Posted: Jul 18, 2021 / 09:56 to be EDT / Updated: Jul 18, 2021 / 09:56 am EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – that a track those who flourished up in the mid-90s recognize all too well; “come and also let’s play with each other in the bright clear weather…” Gullah, Gullah Island to be a popular children’s present that aired on Nickelodeon native 1994-98.

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It complies with an african American family as they learn around life v friends, neighbors, and their large yellow pets pollywog Binya Binya.

What provides it unique – particularly to those who prospered up in the Lowcountry – was its setup on southern Carolina’s sea islands.

In this week’s episode of ‘Let’s Talk,’ News 2 anchor and also podcast organize Carolyn Murray speak to Ron and also Natalie Daise, co-creators and stars that the show based on Gullah-Geechee people and culture.


Ron was born and raised on St. Helena Island. The met his wife, Natalie, once she relocated to the Lowcountry from brand-new York and also created the sing-along collection together.

They turn everyday tasks into teachable moments with storytelling, songs, and gameplay.

“The network go not recognize that that would become as renowned as that did,” claimed Ron. “I think it was ‘okay, we’ve done this now we can move on,’ but then that went – at the time – four years in production, and until the time Nick Jr. Shows had actually gone a total of three.”


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“In regards to success, ns remember sooner or later the executive, management director that Nickelodeon claimed something choose ‘do you know how numerous million world watch this every day,’” Natalie recalled.

But just how did it all come together? Natalie stated she was functioning for the town of Hilton Head Island and left her job so they could both struggle the road permanent as storytellers and performers.


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Ron Daise, in addition to Binyan Binyan Pollywog, performs a ’60s dance in addition to youngsters the Gullah Gullah Island, might 1, 1996, top top the coast at St. Helena Island, SC. Gullah Gullah Island is the first pre-school show centered about a black color family. Child actors members are, left to right, Venessa Baden, Sona Daise and also Shaina Freeman. (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)

“I had been doing community performances, doing readings and also dramatizations, claimed Ron. “And Natalie said, about that time, ‘wouldn’t the be an excellent if we can be choose Ruby Dee and also Ossie Davis?”

They would execute skits and also presentations for schools and also community organizations. “We grew and developed over time, but there was always a sense, to me at least, the this is what we’re doing the is walking to result in something. I’m not certain what it’s going to lead to, however it’s going to bring about something,” claimed Ron.

Natalie claimed Gullah, Gullah Island came around by grace. “We had actually been traveling, act performances. At that time, we had actually a infant – she to be a wonderful roadway baby – and then she was pregnant again and also we began to talk, the one point to have actually one infant on the road.”

While Natalie to be pregnant, they began to look because that something else. “We checked out some folks us respected and said what execute you think is following for us? They stated ‘well, you’ve to be playing about long sufficient it’s time because that you to gain a job with benefits and also just shot to it is in grownups now.’ we were choose that doesn’t feel like what’s next…”

It was during a dinner v a friend, who was a novelist once they began discussing tv for children and how there was no diversity. The girlfriend stated, “well, you understand Nickelodeon is going to diversify.” She and her companion had currently pitched shows that were not picked up once they introduced Ron and Natalie to the network.

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The Nickelodeon CEO, said, “wow, I constantly wanted to perform a show about an island, probably I have the right to do a show around you,” claimed Natalie. “The manufacturing company, the network, was very open to being respectful and to incorporating the culture into the show – not simply letting it be the backdrop, yet sort of saturating it. Things just came in naturally.”

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Cast members occupational a scene for Gullah Gullah Island, during filming of the show for the Nickelodeon TV cable network might 1, 1996, on St. Helena Island, S.C. Gullah Gullah Island is the very first pre-school present centered roughly a black color family. (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)

You have the right to listen to much more about their journey in developing the unique show and the Gullah-Geechee culture by listening come the podcast in the player above.

NOTE: This episode features music fromMarlena Smalls and the Hallelujah Singers