Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival: Celebrating Carver Street

By Theresa Skidmore, The Mode.

The second annual Jazz Festival is scheduled for Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1, 2017 as a part of the live music Myrtle Beach calendar. Admission is free, and it will be held on Carver Street (18th Ave N. – 21st Ave N.), which is rich with music history. Beginning in the 1930s, Carver Street came alive with many famous R&B and jazz icons.

In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, “Charlie’s Place” was owned and operated by Mr. Charlie Fitzgerald, who is legendary for helping to keep music alive in his supper club on Carver Street. He brought such renowned artists as Little Richard, Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Billie Holiday to Charlie’s Place to perform.

Charlie’s Place was on the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” which was a group of performance venues located mostly in the South that were safe and acceptable places for African-American musicians and entertainers to perform during segregation. According to Frederick Douglas Opie, a professor of history, the entertainers called it the “Chitlin’ Circuit” because chitlins and other soul food dishes were sold out of their kitchens.

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