Gregg Russell has made a name for himself with over 40 years of performances under the Liberty oak in Harbour Town.
Just about every summer night, he steps up on that stage and entertains adults and children alike with simple, catchy, family-friendly music that get just about everyone clapping to the beat. But it’s not the only feat he’s accomplished.
The Russell Reach
In addition to the hundreds of Harbour Town concerts, Russell has also performed at college campuses, family festivals, winter resorts, Carnival cruises and shared the stage with Steve Martin, The Beach Boys, George Burns and Stephen Curtis Chapman.
He even wrote the song “Come Away Home” about Hilton Head. The song inspired a movie of the same name. The film follows a New York City girl, after her parents left her with her grandpa for the summer. During her stay, she befriends a bearded, heart broken performer (Russell). The movie was released in 2005—six years after the release of Camp Tanglefoot. In this film, Russell portrays a camp counselor in North Carolina. His performance received a nomination for an “Angel” award and won the “Best Children’s Live Action Video In 2000.”
It was around this time, 15 years ago, that The Sea Pines Resort honored Russell by naming the nature-inspired playground across from the stage the “Gregg Russell Harbour Town Playground” for his 25 years of performing for audiences of locals and visitors.
Russell now has over 40 years under his belt and come a long way since his childhood in Birmingham, Alabama.
“It is an honor and pleasure to know and work with Gregg. What an achievement to have performed to the delight of children and families for 40 years,” said Rob Bender. Bender heads the recreation and marine operations at The Sea Pines Resort. “Our mission is to create lifelong memories. I cannot think of a better example than the memories Gregg has created for our guests.”
Hilton Head Heroes
With the ability to touch so many lives through the magic of music, Russell and his wife, Lindy, realized the impact they could have on others and established the nonprofit Hilton Head Heroes, a charitable organization aimed to encourage and help sick children by providing them with a vacation to Hilton Head Island.
It started with Gregg performing in hospitals for the sick children. It evolved into an organization that is able to host families in a HERO house in The Sea Pines Resort. The organization provides families facing a life threatening illness with a vacation filled with fun memories.
Russell is more than just an ambassador for Sea Pines; he’s a true Hilton Head classic.
He’s an entertainer, but also someone who can inspire and bring a smile to someone’s face after a rough day. Maybe he seems a little goofy the crowds. But goofy guys can be genuine too and Russell has proved that he’s not just here for a spotlight. He’s here for smiles.