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SC Rich in Jazz and Blues Careers

Benjamin Franklin V
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

  For 30 years, our next guest has been researching and participating in the music industry in South Carolina, in particular, the jazz and blues scene.  And that work has led him to author a few books on the subject, all while staying busy as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Ben Franklin V, author of Commentaries on Jazz Musicians and Jazz Songs: A History of Jazz in Retrospect, Jazz and Blues Musicians of SC: Interviews with Jabbo, Dizzy, Drink, and Others and most recently, An Encyclopedia of South Carolina Jazz and Blues Musicians.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.