Sandlapper Society

Chart-topping Musicians from South Carolina

Brook Benton

Benjamin Franklin Peay was born in Lugoff in 1931 and grew up singing gospel in his church choir. As a young man, he went to New Your City to seek a singing career and was signed by a record label as a solo artist. The label changed his name to Brook Benton. His best-known hit is Rainy Night In Georgia.

James Brown

James Brown is known as the "Godfather of Soul" and the "hardest working man in show business." Although born in Barnwell County on May 3, 1933, Brown has called Beech Island home for many years. In a career that spans four decades, Brown has had 98 Top 40 Billboard R&B singles, 17 making it number one. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received a Grammy Life Achievement Award.

Peabo Bryson

This Grammy Award winning R & B and soul singer/songwriter was born in Greenville in 1951. Among his hits are the duets Beauty and the Beast with Celine Dion and Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You with Roberta Flack.

Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker was born Ernest Evans on Oct. 3, 1941, in Spring Gulley, and later moved to Philadelphia. While still attending South Philadelphia High School , Chubby made his first record. Just before graduation, the record company asked Checker to record The Twist. Checker recorded the tune and before graduation, the song and Checker were hits.

Patrick Davis

A Camden native, Patrick Davis is a performer and Nashville songwriter whose songs have been recorded by some of country music's biggest stars, including Darius Rucker and Jewel.

John Birks 'Dizzy' Gillespie

Born Oct. 21, 1917 in Cheraw, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie is considered by some as the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time. During a career that spanned over five decades, Gillespie performed with the giants of the jazz era - Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Cab Calloway, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughn and Coleman Hawkins among them. Among his many awards, Gillespie was honored with a Grammy in 1975 for best jazz performance.

Hootie and the Blowfish

Jim "Soni" Sonefeld, Daruis Rucker, Dean Felber and Mark Bryan began making music together while students at the University of South Carolina. Their debut album, Cracked Rear View is one of the best selling records of all time. Today, Felber, Bryan and Rucker live in Charleston. Sonefeld lives in Columbia. In 2008, Rucker began a career in Country Music. His first country album spawned two number one hits and he and was named Best New Artist in 2009 by the Country Music Association.

Edwin McCain

Born in 1970 in Greenville, McCain is a platinum recording artist with six albums to his credit. His most popular hit so far is I'll Be.

John Phillips

The founder of the Mammas and the Pappas was born at Parris Island in 1935. Two of the groups' biggest hits were California Dreamin and Monday Monday.

Bill Pinkney

Bill Pinkney was born in Dalzell in 1925 and grew up singing gospel music. He served in the Army during World War II, landing on the beach at Normandy in the d-Day invasion and won a Presidential citation with four bronze stars for his service. After the war, he returned to singing and met the other members of the Original Drifters. Their music is still popular and has become a staple of the beach music scene.  

Brook Benton

James Brown

Peabo Bryson

Chubby Checker 

Dizzy Gillespie

 

Hootie & the Blowfish

 

Edwin McCain

 

Bill Pinkney & the Original Drifters