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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


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Magazine Staff Publishing Editor Janis Gilmore

Executive Editor Jordan Watkins

Art Director Jordan Watkins

Finance Director David Olive

Advertising Sales Marilyn Doss (843) 913-1457


WARNING: The audio or video recording of any performance without the written permission of the management is prohibited. ©Copyright 2012. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Spotlight is published by Gilmore Entertainment Group, LLC

The Carolina Opry P. O. Box 7576 • Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 (843) 913 - 4000 • (800) 843 - 6779 5/12

Sports Entertainment 6 • Spotlight Magazine 1401 29th Ave. N, MB 29577 (Hwy. 17 Bypass/Across from Broadway at the Beach) 843.916.CAPT (2278) | www.CAPTAiNGeorGes.CoM MyrTle BeACH | ouTer BANks | VirGiNiA BeACH | williAMsBurG Captain George’s seafood restaurants are Family owned & operated

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Executive Producer and Director

Calvin Gilmore Costuming/Choreography

Margaret Rice Scott

Musical Direction Kevin Hughes ‑ Band Gary Brown ­‑ Vocals

Jeffrey Gilmore

Sound Design

Paul Sweetman

Video Design/Costuming Production Manager

Producer/Director Lighting Design

Allen Conner

Wendy Sweetman

Stage Manager

Vince White

Cast Gary Baker

Calvin Gilmore

Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

Vocals, Guitar

Comedy, Guitar, Vocals

Gary Brown

Eric Gumm

Christie Templeton

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

Comedy, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals

Martha Brown

Vocals, Piano

Kym Shurbutt


Kevin White

Rita Gumm

Banjo, Steel Guitar, Guitar

Keyboards, Piano, Guitar, Saxophone

Nathan Herron

Trent Wideman

Emcee, Vocals, Dance

Lynn Brown

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

Kevin Hughes

Percussion, Drums

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

Ralph Geddes Musical Orchestrations, Keyboards, Piano

Kim Perry Williams

Brad Long


Vocals, Guitar

All That! Michael Curtis

Mark Clifford

Brad Berry

Brian Staggs

Dancers Emily Becknell Kayla Roche Chairman/CEO

Calvin Gilmore


David Olive

8 • Spotlight Magazine

Megan Daniel Curtis Brandy Leviner Theater General Manager

Richard Scott

Facilities Manager

Jimmy Williams

This Just In...


What Do The Carolina Opry & the San Francisco Symphony Have in Common?

Answer: They were recently named Number 1 and Number 2 “Favorite Show/Venue” by the prestigious National Tour Association. No fooling. The National Tour Association (NTA) annually publishes its Distinguished Dozen list, honoring tourism destinations in various categories. In the category of Favorite Show/Venue, they voted the San Francisco Symphony as Number One—and The Carolina Opry as Number Two. Just think about that for a minute. There are a lot of great venues out there; Carnegie Hall, to name

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one. But NTA, the leading association for professionals serving travelers in North America, placed us at the top of the list, right behind the fabulous San Francisco Symphony. Other awards went to such beloved institutions as the Smithsonian Institute and the City of New York. (Oh, and by the way, Myrtle Beach was a Silver Winner in the category of “Favorite Destination for Sun and Sand,” right behind the Caribbean.) So, yeah, we’re proud. And we’re in great company.

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Behind the Scenes Rita Gumm’s Ministry, From Here to Haiti Rita Gumm recently took a little time off from the Opry to participate in a mission to Haiti, where she shared her message with the children of Reformation Hope. While there she spent time with the children at play, as well as sharing her own children’s book, Noah and Friends. Of the experience she says, “Our language was not the same but the music in the church services, the smiles, the hugs, we all understood—love for each other and the love of God.” The mission to Haiti was a labor of love in more ways than one, as it was where her father, a pastor, went on his own final

mission trip. Rita also shares her love of Christ with children here at home in our surrounding communities through her non-profit organization Christian Music, Arts, and Culture. Read more about Rita’s ministries at

“Our language was not the same but the music in the church services, the smiles, the hugs, we all understood— love for each other and the love of God.” 12 • Spotlight Magazine

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Behind The Curtain She Had Us at "Meow" The Cat Who Went to the Theater

You may have heard of the legendary Algonquin Hotel in New York and their cat, Matilda. Not to be outdone, we just wanted you to know that The Carolina Opry also has a house cat. Meet Fosse. Fosse (named by our choreographer Margaret Scott for the legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, who created All That Jazz, C a b a re t , a n d T h e Pajama Game), came to us as a stray years ago and we were fortunate enough to be adopted by her. You won’t see her in the auditorium on a show night but she often helps Calvin direct rehearsals and she definitely thinks she owns the joint. Albert Schweitzer once said, “There are two means of refuge from the misery of life—music and cats.” We have both!

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Top Ratings from CNBC!

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Enjoy a TasTE of ITaly TonIghT Come to Carrabba’s tonight for our Chicken Bryan. One taste and you’ll know why it’s so beloved.

Craig Payne Proprietor Myrtle Beach 6803 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC • 843-467-2600 Located two miles South on Hwy. 17 • Bus tours welcome

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Calvin Gilmore A Profile

“...he participated in

Norman Rockwell

a vanishing


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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 26th 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. Over 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 approach the landmark of The Carolina Opry’s 30th anniversary, Calvin reflects 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 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. 22 • Spotlight Magazine

Rita Gumm

Vocals, Piano 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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Meet the Cast Nathan Herron

Emcee, Vocals, Dance Nathan Herron grew up in Harrisburg, Illinois. Nathan was singing in church by age 5, studied voice and dance from age 10, and was cast in over thirty musicals between that time and high school. In 2005, Nathan made it through the ranks of American Idol contestants to be one of the top twenty men in Season Four. From that time, music has been Nathan’s full-time career, much of it spent in Christian ministry, along with his wife Chelsea. Nathan joined Gilmore Entertainment in September 2011. Nathan and Chelsea are St. Louis Cardinals fans, and love spending time at home with their Yorkie, Coda.

Eric Gumm

Comedy, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals Eric grew up in the small towns of Weaubleau and Warsaw, Missouri, where his parents (both school teachers) instilled in him a love of music and sports. When Eric was seven, his father taught him to play the guitar, and he grew up playing and singing in church with his father 24 • Spotlight Magazine

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.”

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 M o n t g o m e r y, 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.

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Meet the Cast Martha Brown

Banjo, Steel Guitar, Guitar Martha was born in Knoxville, Te n n e s s e e , where she grew up playing bluegrass music. She began playing banjo at age twelve and was performing in Archie Campbell’s HeeHaw show in Gatlinburg by age fifteen. She later enjoyed several hits on local radio as part of the Knoxvillebased 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 26 • Spotlight Magazine

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.

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, Dwight 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. In the meantime, Gentry recently released the album Best New Nashville, featuring Brad and other rising artists, which was distributed throughout Cracker Barrel stores nationwide.

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Meet the Cast 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 a c ts as J o h n Anderson and Shenandoah. 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.

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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.

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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?

30 • Spotlight Magazine

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.

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Meet the Cast Gary Baker

Lead Guitar, Acoustic 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 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, 32 • 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.

Kevin White

Keyboards, Piano, Guitar, Saxophone Kevin White grew up in a small town near the gulf coast in southwest Alabama. He began playing the piano at the age of five. After graduating from high school, he attended Northeast Mississippi Jr. College where he majored in music theory. His professional career began as a cast member on a local variety show, The Denny Hilton Show, in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. He has spent many years performing in other variety shows such as Calvin Gilmore's Dixie Jubilee and Tribute The Concert, and Bobby Helm's Celebrity Theater. Kevin has toured with many country artists, such as Mikey Gilley, David Allan Coe, Shelby Lynn, Randy Travis and Craig Morgan. He has also had success as a songwriter with such artists as Billy Ray Cyrus and Atlantic Starr. He attributes all of his talents and success to God as being the source and provider for everything that has happened in his musical career. Kevin currently resides in Myrtle Beach with his wife Andrea and daughter Savannah.

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

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Meet the Cast Jeffrey Gilmore

Producer/Director Jeff 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 Executive Vice President of Production and acts as 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, 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, Ohio, where she studied musical theatre at 34 • Spotlight Magazine

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.

Lynn Brown

Percussion, Drums Lynn Brown is originally from Lancaster, Ohio where he grew up playing drums at local churches. This led to the opportunity to play for several gospel artists across the country. Lynn later relocated to St. Louis where his country band opened for Daryl Worley and Tracy Byrd. He later moved to Branson where he played at Legends in Concert for several years. Lynn and his wife Bernadette now live in Myrtle Beach and enjoy walking around Market Commons and going to the State Parks. Lynn is very thankful for the opportunity to perform at The Carolina Opry. "God has been good and faithful and I'm enjoying my new friends here and hope to meet many more."


From cruises on the creek and overland excursions on the Trekker, to engaging animal programs and a new butterfly house there is always something new and exciting at Brookgreen Gardens. This National Historic Landmark is home to the only accredited zoo on the coast of the Carolinas and one of the most significant figurative sculpture collections in the world! For more information call

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Admission is good for 7 days! Adults, $12 Seniors, $7 Children 4-12 & Children under 3 are FREE! Located on Highway 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island.



YOUR PURCHASES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. All of your purchases help support Brookgreen Gardens, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and display American sculpture and regional plants, animals, and history. Spotlight Magazine • 35

Meet the Cast Allen Conner

Sound Design Allen Conner, born and raised in Galax, Virginia, has been in the audio business for over thirty 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 and enjoys spending time 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 36 • 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, 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.

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

All That! National stars of NBC's America's Got Talent L to R: Mark Clifford , Brad Berry, Michael Curtis, and Brian Staggs

The Carolina Opry Dancers L to R: Kayla Roche, Brandy Leviner, Megan Daniel Curtis, Emily Becknell 38 • Spotlight Magazine

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Spotlight Magazine Spring 2012  

Spotlight Magazine is filled with local shopping, dining, and accommodations. Along with these great local hotspots, you will find backstag...

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