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South Carolina's "Blues Doctor" Honored by the NEA

Drink Small

  He was born in Bishopville but has resided in Columbia since 1955, entertaining thousands of audiences with his mix of humor and blues (and more) music. He’s one of a kind. He’s Drink Small, the “Blues Doctor.” The uniqueness that has made him a state treasure has now gone national. After six decades, numerous albums and travels around the country and the world, the National Endowment of the Arts has named Small a National Heritage Fellow, its most prestigious award in the folk arts. At a celebration in Small’s honor by the City of Columbia and the S.C. Arts Commission, we hear the Blues Doctor rouse an admiring and appreciative crowd with his music and the humorous sayings he calls “Drink-isms.”

Tut Underwood is producer of South Carolina Focus, a weekly news feature. A native of Alabama, Tut graduated from Auburn University with a BA in Speech Communication. He worked in radio in his hometown before moving to Columbia where he received a Master of Mass Communications degree from the University of South Carolina, and worked for local radio while pursuing his degree. He also worked in television. He was employed as a public information specialist for USC, and became Director of Public Information and Marketing for the South Carolina State Museum. His hobbies include reading, listening to music in a variety of styles and collecting movies and old time radio programs.