Country Star Josh Turner Performs at PAC: The prodigal son returns home to the PeeDee


Photo by: Cullen Dore

Former FMU student and Pamplico native, country music star Josh Turner returns to Florence to perform at the PAC.

FMU hosted an old friend, country music star Josh Turner, for the Florence community on Sept. 29 at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) downtown.  

Former Patriot and Pamplico native, Turner returned home to perform for his alma mater. 

“The prodigal son has returned,” Turner said.  

He attended FMU in the 1990’s for a while before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career in music. In Nashville, he attended Belmont University before his career jump-started in 2001.  

Now, after two-decades of making music and performing for the masses, Turner came back to his roots.  

“I feel like I’m so at home,” Turner said during his performance. “I can talk to these people all night.” 

The FMU PAC hosts several orchestras, musicians and theater productions, but rarely does the community get to see large headliners like Turner.  

Junior volleyball player and human resource management and psychology major Kaylee Gillespie attended the event with a group of friends after pre-ordering tickets in July.  

“We had a great time,” Gillespie said. “It was almost sold out, so it was a lot of fun. We all love Josh Turner, so it was an easy choice; and we got a great deal on tickets.” 

Gillespie said the concert fit in well with her and her friends’ practice and game schedules as well.  

One of the songs Gillespie was most looking forward to was “South Carolina Low Country,” which is almost a love letter to the Pee Dee region. Unfortunately, Turner did not perform that song.  

“We were excited to sing that with him and have a little moment, FMU and Josh Turner together,” Gillespie said.  

Despite that slight disappointment though, Gillespie said there was a connection with Josh Turner due to his similar background to all of the college students.  

“As a current FMU Patriot, and he, a former FMU Patriot, I felt like we were best friends that night,” Gillespie said. “It felt very personal and very close even thought I’ve never been to a Josh Turner concert before.”  

Another student, senior political science major Nick Roch, grew up listening to Josh Turner in Florida.  

“To come to Francis Marion and to have him come back to the college he once attended and the city he was practically raised in was a great experience,” Roch said.  

Turner performed one of Roch’s favorite songs, “Would You Go With Me,” which he said he used to line dance to in his hometown.  

Though he is not a South Carolina resident like many other attendees, Roch said he could still feel the connection between Turner and the audience.  

“I could tell he was very emotional coming back,” Roch said. “I could tell he had a lot of love for the city and it meant a lot for him to come back for him to come back to such a beautiful venue and beautiful county to perform for his people.”  

Roch also mentioned that, though there were a mixture of ages and backgrounds during the concert, the energy in the venue was high.  

“Josh Turner isn’t really known for high energy songs, but the city of Florence definitely showed out for him, and I could tell that they felt the love he has for the city,” Roch said.  

For the concert as a whole, Roch said he was happy with the event and would definitely go to events like it in the future.  

“What better way to spend a Thursday night in Florence than to see Josh Turner live,” Roch said.  

For more information about future PAC events, visit their website at