The annual J.B. Hunt Scholarship Dance, set for 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23, at The Cinema will once again reunite members of The Exotics in Orangeburg, offering fans a chance to enjoy a night of great entertainment and to raise funds for aspiring musicians.
Individual tickets for the event, which raises money for the scholarship awarded each year to an aspiring music major, are $35, and reserved tables of eight are available for $280.
The Exotics Band Foundation is a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships thanks to supporters of the annual scholarship dance, said Tim Hinton, president.
“We’ve been fortunate. The community has really supported us, and we’re happy about that,” said Dwight McMillan, one of The Exotics' original members.
One of the most sought-after bands of the late 1960s and early '70s, The Exotics had a hit song, "Boogaloo Investigator," and played backup for some of the biggest names in the industry during its heyday -- Marvin Gaye, Peaches and Herb, ZZ Hill and Clarence Carter, just to name a few.
The group did extensive work with Bobby Womack, who wanted to sign them to a permanent, exclusive contract, but most of the members were reluctant to give up their family life and instead chose to earn salaries at regular jobs and maintain music as a sideline.
The J.B. Hunt Scholarship is given in honor of long-time Orangeburg music instructor James B. Hunt, who served as the first and only band director at Wilkinson High School, the first band director at Sharperson and Belleville junior high schools and Brookdale Middle School and organizer and director of the first band at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School.
The Exotics, who count among their eight original members Dwight "Sleepy" McMillan, Walter "Wally" Bowers, Francis "Egghead" Thompson, Levi "Rock" McDonald, Johnny Sabb, Stewart "Bogumma" Thompson, Harry Palmer and Rogers "Spod" Jarvis, have attributed their early musical education to Hunt, who served as their first band director at Wilkinson High.
Two raffles will be held during the dance. The first will be at 9 p.m. and the other at 11 p.m. Breakfast will be served at 11:30 p.m.
Tickets for the dance are available at Jamison's Pharmacy, Goldstein's or from any member of The Exotics. Reserved table tickets are also available from Exotics members.