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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 Publishing Editor Janis Gilmore

Exec. Editor /Art Director Jordan Watkins

Spotlight Coordinator Kelsey Dunn

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 2013. 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 www.TheCarolinaOpry.com www.SpotlightMagazineOnline.com 11/13

Sports Entertainment www.tickets.com 6 • Spotlight Magazine


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Executive Producer and Director

Calvin Gilmore Musical Direction

Producer/Director

Margaret Rice Scott

Kevin Hughes ‑ Band Gary Brown ­‑ Vocals

Jeffrey Gilmore

Production Manager Video Design/Costuming

Sound Design

Paul Sweetman

Mike Cook

Stage Manager

Costuming/Choreography

Wendy Sweetman

Lighting Design

Vince White

Cast Gary Baker

Calvin Gilmore

Gary Brown

Comedy, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Electric Bass

Jeff Simmons

Vocals, Guitar

Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

Eric Gumm

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

Saxophone, Keyboards, Piano, Musical Arrangements & Charting, Brass Section Leader

Christie Templeton Vocals

Rita Gumm Vocals, Piano

Martha Brown

Kevin White

Keyboards, Piano, Guitar, Saxophone

Kevin Hughes

Banjo, Steel Guitar, Guitar

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

Tangena Church Vocals

Ralph Geddes Musical Orchestrations, Keyboards, Piano

Trent Wideman

Brad Long

Emcee, Vocals, Guitar

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

Kym Shurbutt

Steve Wilkerson, Jr.

Comedy, Guitar, Vocals

Percussion, Drums

All That! Michael Curtis

Mark Clifford

Brad Berry

Ethan Stewart

Dancers Gretchen McCutcheon Kayla Roche

Megan Daniel Curtis Brandy Leviner

Chairman/CEO

President

Theater General Manager

Calvin Gilmore

David Olive

Richard Scott

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A Family Legacy of Comedy and Music "Dad Gumm Good Comedians," as Calvin says In some ways, you could call Eric Gumm “comedy royalty.” While he is a lead comedian at The Carolina Opry, Thom Gumm (his uncle), and Matt Gumm (his cousin) are lead comedians at the Lake of the Ozarks and Branson, both in Missouri. Three comedians in three different venues and three different cities. Morton Gumm was born in 1891 in Benton County, Missouri. After fighting in World War I he came home to settle in the small town of Weaubleau—where he was, among other things, the star pitcher on the town baseball team. Good enough to be offered a contract by the St. Louis Cardinals (a family artifact today), he chose to stay home and play ball in Weaubleau. In addition to his athletic prowess, he was also a fellow with a good sense of humor. So were his children. Youngest son Thom worked for the railroad, but 10 • Spotlight Magazine

also did a lot of picking and singing. About 1970 Eric’s dad, Donald Gumm, took his younger brother Thom (about 20), to see The Denny Hilton Country Shindig Opry Show in Osage Beach. Eric, 8 years old, was with them and remembers the evening well. After the show Thom introduced himself to Denny Hilton and asked if he could sing something for him. Denny liked what he heard and asked if Thom had ever done any comedy. Thom hadn’t—but he was willing to try. Thom “Gabby” Gumm was the comedian for the Denny Hilton show for the next 18 years, becoming a beloved and well-known figure in the region. He and wife Sandy (a vocalist in the show) had a son, Matt, in 1982. Meantime Eric was in high school, where he loved sports and especially enjoyed baseball and basketball. He was also interested in music and became the programming director and DJ for


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Cont. from page 10 WYAK radio in Warsaw, Missouri. In 1982 his Uncle Thom told him about a new show that was opening, The Sugarbush Revue. Eric, who had grown up watching his uncle play comedy, auditioned. A talented singer, guitar and bass player, Eric got the job. Sugarbush had a two-year run. Among those who attended were the Gilmore family, Calvin, Janis, Jeff, and Jordan. Calvin took note of Eric. After Sugarbush, Eric performed in a show at Truman Lake for three years. In 1987 Thom Gumm left the Denny Hilton show to open his own show, and Eric joined the cast of the new show, The Main Street Opry, at the Lake of the Ozarks. Meantime, Thom’s son Matt was growing up. (Are you still with us? This is complicated.) Matt, too, proved to be a gifted comedian and musician. He joined his father at The Main Street Opry. By 1989 Calvin Gilmore had an enormously successful show in the Myrtle Beach area—a little thing called The Carolina Opry—and was opening a second show in North Myrtle Beach, The Dixie Jubilee. He offered Eric the comedian spot in the new show. Eric Gumm is in his thirty-second year of show business, and his twentyfifth season with Gilmore Entertainment where he continues to perform in both The Carolina Opry and Good Vibrations. In all those years, Eric has never missed a show, a record that speaks volumes for his work ethic. In 1990 Eric married the Opry’s beloved featured female vocalist Rita (“the love of his life”), and they continue to perform together. Eric’s fans are devoted to him and he repays them night after 12 • Spotlight Magazine

night with great comedy and great vocals. Today Thom Gumm appears nightly as “Gabby” Gumm at The Main Street Opry in Osage Beach, Missouri

(Lake of the Ozarks). His son Matt Gumm is the featured comedian in Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express in Branson, Missouri. We encourage folks vacationing in those areas to be sure and catch their shows. The Gumm family’s comedy dynasty, unique to the live music show industry.


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Kym "Bogie" Shurbutt On His History With The Carolina Opry By the time I came to the Opry to audition most all the crew had been chosen. It would be safe to say that I was the last person hired and today one of the few remaining cast members from that era. I auditioned for the emcee spot, because playing guitar and singing/songwriter was what I did at that time. I didn’t get that job—Tony Teachey was in that spot. I met Calvin that day. He was very gracious and I remember his smile and good nature. I smiled a lot too. So we stood around smiling and shook hands and off I went. I got a call that there was an opening for a lead guitar player (something I am not) but I really wanted to be a part of this enterprise. I was sure willing to try. Well, again, Calvin was very gracious. But I didn’t get that job—Bobby Shropshire did. And again, we stood around smiling, shook hands and off I went. About two weeks later I received another call to come back down. I wasn't sure what the opening was, but figured somebody didn't work out or something of that nature. Calvin offered me a job as sound man. He said he wanted a musician at that spot, should I ever be needed to fill in. I think back on these encounters and I believe to this day that Calvin hired me because of all the smiling we did. I 14 • Spotlight Magazine

think he saw something positive in me as a young man. My “joie de vivre,” if you will. I knew for whatever reason that I just loved being there at the theatre and talking to anyone who was involved in this wonderful endeavor. I signed on and my life immediately changed and I never looked back. I went to work everyday from 9 till whenever. We were putting a show together. There simply were not enough hours in the day for what we were doing. I was not a cast member then, but we were all brothers and sisters and family. People say that a lot. “Oh, we were like family.” Well, for us it was very, very true. We were maybe two months away from opening night. There was much to be done. I saw it all. The drama, the emotions, the break-downs, and those that quit only to come back with hat in hand. I also saw the joy and satisfaction on Calvin’s face and on ours when the band was tight and transitions started coming together. We were going to have a show! Of that there was no doubt. I saw it all from my vantage point offstage. I knew all the songs, the emcee’s lines and all of the comedian’s jokes and lines, as well. About three weeks before opening night, Calvin had the two main


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Cont. from page 14 writers for the television show Hee-Haw fly in to watch the evolving show. As consultants, I guess you’d say. To watch our finished product and to get their views on what they saw. A couple of days before they were to come to Myrtle Beach Tommy Nabors (then in the role of Bogie ) came down with a bad, bad flu. The long and short of it— Calvin asked me to “fill in” for him as the comedian, Bogie. He said he knew it was short notice and it would be fine if I had to read the script. Well, I didn't have to read it. I had been watching it everyday for so long that I pretty much knew it. What I didn't know was whether my timing, delivery and over-all take on “Bogie” would translate. At that time it didn't much matter. It was an emergency. This is what I know or how I remember it. The Hee-Haw boys knew about the last minute change of comedians. After they saw our show, they told Calvin that whatever the reason that this guy (being me) was up there—this is the guy you want. I also know that Calvin had made that decision independently. Now Calvin had to convince me. You’d think that I would have jumped at this opportunity to get out of the sound booth and into the cast. Not so. I didn't know if I could do this. My confidence, not to mention my experience was relegated to that one show. Calvin offered me a pay increase, but that really was the least of it. What he offered me in our meeting was confidence. He told me I had a natural ability and he went on to tell me stories about some of the better comedians 16 • Spotlight Magazine

(“Gabby” Gumm, Eric’s uncle, in particular) in the theaters in Missouri. Something I knew nothing about. But most of all he offered me free rein in developing this character and said that if I wanted to put a writing team together, he would support that. This was important to me. The bottom line is that I took this opportunity seriously. It was not an easy decision. I was known in certain circles as a singer/ songwriter. Some thought I was going to black my tooth out and become a hillbilly comedian. (That was never in Calvin's vision when he came up with the character Bogie.) My decision was based on many factors, but that meeting with Calvin was paramount to believing that this was where I belonged. From the moment I started working onstage with emcee Tony Teachey, it was obvious that what he and I had was pretty close to magical. I can’t think of a better word for what it was and what it became…. A short year later I was looking out the top window of the theatre an hour before show time. The crowd from the ticket booth snaked all the way down the side of that old building in Surfside and disappeared around the back. I was home. What followed was nothing short of phenomenal. What I have learned about my craft and this business can’t be learned in any school. I like to believe that I played a big part in the success of the Carolina Opry. For the rest of my life on this earth, it is something that no one can ever take away from me. I am extremely proud of that.


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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 27th 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 many 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 Eric Gumm Comedy, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Electric Bass 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 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 Templeton is from Lake Wylie, SC. By the age of 10, Christie had several musicals, talent shows and TV appearances under her belt, including the lead role in the production of Annie. Known as the "little one with the big voice," Christie's versatility is unmatched. 24 • Spotlight Magazine

Christie was a featured vocalist for Grammy Award winning Lee Greenwood and has shared the stage with Billy Ray Cyrus, John Michael Montgomery and the Oak Ridge Boys. Christie's greatest accomplishment is the day her family "accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, for without Him nothing is possible." Christie shares her home with original cast member and true love Steve Templeton and their children Lauren and Cole. She gives credit to God, her loving husband, family and fans. "The gift of music is a special thing to have and I will continue to use it for His glory and honor as long as I am able to."

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 Campbell’s Hee-Haw show 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.


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Meet the Cast 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.

Brad Long Emcee, 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 26 • Spotlight Magazine

vocals. Brad Long’s clear, powerful, yet controlled tenor voice and rock-tinged country style absolutely shout “Nashville star.” He has a strong work ethic and a desire to continually improve. And as a result, he is making the connections. Brad has shared the stage with such luminaries as Dwight Yoakam, Jason Aldean, Craig Morgan, Little Big Town, and Justin Moore. He polished his stage performances to a high gloss and continues to strive to improve. In short, he’s doing all of the things a budding country star needs to do to gain lasting success.

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 at church and after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel H i l l , Ta n g e n a 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 and baby boy Deacon Mishler.


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Meet the Cast Trent Wideman

Ralph Geddes

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

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 B o b H o p e ’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.

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.

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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, 30 • 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.


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Meet the Cast Steve Wilkerson, Jr.

Jeff Simmons

Percussion, Drums Steve Wilkerson Jr. was born in Arkansas with music in his blood. At the age of 9, Steve started playing drums in church with his family and by 14 he had made a career playing and engineering in the recording industry in Nashville, TN. In 2003 Steve moved to Branson, MO to work in live entertainment. He has played with such groups as: The Braschler Family Music Group, Clay Coopers Country Music Express, and The Paul Harris Show. For the last three years Steve has performed with the Internet Sensation “The Cleverly Trio� in Branson, MO and has even been blessed to play at the Grand Ole Opry with the group and follow in his parents footsteps, as they both performed there with Charley Louvin. Steve is very thankful for the talents that the Lord has blessed him with and loves to entertain.

Saxophone, Keyboards, Piano, Musical Arrangement and Charting, Brass Section Leader A n a t i v e o f A t l a n t a , J e ff earned his Bachelor's in music at the University of Georgia, and received his Master's in music at the University of South Carolina. Jeff has performed with such diverse artists as Ray Charles, Mary Wilson, The Temptations, Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Savannah Jazz Orchestra, The Carolina Philharmonic, and The North C a r o l i n a S y m p h o n y. 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. He is also Director of Music at Pawleys Mission Abbey in Pawleys Island, SC. Jeff resides in Myrtle Beach with his wife, Trina and their two boys Hunter and Jacob.


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Spotlight Magazine • 33


Meet the Cast Paul Sweetman

Wendy 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 S a h e r, w h o 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 twentyfive years and every entertainment genre, from live television to musical theater. He has been involved with such artists as Donny 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.

Production Manager, Video Design, Costuming Wendy developed her love and appreciation for production from her mother, who was a gospel singer and songwriter, and her father, 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. We n d y ’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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A

N A T I O N A L

H I S T O R I C

L A N D M A R K

From cruises on the creek and overland excursions on the Trekker, to engaging animal programs, a butterfly house and the Enchanted Storybook Forest there is always something new and exciting at Brookgreen Gardens. For more information call

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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 Spotlight Magazine • 35 American sculpture and regional plants, animals, and history.


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 gradu ation. She then ventured to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she studied musical theatre at the Cincinnati C o l l e g e Conservatory of Music. After 6 36 • Spotlight Magazine

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.

Michael Cook Sound Design A native of Lexington, NC, Mike's first job in the Audio Field was for SE Systems as an audio technician and sales manager in 1976. During the '80s and '90s he provided sound services for national acts such as The Beach Boys, The Doobie Brothers, and Petra. During that time he was hired as audio technician by The Gatlin Brothers and spent the next 15 years as their engineer. He moved to Myrtle Beach and in 1999 he started his own production comp a n y, M C Sound Light and Video. He appreciates working with the state-of-theart electronics at The Carolina Opry as well as some of the most talented musicians and entertainers in the Nation.


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Meet the Cast Mike Curtis

Mark Clifford

One of the most recognizable names in the clogging world, Mike Curtis began in individual clogging competitions over 20 years ago and has won hundreds of titles including 2 Duet National Championships. After years in the competition circuit, Curtis knew it was time for something more and he formed the group All That! with three of his best friends and former competitors. All That! soon stepped out of the clogging world and into mainstream success.

Mark Clifford started his dancing career at the age of five. In 1996 Mark accepted a dance scholarship to Mars Hill College where he studied and received a B.A. for Corporate Communication. As a national instructor Mark has traveled all across the United States teaching master classes and choreography for many clogging teams. With international travels, Mark has performed in Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and now Hong Kong. Mark has been a member of All That! since the group's inception.

Brad Berry Brad Berry grew up in Prospect, Ohio and started competitive clogging at the age of 12. Brad has toured around the world with Atlanta based Irish Step Dancing group Dancing On Common Ground and Berlin based troupe, Magic of the Dance. Between those tours Berry also spent 2 summers in Branson, MO at Silver Dollar City dancing in their original productions. Brad joined the clogging group All That! In May of 2006.

Ethan Stewart Ethan Stewart is 22 years old and has been clogging since the age of 6. He danced throughout the country on a competitive team for 14 years, got the opportunity to dance at the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge, TN., and has now been given the opportunity to join All That!

Amongst the group's renowned performances are: Fox’s 30 Seconds to fame, ABC Family’s Dance Fever, CBS’ Star Search, and, most recently, semifinalists for an unprecedented 2nd time on NBC’s smash hit, America’s Got Talent. All That! was also presented the “Pioneer Award,” Clogging’s highest honor, for their huge contribution to promoting the dance. 38 • Spotlight Magazine


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Meet the Cast Photography by Rick Doss • 843-333-5006

The Carolina Opry Dancers

L to R: Megan Daniel Curtis , Brandy Leviner, Gretchen McCutcheon, Kayla Roche

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Spotlight Magazine • 41


Meet the Cast


44 • Spotlight Magazine


Spotlight Magazine • 45


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



Fall 2013 Spotlight Magazine