet the Cast Jim Ed Hodges

Violin, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar Born in Seattle, Washington, Jim Ed learned how to fiddle from his father at two years old. Later, his family moved to Montana where he continued his studies under the instruction of Dick Barrett, the most decorated fiddle contest champion in history. Jim Ed has won many state, regional, and national accolades and went on to tour with Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts. Jim Ed enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and Jesus Christ.

Kim Perry Williams

Vocals Kim is a singer/songwriter from Flagler Beach, Florida.  In late 1992 her debut album Cheatin’ Roses was released and produced three #1 singles on the independent charts.  Kim has performed the national anthem at the Daytona 500, appeared on Nashville Now and opened for such acts as John Anderson and Shenandoah. 28 • Spotlight Magazine

Kim’s video “Why Are All The Good Ones Gone” was shown on CMT and TNN.  She was awarded Best New Female Vocalist at The Independent Awards Show in 1993. Kim is married to Jimmy Williams, her best friend and songwriting partner.  Kim is very grateful to God for all the gifts He has given her - most especially the blessings of family, friends, and music.

Tangena Church

Vocals A native of North Carolina, Tangena brings a variety of performance experiences to The Carolina Opry stage. She began her singing career at four years of age in h e r m o t h e r ’s gospel choir. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ta n g e n a h a s traveled extensively abroad as a featured entertainer on various cruise lines and in the U.S. on the Broadway National Tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Other theater credits include Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Cabaret. Tangena and her husband Pete are the proud parents of beautiful Sadie Katherine Mishler.


Spotlight Magazine • 29


Meet the Cast RC Clemmons

Vocals, Dance A Charlotte, NC native, RC grew up performing from a young age and moved to New York City to study Vocal Performance and Musical Theater after graduating high school. Having worked on Broadway, in television for MTV and One Tree Hill, and on both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, RC recognizes the many blessings and opportunities that he has had and gives all thanks to God. Returning to the gorgeous Carolinas and being close to his biggest fan and hero, his Mother Jai Clemmons, has been a priceless blessing. The opportunity to call Myrtle Beach home and be involved in the community volunteering at Myrtle Beach Christian Academy and The Garden City Chapel are amazing additions to the pleasure he receives by singing here at the Carolina Opry.

30 • Spotlight Magazine

Ralph Geddes

Musical Orchestrations, Keyboards, Piano A graduate of Brigham Young University, with a Bachelor of Arts in music theory, Ralph joined The Carolina Opry in 1997. Ralph has a long list of credits to his name, including being the former musical director for Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Natalie Cole, and Charlie Rich. In addition to his skill at performance, Ralph has composed music for movies and television, including Bob Hope’s Christmas Special. Prior to joining The Carolina Opry, Ralph worked with such musical greats as Vince Gill, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, and Tanya Tucker. Ralph currently resides in Myrtle Beach with his five beautiful children—Ralph II, Reni, Regin, Rakaia and Raquel—and his wife Randi, whom he credits for his accomplishments.


Spotlight Magazine • 31


Meet the Cast Trent Wideman

Hammered Dulcimer, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Comedy, Vocals Trent, who grew up at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, is a multi dimensional performer whose instruments include the fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, harmonica, drums, hammered dulcimer, banjo, lap steel, and piano. And did we mention comedian? A Missouri state fiddling champion in 1994, Trent appeared in the Main Street Music Hall, Lake of the Ozarks, where he later formed his own show, Country Lights USA. In 2002 Trent took his hammered dulcimer to Los Angeles, where he performed on Fox Television’s 30 Seconds to Fame. He then moved to Branson, Missouri where he was the featured comedian and utility musician for the critically acclaimed Country Tonite show and went on to perform at Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express. Trent gives thanks to the Lord for the talent he’s been blessed with and feels lucky to be able to share it with people everyday.

32 • Spotlight Magazine

Brad Long

Vocals, Guitar Brad began his journey on his musical path at a very early age, playing both drums and guitar at the many live music venues in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He quickly became a crowd favorite for his powerhouse rock-edged vocals. After opening for Rodney Atkins, Tracey Lawrence, Keith Anderson, D w i g h t Yoakam, Chris Cagle, Shooter Jennings, Craig Morgan, Little Big Town and many other big name artists, Brad is a seasoned performer that shines in the spotlight. In addition to performing at The Carolina Opry, Brad is working on a solo career and has engaged Alabama's own Teddy Gentry to produce his first solo project. Gentry having had 42 consecutive No. 1 singles and 73 million records sold with Alabama is now producing Brad Long and other country artists such as Grammy nominated, Emerson Drive.


Spotlight Magazine • 33


Meet the Cast Gary Baker

Lead Guitar A native of Charleston, Gary comes from a long line of musicians and is a graduate of Winthrop University with a BA in Music. Gary has played The Grand Ole Opry forty times, appeared in several music videos and has shared the stage with some of t o d a y ’s m o s t popular country artists such as Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Gretchen Wilson, and Sara Evans. In addition to playing guitar, Gary also writes and records music. He has been blessed with a son, Lindsay, who is now a teenager and also plays music.

Kevin Hughes

Bass Guitar, Vocals, Acoustic Bass, Piano, Trumpet, Trombone, Musical Director Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Kevin has been playing music since the age of five and is accomplished on the piano, drums, trumpet, and trombone. When he is not playing bass at The Carolina Opry, or writing and recording tunes, Kevin, 34 • Spotlight Magazine

who has a degree in computer programming, is busy as a network developer. He lives in Myrtle Beach with his wife Marsha and their two children.

Jeff Simmons

Saxophone, Keyboards A native of Atlanta, Jeff earned his Bachelor's in music at the University of Georgia, where he is still remembered as the composer of the "Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation." He received his Master's in music at the University of South Carolina. Jeff has performed with such diverse artists as Ray Charles, Mary Wi l s o n , T h e Te m p t a t i o n s , Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Savannah Jazz Orchestra, The Carolina Philharmonic, and The North Carolina Symphony. Jeff writes special music arrangements for music groups throughout the U.S. and has been staff arranger for UNC Marching Tar Heels, and the NC State Marching Wolfpack. His original compositions and arrangements for bands are published by Arranger's Publishing Company in Nashville, TN. When not busy writing music and performing with the Carolina Opry, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife, Trina and son, Hunter.


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37 • Spotlight Magazine


Silver Anniversary On May 2, The Carolina Opry celebrated 25 years at the top of Myrtle Beach entertainment. 25 years ago, Calvin Gilmore entered the scene with The Carolina Opry and forever changed the entertainment landscape of the Myrtle Beach area. Today, The Carolina Opry boasts over 7,200 performances and has been running longer than any show in Broadway history. “When The Carolina Opry debuted in 1986, the idea of live nightly family entertainment was foreign in Myrtle Beach,” company President, David Olive, remembers. “Now, 25 years later, The Carolina Opry is nationally and critically acclaimed and locals and visitors can’t imagine Myrtle Beach without it.” G i l m o r e h a s spawned the growth of a new entertainment industry along the coastal region of South Carolina, and under his leadership The Carolina Opry has blossomed into an institution on the Grand Strand. It has garnered coverage from countless national media. Through a national television series and accolades like these, Gilmore was able to put a national spotlight on Myrtle Beach as a whole. We are pulling out all the stops for this historic Silver Anniversary with all new shows featuring fresh

music, comedy, dance, costuming and special effects. We'll be celebrating this milestone throughout the 2011 season with special events and commemorative Christmas ornaments and other souvenirs so be on the lookout! The Carolina Opry has successfully maintained its place at the top of the polls and remains a standard in entertainment in the South. The Carolina Opry is the only show to be named Most Outstanding Attraction by the Governor of South Carolina, the only show to win the Governor’s Cup, the only show to be voted Best of the Beach year after year and the only show to receive countless accolades from national media.

25 Years of Family Entertainment

38 • Spotlight Magazine


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Spotlight Magazine • 39


Meet the Cast Jeffrey Gilmore

Producer/Director Jeff Gilmore comes by his production abilities naturally, having grown up in the business. He was eight years old when his family moved from Missouri to South Carolina to start The Carolina Opry. In those early days, he pitched in by carrying ice to concessions stands and props to cast members. After completing his college degree in Chicago, Illinois, he moved back to Myrtle Beach, and joined the family business. He is Senior Vice President of Production and acts as assistant producer and director under his father, as well as taking a seat on the company’s advisory board. He also coaches The Carolina Opry softball team, which participates in the Midnight League in Myrtle Beach, competing with other theaters and attractions. Game time? Midnight, of course. Jeff and his wife, Carrie, enjoy spending time with their two children, and traveling together as a family.

Margaret Rice Scott

Costuming, Production Manager, Choreography Margaret, a native of Latta, South Carolina, attended the Emmalyn Davis School of Dance in Marion, South Carolina, from age three until her high school graduation. She then ventured to Cincinnati, 40 • Spotlight Magazine

Ohio, where she studied musical theatre at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. After 6 years Margaret returned to her roots in the Carolinas and visited Myrtle Beach, where she auditioned for Calvin Gilmore. Margaret joined The Carolina Opry cast in 1990, adding a new dimension to the show —dance. Margaret enjoys spending time with her husband Rich and their daughter Stone.

Matt Davis

Percussion, Drums Matt Davis, son of a master pianist and electronics engineer, grew up in a very musically gifted household. An All State Jazz Band Drummer in 1995, Matt has over 20 years of musical training as well as over 15 years of experience with computers and electronics. In addition to his musical abilities, Matt is also an accomplished audio engineer and has designed audio with us for over 7 years. Prior to joining the Opry, Matt has worked with many major label artists such as John Mayer, Keith Urban, Edwin McCain, The Roots and Bret Michaels just to name a few.


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Meet the Cast Allen Conner

Sound Design, Front of House Allen Conner, born and raised in Galax, Virginia, has been in the audio business for over twenty-five years. He owned his own recording studio in Galax before coming to Myrtle Beach in 1992 as the studio engineer at Gilmore Entertainment’s Candock Recording Studio. Allen has been the Sound Engineer at The Carolina Opry since 1995. He resides in Little River with his wife Rhonda and two children, C.C. and Nikki.

Paul Sweetman

Lighting Design Paul’s future was forever altered at the age of eight when he saw the Broadway show Camelot. From that moment on his destiny was to be in the field of lighting. He attributes much of his education to his mentor, Alex Von Saher, who taught him the true art of lighting and gave him the freedom to create on such international shows as Tri Amici and Entré Me. Paul’s career spans over twenty-five years and every entertainment genre, from live television to musical theater. He has been involved with such artists as Donny 42 • Spotlight Magazine

Osmond, Belinda Carlisle, the Oak Ridge Boys, Phil Driscoll, UB 40, Def Leppard, U2, and Genesis. Paul enjoys spending time with his best friend and creative partner, wife Diane “Wendy” Sweetman.

Wendy Sweetman

Video Design, Costuming Asstistant Production Manager Wendy developed her love and appreciation for produ ction from her mother, who was a gospel singer and songw r i t e r, a n d h e r f a t h e r, an engineer who loved audio and video. She gained her first professional experience in live television at the age of fifteen, interning at a prominent cable network. Wendy’s career has included many aspects of production, from corporate communications and multi-media to live event production and management. She has worked productions for such notable artists as Tony Bennett, Toni Tennille, Danny Gans, Louis Anderson, Joel Grey, Linda Ronstadt with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony with Yo Yo Ma. Wendy loves spending time with her best friend and creative partner, husband Paul Sweetman.


Meet the Cast Photography by Rick Doss • 843-427-4123

All That! National stars of NBC's America's Got Talent Joel Harrison, Brad Berry, Michael Curtis and Mark Clifford Photography by Rick Doss • 843-427-4123

The Carolina Opry Dancers

Jen Karacz Alexander, Megan Daniel Curtis, Stephanie Kistler-Bonn, Emily Becknell

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There’s A New Star In The Sky.

Elevate Your Perspective. High above the beach and far from the stresses of everyday life awaits an unforgettable experience that soars over 20 stories above the Atlantic Ocean. Myrtle Beach’s breathtaking new SkyWheel features 42 Swiss-manufactured, climate-controlled gondolas that offer an uplifting experience for children and adults of all ages. More than one million LED lights will create a variety of dynamic light shows each evening after sunset. Located at the all-NEW Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade.

www.SkyWheelUSA.com • www.facebook.com/skywheelmyrtlebeach • 843-839-9200 47 • Spotlight Magazine



Spotlight Spring 2011