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Bert Hesse.jpg
Bert Hesse of Studio South at a meeting today in Fort Mill about the plans for Catawba Studios at Catwba Indian Nation east of Rock Hill, SC. He said they hope to have groundbreaking for the first phase by the end of the year. When completed there will be three phases: the sound stages, film and music schools, and retail shops.

Map of South Carolina highlighting York County

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Effort is underway to create a first class movie studio on 124 acres of land at the Catawba Indian Nation near Rock Hill, South Carolina. $485,000 has been spent on the study so for the project that is expected to cost $45 million. The study will be completed this spring and if all goes as planned the first phase, sound stages and visitors center, could be completed within a year.

Plans  include production suites, an iMax style theater, a film school, and  a music school. Studio South and Pacific Ventures will develop, build and manage the complex.

Kelly Cheats

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Kelly Cheats by Trevor Mercer.jpg
Photo credit: Trevor Mercer

Kelly cheats, or so I'm told.

Seriously, the Kelly Cheats band got their name from an incident at a poker game. I'm sure it serves them well as it's both intriguing and easy for the audience to remember. So they can be sure to come back to see the band the next time they're in town.

There's no cheating when it comes to their sound. A well seasoned group of musicians that like to have fun. Currently finishing up the final touches of their second, soon to be released, album Out of the Patch. 

Always ready to tour the southeast they will be appearing this weekend at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Charlotte, North Carolina (Friday, October 23rd) with their blend of rock, reggae, pop, and blues.

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Shot of singer and bassist in recording studio

Image by Laurahuet via Wikipedia

Here's a site and a recording studio that records one band a day, every day and puts the songs and/or videos up on it's web site.  Based in Rock Island, Illinois, the sessions are free for whatever band is passing through and has made arrangements with the Daytrotter staff.   A session lasts for a couple of hours and is something like live recording in that there are no overdubs or re-takes.  What you do is what you get.  Like the old days before multi-track recorders.

Check out the video below to get an idea about how this concept works and also visit their website to see the content they've produced.

Bundle of CDs.

Image by typester via Wikipedia

Want to sell your music on Facebook?  The Music Store Widget from cdBaby is what you need.  It's free for existing cdBaby artists.  If you don't currently have your music registered with cdBaby you're missing a great way to sell your music either digitally or with CDs/Vinyl at not only Facebook but many other digital outlets such as iTunes,, and Spotify.

The cost to sign up with cdBaby in minimal.  $39 for a complete album or $9.99 for a single.  I have been a cdBaby member for years (  It has helped me spread my music far and wide as well as giving  the satisfaction of periodically receiving a check for CDs sold and royalties for plays on digital music sites.  I even had one song picked up for a movie as the producer had heard my songs at cdBaby.

Check out the video below about this exciting new service from cdBaby and how to get started.

Carolina Legends: Earl Owensby

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Earl Owensby - Challenge.jpgEarl Owensby's first film as a producer was the movie Challenge (1974)  which became a hit in the U.S. and abroad.   In it Owensby  played the lead role of Frank Challenge, a Senate candidate that would not sell out to the mob.  This was the spark that eventually led to the creation of Earl Owensby Studios in Shelby, North Carolina.

A number of films were shot at his studios and he starred in many of them.  Some of the people that were cast in his movies include David Allan Coe (singer/songwriter) , Lorne Greene (from the Bonanza TV series), and Paula PoundStone (comedian). 

There are many writers, actors, and crew members that got their start in Owensby's studios and have gone on to make a name for themselves in the film industry.  One of them is Leon Rippy, a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina best known for his roles in The Patriot, Stargate, and Saving Grace who did several movies with Earl in his early days as an actor.  

In the 80s Duke Power Company's Cherokee Power Station , a nuclear power plant being built in Gaffney, South Carolina was never completed.  Earl bought the abandoned plant and created what was at the time the world's largest underwater sound stage.   This is where James Careron's movie The Abyss was filmed.

"Earl Owensby has received numerous honors for his success and achievements. Honors granted Mr. Owensby include NC Hall Of Fame, #15 of the top 100 people in NC in 100 years, Award UNCC North Carolina, and numerous others. Many schools and Universities refer to Earl Owensby when teaching the movie industry, specifically, classes at Duke University, Gardner Webb University, as well as a section in the North Carolina History Books."

Earl Owensby Studios is still in operation and has sound stages totaling 90 thousand square feet.   They have an underwater filming pool with 7 camera ports and underwater lighting, makeup and dressing rooms, wardrobe and property departments, carpentry shop, special effects, kitchen, dining, and lounge areas.  Also an onsite hotel,  1570' runway, recording/mixing studio, editing  and screening rooms, and production offices.

Earl Owensby Studios website:


Indaba Music

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Mixing Board

Image by tibchris via Flickr

Over the weekend, a friend of mine told me about, an opportunity for musicians and producers to hone their skills and make some extra money.  Through the site, you can upload and sell your own music, as well as compete in contests where you take a song already uploaded and remix it.  The winners receive credit on the artist's album, as well as up to $1,000. 

Check out the current contest.  Submissions are due July 7th.!/opportunities/intronaut-remix-opportunity