Category Archives: Arts

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: Memories of her life and times in Cross Creek




Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings & Cracker Culture A video written and produced by University of Florida Student Monica Berra.  Script Editing assistance and narration by Donna Green-Townsend   Two versions of a video produced by Dorsey Lee Townsend III for a class project while in Santa Fe College:  (Longer version with additional interview added) \ A … Continue reading Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: Memories of her life and times in Cross Creek

Jessie and Lee Townsend Tribute CD now available




Listen and Watch song samples from the new “Tribute” CD below:   (To pre-order a CD, please send $15.00 to:  Jessie Townsend, 13501 SE 171st Lane  Hawthorne, FL 32640) Jessie and Lee Townsend  recently went back into the studio to record six more songs to add to their CD Sampler.  The CD will now have … Continue reading Jessie and Lee Townsend Tribute CD now available

Winner and finisher of the 2017 Will McLean Best New Florida Song Contest Named




The winner of the 2017 Will McLean Best New Florida Song Contest  (out of 62 entries) is Mary James, better known as “Mean Mary,” in the music world.  Though she resides now in Tennessee, her roots are in Florida and Alabama (Her family lived in the North Florida area when Mary was born, but the … Continue reading Winner and finisher of the 2017 Will McLean Best New Florida Song Contest Named

Archive of the Winners and 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the Will McLean Song Contest Since 1992




The late Father of Florida Folk, Will McLean, wanted to save Florida through music.  For more than 25 years, a festival named in his honor, has sponsored a song contest to help facilitate McLean’s passion.  Each year a winner and two top finishers are selected by a panel of judges and are given the opportunity … Continue reading Archive of the Winners and 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the Will McLean Song Contest Since 1992

Archival videos of the Father of Florida Folk Will McLean




The Father of Florida Folk, the late Will McLean, loved to entertain and share songs, poems and stories of the lore and legends of Florida.  Unfortunately, most of those performances were not captured on video or audio tape.  When those performances were recorded, it was special indeed. Here are four such videos made possible when his … Continue reading Archival videos of the Father of Florida Folk Will McLean

Archival television program features many of Florida’s greatest folk songwriters




The 1988 Pines and Palms television program hosted by the late Don Grooms featured several singer songwriters who have since passed on. They may have left this earthly life, but their music lives on. Their songs can still be heard on the stages of many music festivals around the state. In 1988, Grooms who was … Continue reading Archival television program features many of Florida’s greatest folk songwriters

Remembering the Hippodrome’s Rusty Salling




The halls of the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville feel a little darker this week with the passing of one of its most beloved actors. Rusty Salling died on Sunday, June 12th at the age of 67 after battling cancer for more than a year. Salling, who is best known for his role as Ebenezer … Continue reading Remembering the Hippodrome’s Rusty Salling

Jessie and Lee Townsend’s Florida Folk Festival 2016 Highlights




What a memorable Florida Folk Festival for Jessie and Lee Townsend.  Thanks to Jeanie Fitchen and Mark Smith for giving special stage time to them this year. There were some magic moments as this brother-sister duo performed “Dumbarton’s Drums” on the historic Old Marble Stage with Jeanie on her 50th year performing at the Florida … Continue reading Jessie and Lee Townsend’s Florida Folk Festival 2016 Highlights

Chris Thile, MacArthur Fellow, and mandolin virtuoso to host Prairie Home Companion




(Here is the feature which aired on WUFT on October 31st, 2013, the day before Chris Thile performed on the UF campus) [Audio clip: view full post to listen] Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, who has served as guest host several times on the popular radio variety program, “A Prairie Home Companion,” will replace Garrison Keillor … Continue reading Chris Thile, MacArthur Fellow, and mandolin virtuoso to host Prairie Home Companion

The Jessie and Lee Townsend Band’s Will McLean Festival Highlights




                  The 2016 Will McLean Music Festival was a tremendous success for the Jessie and Lee Townsend Band.  If you didn’t have an opportunity to go, you can watch a few of their performances on the Magnolia, Azalea and Cypress Stages below.  Thanks to Red Henry, Andy Garfield and … Continue reading The Jessie and Lee Townsend Band’s Will McLean Festival Highlights