Stage Play  
From the 1960's television series  "The Village Square"     (Jim Owens Productions)

Band Photos
Stage Play
Where Are They Now?

Summer of '66

                                                  SUMMER OF '66
                                                           A REVIEW

If you were a teenager during the mid 1960's, the music in Summer of '66 will bring back smiles and fond memories.
But if you were one of the thousands of teenagers or young adults that visited the Myrtle Beach Pavilion during it's heyday of bringing in the big acts, you'll float back into time and goose bumps will peak on your arms during "Mr. Postman," "Under the Boardwalk," "Hang on Sloopy," or many of the other hits sung during the show.
"Summer of '66" is an extremely unique show for the Grand Strand.
The play is the true story of how Jim Owens formed a band named the Villagers and persuaded Mr. Earl Husted at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion to hire the group.
The stage backdrop is a scene of the outside of the Pavilion.
One of the best pieces of scenery is a beach house showing everything that is going on; but that comes later in the show.
There are small tidbits in the play that only baby boomers will relate to, like the huge rollers that the girls romped around the beach house wearing in their hair.                  (Girls, remember searching for the worlds largest hair rollers at places like Roses Department Store).                                                                                                                           And take a peak at the boys' loafers with no socks.
All of the voices were good, pleasant to hear and came across as professional. The girls were my favorites though.
Jennifer Slate played Ruthie and I enjoyed her songs as well as Denise Bradley's, who played Linda. Ah heck, I liked Lolly's, Victoria's, Erin and Nikki's too.
The boys all had personality and represented the "clean cut All American boy during the 1960's.
Steve Chizmadia played the part of Jim Owens and he was sincere in his part.              He was a "straight-up" kind of guy who made the group walk the chalk line to success.
I can't imagine the pressure he was under with the real Jim Owens, a legend in the music industry and legendary television producer, sitting in the audience watching his every move.
Mr. Husted was seen mostly in scenes that showed the Pavilion office, where the deal was made to finally make the Villagers the headliner for Labor Day weekend.
That belief he had in Jim Owens and the Villagers from Mr. Husted was the firecracker to their success.
One of the most touching scenes was when Husted told Owens how proud he was of him.
Unless I'm totally fooled, that scene really happened and the real Jim Owens remembers and appreciates it to this day.
But the most revealing part of the entire play is not included in the story line; it's the final story, where the characters in the play stand behind a silhouetted curtain and the actor Jim Owens tells what happened to the "real person" in "real life."
There is a sad note of a life lost to cancer recently, plus divorce among the couples; but there are happy and successful stories too.
It felt like running the movie camera up 40-years in no time flat.
Overall, the play was very entertaining, delightful, and meaningful to me, a baby boomer.
The musical play may not grab a senior citizen as hard; but it got me.
I did remember "Mr. Postman," and waiting for a letter from the boy I met at the beach.
I do remember getting kissed, "Under the Boardwalk," (I'm nearly 50 but please don't tell my Mama just yet) and I do remember sitting at home near Shelby, N.C. singing "I love Beach Music," and not being able to wait until I was old enough to drive to the beach anytime I wanted to go.
"Summer of '66" is remembering being young, foolish and happy.
Fantasy Harbour Theaters have had a tough time finding a good combination for the locals and tourists.
The Gatlin Brothers were a blessing to the theaters as well as the community.
Steve Gatlin is the master of ceremonies in "Summer of '66" and sings a number of songs and everybody has to love to hear Steve Gatlin sing.
"Summer of '66" is a true story, unique to the Myrtle Beach area and for anybody that grew up within the baby boomer era, it's a must; so "Summer of '66" is a "keeper."
Congratulations Jim Owens. What a touching story.

- Available Now -

The Summer of '66 Original Soundtrack CD

Contact Jim Owens Productions  

(615) 256-7700

The Villagers Reunion -

May 2,1999 at "The Summer of '66"  Stage Play

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The Villagers and Jim Owens with the Summer of '66 Cast

       Steve       Wayne     Jeanne        Jim        Linda       Dana      Wesley      Ruthee

      Premiere Night of Summer of '66, May 2, 1999, created a special opportunity for         some of the cast to meet their original Villagers counterparts

Steve, Wayne, Jeanne, Jim Owens, Linda, Dana, Wesley and Ruthee

Wayne, Jeanne and Leroy


CONTACT Wayne West (731) 989-3055 or  EMAIL