Summertime fun! The learning continues on!

Images from content featured in June 2020 on

Knowitall is full of great places to explore—all over South Carolina—and beyond!

This month, we’ll feature our Series, Collections, Interactives and VRs – Let’s Go! and Let’s Go! CAREERS. These areas make it easy to locate the resources that interest you! From Artopia to Zoo Minutes, there’s something for everyone!



Educators, please add this link to to your school website and encourage your students to access this content throughout the summer! 

Link to

In addition, the Knowitall Blogs are packed with information that students can use as a guide all summer long. If you’d like to link to the Knowitall Blogs, they are available here:

Link to Knowitall Blogs:



Featured in June

SC African American History Calendar: June Honoree – James S. Hall

Reverend James S. Hall Jr. was born in 1932, in Marion, S.C. to Reverend James S. Hall Sr. and Mrs. Eliza Hall. Hall attended primary school in Marion and then earned a B.S. in Education and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Morris College in Sumter, S.C. He received honorary degrees from Morris College, Fuller Normal School in Greenville, S.C., A.M.E. Seminary in Monrovia, West Africa, and studied Pastoral Psychology at Temple University.

Throughout Hall’s career, he has been a resolute advocate for civil rights and the voiceless. In high school, he organized a boycott against a major bread company after a deliveryman struck a black female storekeeper for complaining about delivery of stale bread. While at Morris College, he was removed from his radio broadcast and threatened when he spoke out against racism and segregation.

In October 1959, Jackie Robinson, the famed baseball player, was a keynote speaker for the South Carolina NAACP annual conference in Greenville. When Robinson prepared to depart the Greenville Municipal Airport, Rev. Hall, Mrs. Hall, and others accompanied him. While waiting in the main airport lounge, the group was told to move to the colored section. They refused, which culminated with Hall organizing the first march on the Greenville Municipal Airport in January 1960. In subsequent sit-ins in Greenville and throughout the South, organizers were jailed for civil rights advocacy.

Before organizing the Triumph Baptist Church of Philadelphia in 1969, Hall pastored Mount Rona Baptist Church (Florence, S.C.), Rafting Creek Baptist Church (Sumter, S.C.), Springfield Baptist Church (Greenville, S.C.) and Morris Chapel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pa.

Reverend Hall has served as Vice President of the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, and the S.C. NAACP and as President of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Greenville, Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), the Baptist Minister’s Conference, and the Pennsylvania Baptist Convention. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Morris College.

As senior advisor to lawmakers representing Pennsylvania, Hall continues to give voice to the voiceless within his community. Awards presented to Hall include the Unity Global PUSH Legend of Civil Rights, South Carolina Shining Star Award from the South Carolina E&M Baptist State Convention, and the Legacy in Social Justice Award from Rainbow Push. In 2019, the Rev. Dr. James S. Hall Jr. Lecture Series in Philadelphia was named in his honor.

*** Please note: The production schedule for our Knowitall videos has been delayed due to concerns about the Coronavirus. We hope to provide the videos on each month’s honoree soon. Thank you for your patience.

Presented through a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV

View the video on  (Coming soon) 

The Series is available here.

View the video on YouTube (Coming soon)

Download the SC African American History Calendar here

Videos produced by Andrew Davis. ​



Featured Summertime Viewing - Knowitall Series

Continue the Learning!

Activities (Tablet Friendly)

(This link takes you to content that has been upgraded to play on your mobile device.)



A comprehensive web-based experience for students, covering the visual and performing arts. Students will learn art history via animated one-minute movies, be guided on how to closely examine important works of art, and view videos of professional artists at work.


Step inside Artopia's Dance lobby! Students can learn about the history of dance by exploring Art History.  Under Be a Dance Critic, students are guided on how to closely examine a variety of dances.  In Meet a Dancer, watch videos of dancers at work.

Media Arts

Step inside Artopia's Media Arts lobby! Students can learn about media arts history by exploring Art History.  Under Be a Media Critic, students are guided on how to closely examine a variety of media types like television, radio, photography and film.  In Meet an Artist, watch videos of artists at work.


Step inside Artopia's Music lobby! Students can learn about music history by exploring Art History.  

Under Be a Music Critic, students are guided on how to closely examine musical performances and how various instruments sound.  In Meet a Musician, students can watch videos of musicians from various genres including classical, jazz, gospel and more.


Step inside Artopia's Painting lobby! Students can learn about the history of painting by exploring Art History. Under Be a Painting Critic, students are guided on how to critique paintings with a similar theme.  In Meet a Painter, watch videos of painters at work.


Step inside Artopia's Sculpture lobby! Students can learn about the history of sculpture by exploring Art History. Under Be a Sculpture Critic, students are guided on how to closely examine five different types of sculptures: (1) carving, (2) casting, (3) modeling, (4) assemblage & soft sculpture and (5) earthworks, installations & beyond. In Meet a Sculptor, watch videos of artists at work.


Step inside Artopia's Theater lobby! Students can learn about the history of theater by exploring Art History. Under Be a Theater Critic, students are guided on how to critique theater productions. In Meet an Artist, watch videos of theater professionals at work.


Gullah Net

GullahNet and its host, Aunt Pearlie Sue (Anita Singleton-Prather), introduce Gullah culture and language to children on the web.

Gullah Culture

What is Gullah?

Located on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia are communities of people who are the descendants of enslaved Africans. They have a unique culture that is directly linked to West Africa. In South Carolina, this group of African-Americans and the language they speak are referred to as Gullah (Gul-luh). In Georgia, they are called Geechee (Gee-chee). Native Islanders is another term that refers to the Gullah and Geechee people.

Many historians believe that the word "Gullah" comes from Angola, a West African country from which many of the slaves came. Another idea is that "Gullah" is from the Gola, a tribe found near the border of Liberia and Sierra Leone, West Africa. Although the exact origin of the word is not known, most historians agree that the Gullah people and their language have African roots. View now!

Gullah Music

The Gullah Music website was created to introduce children to the evolution of African music in America through Gullah history and culture. Gullah is the name of the descendants of enslaved Africans who lived on the Sea Islands of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida. It is also the language spoken by the islanders.

Aunt Pearlie Sue and her sidekick stick Reverend Leroy take visitors on a musical journey to listen and learn how African music influenced many styles of music in America. Explore work songs, spirituals, play songs and the blues. 

Music Activities

The Journey

Explore the evolution of African music in America. Be sure to read all about the musical genres, so you won’t miss all the connections!


Gullah Tales

Native Islanders share their folklore and history through storytelling and singing. Gullah storytellers often perform folktales that feature animals as the main characters. Much like tales heard in Africa, the smaller animals often outsmart the bigger ones. A good example is the trickster named Brer Rabbit. He is a direct descendant of Cunnie Rabbit, the clever character in African folklore. 

Storytellers in West Africa have always been respected members of their communities. Today, Gullah storytellers like Anita Singleton-Prather (Aunt Pearlie Sue) carry on this tradition of acting out characters by changing their voice and making animated facial expressions. During a live performance, one storytelling technique is to get the audience involved by asking them to repeat words.

Play the interactive stories or watch the video-based stories below.

Interactive Stories

Listen to the English and Gullah version of popular fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs and more. Students can learn about the importance of friendship and how to be a good friend.

The following Gullah Tales have been re-purposed for viewing on desktop or mobile devices.





History In A Nutshell

History In A Nutshell provides videos that address topics on which few resources were previously available. These videos will be fewer than ten minutes long and will tell the story of an entire event from our history, in a fast-paced, engaging style!

The History In A Nutshell Series currently includes these episodes:

Learn about World War I, how the war started, the U.S.' involvement, fighting the war, and the aftermath with the Treaty of Versailles.

In January of 1918, a deadly H1N1 strain of Influenza called the "Spanish Flu" began sweeping across the globe. This flu, also known as "Strain A" or "Avian Flu", took its toll worldwide, infecting mainly young adults, and even South Carolinians had to face this flu without any real forms of medicine. Learn how the Pandemic first arrived in South Carolina, along with its socio-economic effects, and measures taken to combat its spread.

After the American Revolution, the new United States of America needed to form a permanent government of its own. Why did the Articles of Confederation fail, and how did the U.S. Constitution come to be? This episode of "History In A Nutshell" answers those questions!

In the late 1950s, and throughout the 1960s, the U.S. was in the middle of The Cold War with the Soviet Union. Both sides tried to out-perform one another in every way, including scientific advancements and setting records. The Soviet Union had kicked off the "Space Race" when they launched the first man-made satellite called "Sputnik."  In this episode of History In A Nutshell, follow the events leading up to the U.S. landing on the moon; from test pilots and Project Mercury, through Gemini and the Apollo program!

Also included in this episode is a bonus feature! For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the South Carolina State Museum hosted a special screening of the PBS documentary Chasing The Moon. During this event, and SCETV got the opportunity to interview two South Carolinians who helped recover Apollo spacecraft after they returned from their journeys to the moon! 

The French and Indian War played a significant role in shaping North America as we know it today. Although it officially began in 1756 as part of the Seven Years War, the French and Indian War had engagements taking place years prior. Between the British and French colonists, and the Native Americans all living on the same continent, a conflict was only inevitable. The French and Indian War was a fight for supremacy of the Ohio Valley region, between the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, also known as "the Forks of the Ohio."

Part one takes place between 1754-1756 - outlining how the conflict begins, with escalating political and economic tensions in the Ohio Valley. Part two briefly takes viewers through the war itself, after war is officially declared in 1756 (1756-1763). Find out how the results of the French and Indian War set the stage for the American colonies declaring independence from Great Britain!

  • Please note: Teachers, we are currently taking suggestions for future episodes to cover topics that would be the most beneficial in your classrooms! If there are historical topics that you think should be added to Knowitall, please let us know! Thank you!


Hobby Shop

The place for hands-on math and science activities and games.

Balloon Blast

Learn how velocity and distance work in this balloon blast game. A catapult is a military device that was used in ancient and medieval times to hurl stones, spears, and other objects. There were many different types of catapults developed and used throughout history. The most  well-known catapult is the bucket catapult, which used a winched down - arm with a bucket on the end to toss objects. The catapult used in our Balloon Blast game is called a trebuchet.


Learn how to use a compound microscope and a dissecting microscope.


Choose and customize a rocket. Launch your rocket and learn about Newton's Laws.


Kids Work!

A virtual community of workplaces designed to give students an interactive job exploration experience that connects school work to real work. Each area includes History, Job Play activities, Work Zone and Real People at work.

In each workplace, please be sure to start with the History area, then proceed to Job Play, then to Real People, and finally to the Work Zone area at each work site!


 A hospital is a place where sick and injured people go for medical and surgical treatment. Highly skilled health care professionals use the latest technology to make hospital visits as short and painless as possible. 

Real People: Hospital

View profiles with real life hospital professionals.

Workone: Hospital

Learn more about a real workplace and the Kids Work! Hospital. 



Telecommunications is the word we use for the science and technology of sending messages using electricity. Visit ETV and learn about people who work in media.

Job Play: Television


Real People: Television

View profiles with real life television professionals.

WorkZone: Television Station



The word theater means a “place for seeing,” but theater is more than just a building where plays are performed. It’s the whole idea behind what happens there. Theater is where playwrights write scripts, directors supervise rehearsals, set designers and technical crew work behind-the-scenes, and the actors perform on stage. All of these people have an important role in the theater, but it is not true theater until an audience is there to experience it.

Job Play: Theater

Real People: Theater

View profiles of real life theater professionals. Four of the interviews are from members of the Disney’s Beauty and the Beast U.S. National Tour and three are from the Peace Center for Performing Arts in Greenville, S.C.


WorkZone: Theater



Let’s Go! – Try Out Our 3D VRs!

Virtual reality tours of some of our state’s most historic sites - now featuring 12 different locations! Experience the VRs using the Matterport phone apps with either a Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.

The mission of the Catawba Cultural Center is to preserve, protect, promote and maintain the rich cultural heritage of the Catawba Indian Nation through efforts in archives, archeology, tribal historic preservation, native crafts, cultural education, and tourism development. The Cultural Center provides an overview of the rich culture and history of the Catawba Indian Nation. There are exhibits that can be seen at no charge and a member of the staff will be happy to answer any questions that you have. There is also a craft store in the center that features crafts from many of our native artisans.

Fort Hill, the antebellum plantation of John C. Calhoun, South Carolina’s pre-eminent 19th century statesman, started as a four-room Clergy Hall. Through a succession of Calhoun-Clemson women, Fort Hill would come into Thomas Green Clemson’s possession. In 1888, Clemson bequeathed three-fourths of the Fort Hill plantation and $80,000 to the state of South Carolina for the establishment of a public scientific and agricultural college. He willed that Fort Hill “shall always be open for the inspection of visitors."

The H.L. Hunley submarine made history during the American Civil War when she became the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat. In February 1864, the Hunley, under command of Lieutenant George E. Dixon, sank the U.S.S. Housatonic; a Union blockade vessel. The Hunley's mission was a success, but disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and never returned to port. The Hunley was the third in a series of submarines constructed by engineers Horace Lawson Hunley, Baxter Watson, and James McClintock. Before the Hunley's successful attack on the Housatonic, the Hunley had two accidents, the second of which claimed Horace Hunley's life. 

Located in York County near Rock Hill, Brattonsville is home to structures that range from a pre-Revolutionary War cabin to an antebellum plantation.

The Mann-Simons Site, home to the same entrepreneurial African American family for nearly 130 years, traces the journey of Columbia’s African American community from enslavement through urban renewal. 

Located in downtown Charleston, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon is nationally recognized as one of our country’s most significant historical sites.

Completed by 1713, The Powder Magazine is the oldest governmental building in South Carolina. This facility was used as an arsenal from 1713 - 1748 to defend the colony from the Spanish, French, pirates, slave rebellion and native attacks. It was then temporarily reinstated by the Continental Army during the American Revolution. 

After 1780, The Powder Magazine was retired; however, private owners discovered a variety of other functions for this historic structure. Throughout the 19th century, The Powder Magazine was converted to a stable, print shop, blacksmith shop, wine cellar, and horse carriage house. In 1902, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of South Carolina purchased the building, saving it from being destroyed. It was then restored and opened as a museum.

The South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum's mission is to collect and preserve the military history of this state. When visitors enter Columbia's oldest museum, they will uncover the state's military history from the Revolutionary War to the present War on Terror.

Located in the capital city of Columbia, the State House and its grounds are a living monument to South Carolina’s rich history. Take a 3D virtual tour inside the SC State House.

The Upcountry History Museum is a history museum in Greenville, South Carolina that displays the regional history of fifteen upstate South Carolina counties from the early 18th century to the present.

USS Yorktown (CV-10) was an Essex-class aircraft carrier that served with the US Navy in World War II and the Vietnam War. World War II’s famous “Fighting Lady” would participate significantly in the Pacific offensive that began in late 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945. The Yorktown received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II. In the 1950s, the Yorktown was modernized to operate jet aircraft as an attack carrier (CVA). In 1957, she was re-designated an anti-submarine aircraft carrier (CVS), and would later earn 5 battle stars for service off Vietnam (1965-68). The ship also recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule (December 1968). The Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970 and placed in reserve. Today, the ship is a floating military museum located at Patriot's Point in Charleston, S.C.   

The Woodrow Wilson House in Columbia is the only museum in the nation dedicated to telling the story of Reconstruction. Located at 1705 Hampton Street, in historic downtown Columbia, South Carolina, this is the home where President Woodrow Wilson spent four years of his childhood. The house was built in 1871, during the height of the Reconstruction era; a tumultuous period in United States and South Carolina history. Today, the house is a museum, devoted to showing Columbia's struggle to rebuild itself after the Civil War, and the Wilson family's time spent in the home. 



Let’s Go! CAREERS – New Career Explorations Series!

Using career profiles and 360 videos, Let's Go! CAREERS bring students virtually inside the work environment, especially in areas that need skilled workers.

Health Science


Public Safety

Transportation & Logistics

  • Please note:

Higher Education and Workforce Development resources are located here.



NASA CONNECT Math Simulations



NASA Science Simulations

Students learn about these topics and scientific principles while having fun!

*For the version that plays on a mobile device, be sure to click on the “Go to Interactive” link just below each of these simulations.




The story of South Carolina's cultural and natural landscape as told by its rivers. RiverVenture will take you on a virtual "float-trip" across South Carolina, following the Saluda, the Congaree, the Santee, the Cooper, and the Catawba Rivers.



Road Trip Through SC Civil Rights History

Learn about the people and events, and the importance of the civil rights movement in South Carolina from the 1940s to the early 1970s.

  1. Places
  2. People
  3. Facts

Television Series



SC Life

Take a virtual field trip to a South Carolina cove forest and a salt marsh. These virtual field trips were produced in collaboration between Clemson University's SC LIFE Project and South Carolina ETV. The virtual field trips were designed specifically for schools lacking easy access to natural areas.

Cove Forest

Cove forests are unique ecosystems found exclusively in North America, in the southern Appalachian Mountains of the United States. They are a special type of forest known as mixed deciduous, meaning that forest's trees lose their leaves in fall. Cove forests are restricted to mountain "coves," which are bowl-shaped valleys with very rich, fertile, damp soil. Many cove forests have streams wandering through part of the forest. The cove forests of the South exhibit the greatest plant and tree diversity of any forests in the United States.

The Salt Marsh

Salt marshes are found around the world, but the one you are about to tour can be found right here in South Carolina on the North American continent. Salt marshes are located only along the coast. This is because a salt marsh is an area that is flooded by saline (salty) water. The salt marshes are better developed as you move farther south in South Carolina.



Our Knowitall Collections bring together content grouped by a topic, theme or observance, making it easy to locate exactly what you need – just when you need it! Take a few minutes to look through them to see what interests you! A partial list includes African American History, Animal Lovers, Archaeology, Career Explorations, Confederate Flag: S.C. History, Constitution Day, Environmental Awareness, Explore South Carolina, Ghosts & Legends of SC, Higher Education & Workforce Development, Hispanic Heritage, Holocaust Remembrance, Jazz, Knowitall Healthy, Libraries, Literature & Learning, Martin Luther King, Memorial Day, Native American Heritage, Noted South Carolinians, Nutrition, Remembering 9/11, South Carolina Counties, Space Exploration, Veterans Day, Virtual Field Trips & Tours, Wars & Conflicts, Women in Leadership, Women ‘s History and more. View them all here




Dive in…to Knowitall!

Is the summer heat getting to you? Dive in…to Knowitall! This collection is comprised of content that all relates to water, rivers and lakes! Come on in, the water’s fine! Scroll down to view the individual assets that relate to water, rivers, lakes and more…from all over South Carolina!


Activities for Mobile Devices!

You can take these activities with you just about anywhere because they all work on mobile devices. Try them out!

They’re an assortment of our most popular Series – now available on your mobile device for access anytime, anywhere! Choose from Artopia, Gullah Net, Gullah Tales, Hobby Shop, Kids Work! and NASA Onlineor try them all!


Explore South Carolina

Visit locations all over South Carolina – without leaving your chair!




June 2020 - Dates for Your Calendar

June 3 – World Bicycle Day


June 5 – World Environment Day


June 6 – D-Day Anniversary


June 8 - World Oceans Day

Be sure to explore our resources on Sea Change, located under our Series, Climate Change!

Sea Change - From the Climate Change Series

Patrick McMillan takes viewers from the sands of Hunting Island State Park to other communities along coastal South Carolina and Georgia, exploring diverse perspectives on the impact of sea level rise on the Eastern Seaboard.

Interviews with South Carolina authorities and residents about the effects of climate change and ways to find solutions.

Learn about the local impact of climate change on major coastal areas.

Community Leaders Institute - Climate Change: A Global Reality. Watch local panels from area coastal regions.


June 14 – Flag Day

A visit to a flag factory in which we see two ways to make an American flag. In the first, a flag is printed using the sublimation printing process, then screen printing is shown, and we see a hem and a header being sewn. Next, we see American flags being made using grommets or tabs, and being sewn.

Gaffney Embroidery creates all of the starfield patterns that go on our American Flags. It's one of the few in the United States and is located in Gaffney, S.C.


June 17 - Tragedy in Charleston - Charleston A.M.E.

On June 17, we remember the nine individuals who were so tragically lost at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, and we reflect on the events that followed, culminating in the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House on July 10, 2015.

Beginning with the Palmetto Scene Special Report on June 18, 2015, the day following the shootings, and continuing through the live coverage of the removal of the flag from the State House grounds on July 10, 2015.


June 19 – Juneteenth

Commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.


June 21 – Father’s Day

View some of our resources that remind us of the many ways that so many of our fathers have served over the years—throughout our Native American history, the founding of our country, our military history, in Space Exploration, and on 9/11 – to name only a few.


June 21 – World Music Day


Music | Artopia

Art History

Be a Music Critic

Meet a Musician

The Studio


Gullah Music

Music was an important tradition in Africa centuries before Africans were brought to America. Singing was a part of everyday life when people were at work, worship or play. The drum was the most important instrument in addition to the voice. Just like we use telephones today, Africans communicated by playing different beats and rhythms. Sometimes a person called out with a voice or an instrument and then another person answered. This is the call-and-response pattern in music. These traditions in African music are found in popular American music styles today. Continue the journey to find out why.

After the Civil War and emancipation, freed men and women struggled to find work and make a new life for their families. The songs about these difficult times were called the blues, a musical style that grew out of the work songs and spirituals that Africans sang on plantations. The blues used a new call-and-response form known as the A, A, B pattern--the first verse (A) and second verse (A) are the same and the final verse (B) is different. The words to the song, also known as the lyrics, are accompanied by basic chords.

Country music as we know it today grew out of blues and folk music. In country music’s earliest form, southern musicians both white and black, created music for the working class that told stories. Some of the instruments they played included the fiddle, banjo and harmonica. Traditional folk music had English and Celtic roots, and was often accompanied by a fiddle. Blues had elements of African music and was accompanied by the harmonica and the banjo. The banjo is an instrument developed by enslaved Africans based on the banjar, an African instrument with strings stretched across a drum. Although there are not many black country artists today, African Americans had an influence on the development of this popular musical style.

After slavery ended, some African American churches shifted from traditional spirituals to a new kind of religious music called gospel. This style of music brought together the elements of the “shout” songs from the praise houses and some characteristics of the blues. The lyrics had Christian themes and the rhythm was upbeat. Unlike the blues, gospel had a hopeful message. Thomas A. Dorsey had a major influence on the development of gospel music. He began his career as a pianist for blues singers like Gertrude “Ma” Rainey but he left the blues scene for the church and composed over 500 gospel songs. He is considered "The Father of Gospel" and the singer Mahalia Jackson is known as "The Queen of Gospel.” Some pop singers--like Whitney Houston--got their start singing gospel in the church.

Students will understand traditional blues form that contains three four-measure phrases that follow the pattern AAB. Let Reverend Leroy show you how to express your sad feelings by composing a blues song.

African call-and-response patterns and improvisation survived the Middle Passage and became two of the basic elements of one of today’s most popular forms of music. In the 1970s, rap music began in New York City when African American youth began rhyming to recorded music and beats. This musical style can be traced to West Africa, where storytellers called griots told the tribal news, history, folklore and religion to the rhythm of the drum. Just like griots, rappers tell stories about their lives to a beat.

Jazz music was born out of the blues. The key element was syncopation (syn-co-pa-tion) that stressed the off beats of the rhythm. In the same way that Gullah language is a mixture of African and European languages, jazz is a combination of African and European music. Although New Orleans was the birthplace of jazz, South Carolina also has a great jazz history. Beginning in the 1890s, the instructors at the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston taught African American children to read and play music. The boys performed in traveling bands that raised money for the institution. When they became adults, many including Jabbo Smith, Cat Anderson and Freddie Green played in jazz bands led by famous leaders like Duke Ellington and Count Basie. South Carolina was also home to trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, one of the most well-known and talented musicians in jazz history. He helped to develop two new jazz styles, Bebop and Afro-Cuban Jazz.

European slave traders brought Africans to the New World on ships as early as the 1400s. These voyages across the Atlantic Ocean are called the Middle Passage. It was a terrible experience for the Africans who were packed between decks in areas too small to stand in. They used their voices to express their sadness and pain. Over half of the people died or jumped overboard due to the harsh conditions on the slave ships. Charleston was one of the main ports for ships arriving from Africa and the West Indies. When they arrived, Africans were sold into slavery to work on plantations owned by European settlers. Many of the plantations were located on the South Carolina Sea Islands. 

Rhythm and blues was an early form of rock and roll but it also contributed to a smoother sounding musical style called soul. In 1960, Berry Gordy, Jr. began a recording label in Detroit, Michigan called Motown that featured soul music. Motown Records became popular with stars such as The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and the Jackson Five. Soul was just one style of music that has been called pop music. Pop usually describes popular music of the time. One of South Carolina’s most famous pop singers, James Brown, is known as “The Godfather of Soul.” His style of music is also called rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and funk. It may seem confusing but James Brown’s music is an example of how one artist can perform different styles of music that become pop.

Students will understand how enslaved Africans created music for their worship experience. Religious meetings in “praise houses” provided the spiritual outlet for enslaved Africans on the plantation and resembled West African communal traditions. The “ring shout” included rhythmic hand clapping, spiritual singing and movement in a counterclockwise circle with folks making sure never to cross their feet.

Aunt Pearlie-Sue introduces us to Reverend Leroy and to instruments used to play music including African Drums, a Walking Stick, parts of the body used to express music, such as hands clapping, and also to Gourd Shakers, and a Ring Shout.

Reggae music is a Jamaican style of music that has roots in African music and rhythm and blues, or early rock and roll. Reggae songs are usually about social issues, politics and the Rastafarian religion, an African religion that many Jamaicans follow. An early form of reggae was ska music. Ska is a faster, upbeat style of music that was influenced by the New Orleans rhythm and blues music heard on U.S. radio stations in Jamaica. Reggae music characteristics include offbeat syncopation, upstroke guitar strums and chanting lyrics. Bob Marley and the Wailers became a well-known reggae group in the 1970s. They helped to spread reggae music internationally.

Blues and country music contributed to a style called rhythm and blues. This was an early form of what we now call rock and roll. It appealed to a younger audience that liked to dance to the sounds of music created by African American artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Fats Domino. Parents and older Americans in the 1950s didn’t think rock and roll music would last but white performers like Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley helped to spread early rock music to a wider audience. By the 1960s, rock and roll was more than just music. It was a youth movement around the world. Black rhythm and blues artists influenced British rock and roll groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Today, rock and roll musicians are influenced by many different musical styles including blues, country, jazz, gospel and rap. One of South Carolina's most famous rock and roll groups today is Hootie and the Blowfish. 

Students will understand that music and material culture became a mode of covert communication between slaves. Aunt Pearlie Sue is our guide as students uncover hidden messages in the work songs enslaved Africans sang in the fields. And, some believe that the patterns sewn into quilts were designed as directions for navigating the Underground Railroad.

Aunt Pearlie-Sue teaches us a fun play song, “Shake Em, Shake Em.”

Music is another important part of life on the Sea Islands. Most of the Gullah music is found in religious  practices. Although spirituals had a Christian message, they were heartfelt expressions of the slave experience. The melody and rhythm of the songs are similar to African spirituals. The "shout" is an African custom often performed in praise houses during prayer meetings. Listen to The Gullah Kinfolk sing "Cum Out De Weederness" (Come Out The Wilderness) above.

Spirituals developed at the same time as work songs on the plantations. Although they were religious songs with a Christian message, spirituals were also heartfelt expressions of the slave experience. Some of the melodies of the spirituals were similar to those in Africa. Enslaved Africans worshiped together in one-room meeting places called Praise Houses. These small buildings became the center of the Gullah community. Plantation owners did not permit drums, so the people kept the rhythm of the spirituals with handclaps and foot stomps. They did a dance called the ring shout, singing and moving together in a circle. Someone called out a phrase and the rest answered. After slavery ended, African Americans performed spirituals in concert halls for white audiences.

Enslaved Africans sang songs as they worked to help keep the pace of the task they were doing. A leader called out a verse or yell and others responded. This is the call-and-response singing tradition from Africa that became a part of life on the plantation. In Africa they always used drums for communicating, but European masters didn't allow drums on the plantation. They knew the people could use them to send messages to each other. What they didn’t know was that some of the work songs were not about work or religion, but they had a hidden meaning. These secret code songs were often about escaping to freedom.



This song has a Middle Eastern musical style, clearly stating the concept, "An adjective is a word that describes a noun." It then elaborates on how descriptions might include such characteristics as color, shape, size, age, smell, taste, feel, attitude, worth, and more!

The Montford Point Marines were based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and were the first African American Marines to serve in the military, following an executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 that required the armed services to recruit and enlist African Americans. B.S. Plair…

Atonal music is music that isn’t written in a key, music that doesn’t follow the traditional rules of harmony. But although the term “atonal” tells us what a piece isn’t, it doesn’t tell us what it is. Many different styles and musical languages, whether harsh or lush, cool or intense, simple or complex can…

Atonality and dissonance are often linked in listeners’ minds, but they’re not the same thing. Dissonance, from the Latin words for “sounding” and “apart,” is the simultaneous sounding of two or more notes to produce a clashing, or unpleasant effect. Its opposite is consonance, a pleasing sound, a…

Since 1986, Myrtle Beach has become a hot spot for live entertainment, with theater, live music, comedy, adventure, and death defying thrills. Theatrical productions have become an important part of the Myrtle Beach experience. 

Gullah is the blending of all the cultures that came together during that horrible time in human history called the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The connection between Barbados and South Carolina is still prevalent today, especially in the Lowcountry: everything from the Gullah language, to music, cuisine…

Sonatas and Soundscapes explores the diverse and colorful range of classical (and not-so-classical) music. Every weekday host Bradley Fuller programs instrumental music from history’s repertoire—everything from baroque to experimentalism. Originally from Greenwood, South Carolina…

This lesson is an introduction to The Magical Theater of Music. Little advance preparation is necessary for the viewing. Since the generic name “opera” has pejorative connotations in the minds of many, both children and adults, the word “opera” will not be used until the end of this series. Teachers and…

"B" is for Brown, James (1933-2006). Musician. Born in Barnwell County, Brown began his career in Augusta in the 1950s when he formed the Flames—the first of a series of backing bands that would contribute to the evolution of his trademark sound. His first hit came with the 1956 release of “Please

Carlisle Floyd is one of the foremost composers and librettists of opera in the United States. Born in Latta, South Carolina in 1926, Floyd earned degrees in piano and composition at Syracuse University. He began his teaching career in 1947 at Florida State University, remaining there until 1976, when he…

Chamber music rehearsals are very different from orchestra rehearsals. In an orchestra rehearsal, it’s the conductor’s job to make the overall musical decisions and to ensure that the members of the orchestra carry them out. What the conductor says goes. A chamber music group, on the other hand…

“C” is for Chapman, Martha Marshall, II [b. 1949]. Musician. A native of Spartanburg, Chapman moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt and has lived there much of her adult life. Classified by many as a country-music artist, Chapman and her style have been difficult to categorize. Her success in the 1970s…

 Jenkins Orphanage was established by Rev. Daniel J. Jenkins for African American children who were orphans or had poor or disabled parents. Enrollment at the orphanage grew to include over 500 children. In addition to this building, the orphanage included a 100-acre farm, a print shop, and a shoe…

“C” is for Charleston Renaissance [ca. 1915-1940]. The Charleston Renaissance was a multifaceted cultural renewal. Artists, musicians, writers, historians, and preservationists—individually and in groups—fueled a revival that reshaped the city’s destiny. The Renaissance benefitted from a large…

Charlie’s Place was a jazz club where White and African American patrons alike were welcome during segregation. After World War II, there was an ever increasing popularity for the musical movement known as "Rhythm and Blues." Rhythm and Blues, along with a new invention called the Jukebox…

Born in 1917, John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was a famous jazz and “be-bop” musician from Cheraw County, South Carolina.  Mr. Norman Poe, a life-long friend to Dizzy Gillespie, reminisces.  

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie got his nickname because he liked to make jokes and act up on stage. He was one of the greatest of all jazz musicians, and the most famous native of Cheraw, South Carolina. During the 1950s, when the Civil Rights movement was heating up, Gillespie served as an official ambassador…

After finishing a set in 2006, Justin Smith was introduced to someone who, on the surface, may have been an unlikely collaborator for his acoustic sound ---hip hop artist, FatRat Da Czar. At a recording studio in Columbia, the two recall that day and the few weeks that followed as the beginning of the…

One of Conway’s many fascinating shops is Jennings Chesnut’s shop, where he makes mandolins, and other musical instruments.  Jennings discusses making instruments, and the inspirations behind his profession.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast began as an animated film. Expanding the movie into a musical stage production was not easy, but talented theater professionals created a spectacular show of award-winning songs, stunning costumes and sets, and dazzling special effects. In 1994, Disney’s Beauty and…

Jazz legend John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, was born in Cheraw, South Carolina. Dizzy Gillespie, Cheraw's claim to fame, filled many musical roles, such as trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer. Gillespie is also known for being at the forefront of the new music genre known as “bebop.” Dizzy comes back…

Friends and fellow musicians reminisce about the time they first met Dizzy Gillespie. 

"From the Be to the Bop: The Musical Legacy of Dizzy Gillespie." An excerpt from South Carolina ETV's Carolina Stories.

Already during their lifetimes, Antonin Dvorák and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky were among the most famous composers in the world. Their music is extremely sophisticated, the product of highly skilled composers, and their beautiful melodies have always been especially beloved. Some critics, though…

Jazz music originated in the United States. It was created by African Americans in the early 1900s. The sound of jazz was influenced by West African rhythms and music, and American folk music. A typical jazz band contains some combination of drums, piano, guitar, bass, and wind instruments such as…

Francis Poulenc didn’t have to depend on composition for his living—he was the heir to the fortune of the Rhône-Poulenc pharmaceutical company—but he nonetheless turned out an enormous body of work in virtually all musical forms, from song to ballet to chamber music to opera. He also toured for…

Freddie Vanderford's passion for music started at an early age when he befriended legendary blues harmonica player Peg Leg Sam at the age of 16. Vanderford's talent and enthusiasm for music has earned him many recognitions and awards including the 2010 Folk Heritage Award in which he was…

Girls Rock Columbia is a non-profit organization created in 2013. Every summer, this organization hosts a one- week long day camp where girls between the ages of 8 to 17 learn how to play an instrument, form a band, and attend a series of workshops where they learn about body positivity and leadership…

G is for Gospel Music. Gospel music as a genre consists of two major categories, White Gospel and Black Gospel. Both styles share similar musical routes that stem from the evangelical religious movements of the 1800s, especially camp meetings and singing schools. White Gospel originated in the shape-note…

Dr. Edgar and his guests discuss the roots of American Music. William R. Ferris is a professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor in the Folklore Curriculum. He is associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and is widely recognized as a leader in Southern studies…

KCRU is an “alternative” radio station, broadcasting from Rice University, in Houston, Texas. Here, students can learn the ropes of what it is like to work in the radio industry. The station prides itself on playing more obscure tunes, instead of popular, mainstream music.

Laura Buff teaches 5th Grade orchestra. Music and art are passions of hers. The arts are something that Buff has always treasured, even at a young age. Her grandmother was a china doll maker and made a huge impression on Buff. She learned how to take old Barbie dolls and remake them into dolls that she…

Noted South Carolina historian Dr. Walter Edgar discusses the key issues in SC History. In this episode, learn about South Carolina Music and Musicians, including: 1) Genres of music like spirituals, blues, gospel, beach music and bluegrass; 2) Music and Culture - Chubby Checker to Hootie and the Blowfish…

Just prior to the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Main Street Latin Festival is held each year on Main Street in Columbia, S.C. The Festival provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans through different events. The 12th Annual Main Street Latin Festival…

Some great composers have been pioneers and musical radicals, and some have been fundamentally conservative. Max Bruch was a conservative to his bones, and it served him well. He established his musical principles early and stuck to them his whole life, regardless of whatever fads, fashions, or new…

Since 1964, the South Carolina Philharmonic has been performing and promoting high-quality, professional symphonic music for the community. Morihiko Nakahara is known for his charismatic presence on and off the podium. He’s the music director and conductor. A native of Kagoshima, Japan…

More and more, music schools and institutes are incorporating entrepreneurship classes, organizations, clubs, seminars and workshops into their programs. Why is that? In order to explore the truth behind this fact, we reached out to David Cutler, Director of Music Entrepreneurship at USC, and some of his…

The modern oboe most likely originated in France in the 1600's. The word oboe, which is the instrument’s name in both English and Italian, comes from the French name, hautbois, meaning “high wood,” or “loud wood.” Oboes are usually made of African blackwood, which is sometimes called…

To understand the mountains, one must hear their music: folk songs, old hymns, and haunting ballads passed down from generation to generation. In this segment, music maker Dean Eades joins to discuss the history and heritage of mountain music, and a significant local instrument: the Appalachian…

Dr. Thompson outlines the importance of Confederate music publishers, and how they played a crucial role in distributing music throughout the South.  He then discusses the different styles of music written during the war.  Playing the piano during the war became a morale boosting past-time for people le…

The American Civil War shaped every aspect of life in the South, including music. Along with songs and military band music published in the South during the war, a considerable repertoire of solo keyboard music also exists, written by white, black, male, and female composers. Dr. David B. Thompson, a…

Priscilla Smith from Juilliard discusses chamber music. She discusses pitch in the baroque era and states that she enjoys playing in a baroque ensemble because it is more intimate than playing in an orchestra under a conductor. Juilliard in Aiken is a week-long event featuring public performances, concerts and…

A word of advice today for non-musicians reading program notes in concert programs: If the program notes are heavy on technical analysis and are loaded with terms like modulation, inversion, augmentation, diatonic intervals, chromatic progression, modified sonata form, what have you…

The 1920s was a prosperous time for Columbia. The city experienced a cultural renaissance, even though the rural areas were feeling early pings of the oncoming depression. Dance clubs for both Whites and Blacks popped up everywhere in Columbia, and Vaudeville Theater, motion pictures, and jazz…

Have you ever wondered how the violin came to play such an important role in the history of classical music? Well, it starts with singing. The invention of opera, in late 16th century Florence, marks the beginning of the Baroque period in music, and with it the rise to supremacy of the musical style known…

The USC Music School hosts an arts entrepreneurship workshop every summer to help artists from around the world learn to apply their talents in a more business-minded way. 

Serenade is one of those musical terms that has meant many different things at many different times. The term itself comes from the Italian sereno, which is from the Latin serenus, which means “serene.”

The American composer Seymour Barab started out as a pianist and organist, but as a teenager he took up the cello, and as a cellist he became a highly successful orchestra musician, founder of important string quartets, top commercial free-lance player, champion of new music, and later, after mastering…

Derived from the jitterbug, the Shag is a legendary dance that grew up the Carolinas. The Shagger's Hall of Fame is located in North Myrtle Beach. Thousands flock to the area every year to enjoy this original Southern art form. The Shag is South Carolina's State Dance

In this segment, Dr. Thompson analyzes how songs composed during the war reflected Southern virtuosity: writing and naming songs for Confederate heroes. 

A short profile of many popular musicians who got their start in Spartanburg, S.C.

Stanley Donen is an Oscar winning film director and Broadway stage choreographer, who is credited for changing the way Hollywood musicals are viewed by movie audiences worldwide.  He was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina.  

The Waccamaw Intermediate School has a Steel Drum Band called The Calypso Gators. The band is made up of 4th, 5th and 6th grade students and being a part of this band is teaching them more than just music.

In this Q&A-style video, David Cutler, director of music entrepreneurship at USC and author or the book "The Savvy Musician," answers questions about music entrepreneurship.

Have you ever wondered how the violin came to play such an important role in the history of classical music? Well, it starts with singing. The invention of opera, in late 16th century Florence, marks the beginning of the Baroque period in music, and with it the rise to supremacy of the musical style…

More and more, music schools and institutes are incorporating entrepreneurship classes, organizations, clubs, seminars and workshops into their programs. Why is that? In order to explore the truth behind this fact, we reached out to David Cutler, Director of Music Entrepreneurship at USC, and some of his…

A music video where Healthy Hannah shows walking the dog is a fun, convenient form of exercise.

Learn about a style of music known as jazz.

When someone thinks of steel drums, they think of the Caribbean. Wheeler Matthews is a steel drum maker from Beaufort, S.C.  He discusses his inspirations for wanting to create steel drums, and how they are made. Mr. Matthews makes steel drums for schools, and professional musicians.

"Amazing Grace: The Story of William "Singing Billy" Walker is about the Spartanburg resident, religious music composer and publisher. Walker became famous in the mid 1800's for changing the way people learned to sing traditional hymns. William Walker became famous for putting music to the beloved poem "Amazing Grace," creating the world renowned hymn, and publishing it for the first time, in his best selling music book, Southern Harmony (1835), still in print today.

Bethel Associate Presbyterian Church is one of Winnsboro’s many historic churches. Nelle McMaster Sprott was the organist for over thirty years, and played a major role in teaching music to schoolchildren. Mrs. Sprott joins us to talk about some of the songs she used to educate schoolchildren throughout her career.  Mrs. Sprott was the composer of a number of songs well-known by S.C. students, some of which were used for the Tricentennial. “Stand Tall for South Carolina” was known by many South Carolinians, and was used by the S.C. Rural Electrification Company. Mrs. Sprott also composed the “Sandlapper” theme song, used in the SCETV series.


June 23 – United Nations Public Service Day

On this day, we honor all who have chosen professions in which they serve others, including police officers, firefighters, EMTs, members of the medical profession, those in military service, government service and teachers. 

Emergency/Medical Care


Police/Crime Investigators

Emergency Preparedness

Military Service




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