This Is Carolina: The Garden City Pier Singer

“It’s the joy that keeps us coming back,”
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:56 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 8:54 PM EST
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - The Garden City Pier is more than just boards and nails. It’s a place for folks to relax, to fish, and a place for PJ Klein to shine.

For the past two years, 34-year-old Klein has mesmerized crowds with his voice every Friday. It’s a talent that his family discovered when he was young.

“We kind of noticed that he was singing by accident. When he started to learn how to talk he didn’t talk clearly. So, we heard underneath his breath that he was singing songs that he had heard on the radio and that’s really since he could talk,” said Ruthi Martz.

Ruthi Martz said her son has Autism and can’t hold conversations but he can certainly carry a tune. He also loves to share some of his favorite things.

“My favorite sport is football because I love when people scream and when they get a pick or a touchdown,” said Klein. “My favorite snack is chocolate pudding with whipped cream!”

Klein also shared his favorite part about singing.

“My favorite part is when people clap and cheer,” he said.

You’ll never catch Klein singing without this shirt or ones similar to it because Martz said there’s a story behind this tradition.

“There’s a girl who works at the grill here and she started buying him t-shirts and she would sign. The upper right-hand corner is her place,” she said. “He’s got every color under the rainbow. Long sleeve, short sleeve, so it’s a thing.”

Klein is not able to see the messages of love but he can hear them when the deck transforms into a karaoke stage, lit up with lights and smiles, as folks watch him perform.

“He does some patriotic songs for the veterans. Some of the veterans want to stand next to him and just kind of hang in there with him. The girls want to dance with him when he’s singing upbeat songs. It’s really just a wonderful way to spend Friday afternoons,” said Martz.

Her son also enjoys breaking away from the mic, just long enough to dance with family and friends. But, Klein will always return back to the stage where he’ll continue to shine.

“He’s a good singer. He kind of sings from his heart and he brings joy to a lot of people. And, I think it’s the joy that keeps us coming back,” said Martz.

You can usually catch PJ and his family at the Garden City Pier every Friday at 2 pm. If you have good news to share, email or message Loren Korn on Facebook.