Fall 2020 – Research in the Humanities

Creative Inquiry at GTC is excited to publicize the work being conducted on a piece of Greenville’s history. Read on to find out what our student is researching!

Student: Jack Hines

Professor: Dr. Thomas Takayama, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

My wife and I have always been very involved in music; playing in bands, going to shows and being part of the scene. We’ve made records together and toured Europe and the United States many times over.

Since we have become parents the focus has shifted. We have tried to hang on to our previous life, though, with varying degrees of success.

In one attempt to keep our music life alive, my wife bought a pedal steel guitar and began searching the web for an instructor. In her search she came across a man named Tommy Dodd. In the biography on Mr. Dodd’s website he states that he was on staff at Mark V Studio in Greenville, South Carolina referring to the studio as the “Little Nashville.” My interest was piqued and I began casually researching.

As I have transitioned from touring guitarist to dutiful father there has been some trial and error, some missteps and false starts. After one aborted major at GTC and a couple ill-fitting jobs, I decided to fulfill my long-held dream of studying and writing about music and culture. So, I signed up as an Associate of Arts student at GTC. I began looking for any resource the College offered that might help me develop my very particular skills and interests.

 When I discovered the Creative Inquiry program it struck me as the perfect avenue for my pursuit. I had already compiled several old records, a folder of bookmarked websites and a lengthy YouTube playlist of Mark V Studio references and music. Creative Inquiry provided a way that I could turn this casual research into a real scholarly pursuit.

I have now conducted interviews with several of the musicians, producers and personalities associated with Mark V Studio. With specialized equipment provided by GTC, I have begun converting vinyl records of Mark V recordings to a digital format for inclusion in the project.  I have deepened my knowledge of the music and the cultural climate of Greenville during the years the Studio was in operation. I am well on my way to creating a comprehensive multi-media history of Mark V Studio.

I offer my gratitude to Dr. Lee Edwards and the Creative Inquiry Advisory Committee for approving my project. Their discernment in choosing Dr. Thomas Takayama to advise me on the project must also be noted. Dr. Takayama’s credentials and acumen have proven to be a perfect fit for this subject and he has been an invaluable sounding board, even at this early stage of my work.

The opportunity to work on the thing that you are passionate about is not afforded to all of us. The Creative Inquiry program has given this opportunity to me and I intend to build on it academically and professionally for the rest of my life. 

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