Bobby Holliday remembers first being inspired as a youngster by Ben Robertson’s 1942 Carolina classic, “Red Hills & Cotton, An Upcountry Memory”. Drawing from the beauty and treasures of this area, Bobby has little difficulty turning nature into song and song into imagery.
His career as a musician began in high-school, playing in various bands, and recording 4 singles in the 60’s, all charting on local Top-40 radio stations. He recorded 2 solo albums and released 2 singles in the 70s, and another band album in the 80s. All of this led to opening shows from the late 60s thru the early 90s for such acts as Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies, Steeley Dan, Muddy Waters, Fleetwood Mac, The Elvin Bishop Band, Delbert McClinton, and Ray Charles.
After working as a professional songwriter in the mid-90s with Milsap/Galbraith Publishing in Nashville, Holliday started writing songs specifically about the Carolina upcountry. “I wanted to do something unique, that I was passionate about, and that was our Carolina mountains. Before people can care about a place, they first must know about it. Music with lyrics can be a powerful teacher, engaging both sides off the brain to create vivid images, strong emotion and lasting memories”.
The resulting CD, Crown of the Carolinas, provided the theme song and became the musical background for the first six seasons of the nationally broadcast ETV nature series, “Expeditions with Patrick McMillan”. This led to his work with Patrick, Bob McAnally and others at Clemson’s video production departments to complete his vision of creating “Crown of the Carolinas”, the DVD. Bobby continued providing new original music on "Expeditions" for another 5 seasons. Beginning in 2012 the show was broadcast nationally on PBS and received 5 Emmy awards over the next 7 years. Now in reruns the show continues to be broadcast across the country.
Nowhere are the talents of this veteran singer-songwriter more evident than on the DVD “Crown of the Carolinas,” a masterful collection of videos that vividly and beautifully bring to life the music of Holliday’s earlier 2005 CD of the same name.
This 15 year labor of love has resulted in a video guidebook that inspires, informs, and offers a fun way to learn more about the area. In addition to the 17 music videos, it also features 13 stories by Patrick McMillan and Upcountry writer and naturalist, Dennis Chastain. It may be the single best way to let out-of-state friends and family know why you love being here so much.
Bobby currently provides the videos for SC state tourism promotion in 5 counties of the upcountry. Most videos also include his original music.