Since 1987, life has been one big party for Cherie Perigo. That’s the year she founded Hilton Head Entertainment, representing entertainment throughout the Lowcountry and planning special events — from intimate beach weddings to high-profile governor’s inaugurations.
Perigo focuses on conventions and country club events, while her only employee, Jessica Jameson, an entertainment sales specialist from North Carolina, specializes in weddings.
When Perigo first started out, she would check out entertainers at hotels or clubs. Now she can preview entertainers through their websites, YouTube and Facebook profiles. When it comes to selecting the right entertainer for the job, the pair apply their “Rule of 3Ts”: Time, talent and temperament. While the talent aspect seems obvious, it’s the entertainers who show up on time and act like professionals who get the gig.
Between the two of them, they can handle planning for just about any event, booking musicians — and few other surprising acts.
“There are so many talented musicians in this area and it’s a pleasure to be able to introduce their talent to others,” Perigo said. While a typical event features a guitar player or dance band, the company booked some of the most eccentric performers the area has seen: calypso bands, bagpipers, dueling pianos, a 12-piece orchestra, magicians, caricaturists and clowns.
Other highlights? Booking Chubby Checker for the South Carolina Textile Association in 1988 — their first been act.
“He was famous for ‘The Twist,’” Perigo said. “He had 1,000 people twisting in the ballroom.”
The company has also been responsible for bringing artists like The Temptations and Blood, Sweat and Tears to the Lowcountry, and today, Hilton Head Entertainment represents some of the area’s best-known local entertainers: The Headliners, The Hallelujah Singers, and the Lavon Stevens Band.