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06/11/2019

Awards for Charlie's Place

By Natalyn Klump

Charlie's Place

 

Charlie’s Place, an SCETV production, recently received two honors: a Telly Award Bronze in the history category and an Emmy Award nomination for Best Historical/Cultural-Program from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Southeast.

Charlie’s Place tells the story of an African American nightclub opened by Charlie and Sarah Fitzgerald in Myrtle Beach during segregation. The greatest musicians on the southern Chitlin’ Circuit played Charlie’s Place – Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Ruth Brown, Little Richard, Duke Ellington, Etta James, Marvin Gaye and many more.  All were welcome, and the mixed crowd defied the color barrier to drink, dance and have fun. 

The good times abruptly ended on the night of August 26, 1950, when the Ku Klux Klan attacked the nightclub. Charlie Fitzgerald was beaten and left for dead. Although this story ends in tragedy, it began with the goodwill of people who were brought together by music and a man who didn’t see color lines. Charlie Fitzgerald created a place of harmony, where music lovers of any color could mingle and dance together, long before the barriers of segregation fell.

Charlie’s Place closed in 1965, but today it is the center of efforts to revitalize the Carver Street community. SCETV shared this piece of South Carolina history as part of its Carolina Stories series.

Telly Awards annually showcase the best work created within television and video. Receiving more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents, Telly Award winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Southeast awards will take place June 15 in Atlanta.

 “Charlie’s Place was a beacon for many in the segregated South, and it was privilege to bring that story to our audience,” - producer Betsy Newman

Thanks to the City of Myrtle Beach, the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club, the Humanities Council SC, Burroughs & Chapin and the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce for their support and help in telling this important South Carolina story.  Additional support was provided by the ETV Endowment through the Local Production Fund.