Teaching the world to sing

Many readers picked up on the local connection between the final “Mad Men” episode and the author of the jingle for the 1971 song for Coca-Cola that taught “the world to sing in perfect harmony.” The song’s author, Bill Backer, now lives on a farm in Virginia and grew up in Charleston at Old Towne, which is now Charles Towne Landing. Several details were not included in the press about the connection. After returning to Charleston following the death of Mr. Backer in New York, “Ferdie” Backer met George Gershwin when he was visiting the Lowcountry in 1934 to work with DuBose Heyward on “Porgy and Bess.” The next year Bill’s mother, Ferdinanda Legare Backer, remarried Dr. Joseph I. Waring at St. James Goose Creek, where she rests beside her beloved “Dr. Joe” in the churchyard. The non-Don Draper Bill Backer was also exposed to the Lowcountry spirituals at home when his mother and step-father sang with the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals: Great ad men get inspiration from many sources.

Hunger for cruise control?

As we continue to hear buzz about cruise ships, we learn that residents feeling the pressure of gridlock have had it with what some call “Carnivore Lines.” Does Charleston have the appetite for more? Smart money has it that Volvo’s investment in Berkeley County gives the South Carolina Ports Authority powerful leverage about needing the space at the Columbus Street Terminal for offloading more vehicles in addition to the BMWs that ship from there. From a business perspective, we would advocate nothing that would hinder Volvo’s welcome; nonetheless, residents would benefit to see all the options available and how they compare with placing the cruise terminal at Columbus Street. Legal action continues to hinder discussions.

Celebrating a Chicken that cooked Yemassees’ goose

Brandon Coffey has been blogging on some history matters that are special to many readers of the salmon sheets. The St. James Goose Creek Chapel of Ease Historical Site will commemorate the tricentennial of a defining battle in our nation’s early history. This look backwards to June 13, 1715 commemorates the defense of the key Lowcountry outpost of Goose Creek by George Chicken and his militia during the Yemassee War. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the site this June 13 at 10 a.m.; Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler will officiate. Self-guided tours will offer information about the site’s role throughout history and about the families buried at the Chapel of Ease.

Mercury newspapers can be found at the following locations:


Buxton Books

Caviar & Bananas

The Meeting Street Inn (Rack)

Clair's Service Station, Folly Rd. (Rack)

Harris Teeter, Houston-Northcutt Blvd. (Rack)

Mt. Pleasant Library, Mathis Ferry Rd. (Rack)

Pitt St. Pharmacy

The Square Onion, I'On (Rack)