Retired wildlife biologist with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Dale Crider has been penning songs about the environment since the 1970s. He’s written songs about everything from the dam on the Ocklawaha River and the status of the Everglades to manatees, alligators and panthers.
Here’s Dale singing one of his most famous songs, “Apalachicola Doin’ Time,” on the main stage of the Will McLean Folk Festival in April (2014). Joining him is Red Henry on fiddle and mandolin, Barbara Johnson on bass and John Hedgecoth on banjo.
Watch and listen to one of his newest songs about sinkholes below:
Dale Crider has been writing songs about Florida’s environment for more than 40 years. Much of his time with the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission was spent in South Florida. It was there that Dale felt compelled to do an educational CD for motorists crossing the Florida Everglades. Hear about this special project in this report from Donna Green-Townsend which aired nationally on the public radio program Marketplace.
Dale’s Everglades CD project on Florida Public Radio
Dale with Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen remembering their friend Gamble Rogers
Crider is also the singer songwriter who wrote the song “Apalachicola Doin’ Time” which inspired an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning documentary.
Dale was a special guest on the longtime Sunday afternoon program on WUFT, Across the Prairie, to talk about the re-release of the Apalachicola Doin’ Time Documentary with host Cathy DeWitt and documentary co-producer, Donna Green-Townsend.
Dale says he was inspired to write about Florida after hearing Will McLean, the Father of Florida Folk, perform at the Florida Folk Festival in the 1970s. He talked about that songwriting inspiration in a feature produced by Donna Green-Townsend that aired on WUFT-FM in April of 1987.
In 1998 Dale along with musicians Lis Williamson (guitar and vocals) and Barbara Johnson (bass) performed the song, “I Remember Gamble Rogers” on the main stage of the Florida Folk Festival. It was part of the official state ceremony inducting Gamble Rogers into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame. (the song was written by Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen).
One of Dale’s more entertaining wildlife songs is called, “Gospel Snakes.” Here’s his performance of the song at the 2014 Will McLean Folk Festival. He’s joined by Red Henry on fiddle and mandolin, Barbara Johnson on bass and John Hedgecoth on banjo:
In recent years Dale has focused his songwriting on the importance of utilizing energy that doesn’t come from fossil fuel….in other words, solar energy. Here’s his song about that issue performed at the Will McLean Folk Festival in March, 2014. He’s accompanied by Red Henry on mandolin, Barbara Johnson on bass and John Hedgecoth on banjo.