Greenville Municipal Jazz Band & Penney Lynn Smith Wows Crowd

Greenville High School 1981 graduates, JR Price and Penney Lynn Smith make Sunday night concert in the park one to remember

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The Greenville Municipal Jazz Band performs Sunday night a Marling Bandshell. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – The Greenville Municipal Jazz Band featured guest soloist Penney Lynn Smith, a 1981 Greenville graduate at its concert in the Greenville City Park before a large crowd.

Penney and the Greenville Municipal Band performed jazz, rock, and pop standards at the Sunday night show.

GHS 1981 Graduate, Penney Lynn Smith charms Sunday night crowd performing with Greenville Municipal Jazz Band at Marling Bandshell. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“It’s just amazing the crowd, It’s just incredible,” said Municipal Band Director, JR Price. “Penney owned that audience tonight – she has a magic touch and it was so nice.”

Penney Lynn Smith (Gaylen Blosser photo)

With a bachelor’s of Music Education from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Education in Arts in the Curriculum from Lesley University, she retired in 2012 after 29 years of teaching in Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina.

Penney has spent the last 30 years as a resident in South Carolina where she is a consistent performer at the Savannah Theater including roles in Chicago, A…My Name is Alice, Anything Goes, Nunsense, and Pump Boys & Dinettes.

On the stage Penney has appeared in Showtune, Red Hot & Cole, The Honkey Tonk Angels, and 9 to 5. She was also the Music Director for Always, Patsy Cline, Little Shop of Horrors, and Grease (which received the Broadway World South Carolina 2014 ”Best Musical” award)

Penney currently serves as the Music Director/Pianist for the Unity Spiritual Center in Hilton Head and enjoys singing with the popular low country vocal trio The Sweet Grass Angels and enjoying the mountains of Johnson City, Tennessee.

Greenville’s JR Price performs a saxophone solo at Sunday night Greenville Municipal Jazz Band concert in the park. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

JR Price and Smith, both 1981 Greenville Senior High School graduates performed with the GHS Wavaires and the school’s orchestra. The two Greenville musicians graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1985.

“I know JR from back in the day,” said Smith. “Back in the day he was pretty slick in the black double nit polyester and the red satin shirt – and the choreography.”

“Ask him about the hotdogs,” she added. “Tell him to tell you the hotdog story.”

Penney and JR were dance partners while performing with the Greenville High School Wavaires.

Penney Lynn Smith, GHS class of 1981 performs at Greenville Municipal Jazz Band concert in the park. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“He was fun and inspiring,” she continued. “Then college together and then he became the professional that he is. He went in his direction back here and I went down south but now we had a chance to reconnect.”

And now the rest of the story:

“Back in the day, and this was hilarious, we did an arrangement of commercials in tunes and one of them was the Armor Hot Dog song which everybody that grew up in the ‘70s still knows the words to that,” said JR Price. “It was my thing to stand out there and they would bring ketchup and mustard bottles up to me and fake putting mustard and ketchup on a hotdog. Penney and several others got the idea, hey let’s just fill them full of ketchup and mustard and so here I am holding this fake hotdog and there is mustard and ketchup all over my hands where they were squirting me with it – and that was live, that wasn’t in practice. That was at a gig we were playing back in 1980. You’ll never forget goofy things like that.”

Large crowd enjoys Greenville Municipal Jazz Band concert in the Greenville City Park. (Gaylen Blosser photo)