Tag Archives: Dunnellon

Mem Semmes

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Mem Semmes and her son Jon

The late Mem Semmes from Dunnellon loved music. Not only did she write hundreds of songs, but she also helped provide a long time venue for Florida’s singer songwriters through the monthly concert series, The Sunday Sampler. Just a few years before she died her son Jon Semmes helped Mem produce her first CD.  Mem talked about songwriting with Donna Green-Townsend in this one hour special aired on WUFT in December of 2007 on Across The Prairie.

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Mem Semmes on These Diamonds CD Project

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The late Will McLean spent his life writing songs to save Florida through music.  Now the foundation named after the father of Florida folk is marketing an environmental CD trying to continue McLean’s lifelong mission.  The acoustic CD features musicians from across the Sunshine State singing about a wide variety of environmental stories and issues.  As Donna Green-Townsend reports even the CD title, These Diamonds carries a story behind it.

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Florida musicians included on the CD are:

The Eagles Fly – Mindy Simmons

Lullaby of the Rivers – Bob Patterson

Rose and the Gold – Mem Semmes

Cracker CowmanFrank Thomas

Florida Pines – Paul Garfinkel

Paw Prints in the Sand – Ken Skeens

These Diamonds – Grant Livingston

Turtle Tears – Amy Carol Webb

Rand McNally Map of Florida – Jim Bickerstaff

Plumes – Steve Blackwell

Apalachicola Doin’ Time – Dale Crider

Song For Our Children – Mary Ann Dinella

 

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Early band photo of Mem Semmes

Donna, Mem Semmes and Harriett Meyer at Apalachicola Doin' Time Celebration in 2000
Donna, Mem Semmes and Harriett Meyer at Apalachicola Doin’ Time Celebration in 2000

Jon Semmes

 

Jon Semmes, Pete Hennings, Pete Price and Ingrid Ellis
Jon Semmes, Pete Hennings, Pete Price and Ingrid Ellis

Jon Semmes and Ingrid Ellis have been performing together in the band, “Jon Semmes and the Florida Friends,” for more than a decade now.  Band members also include Pete Hennings and Pete Price.  Jon currently runs Singing River Tours on the Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers in Marion County.

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Jon Semmes talking with Donna Green-Townsend before one of his scheduled performances at the Florida Folk Festival.

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(Above) Jon Semmes of Dunnellon leads educational singing river tours of the Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers in Marion County, FL.  Trent Kelly and Donna Green-Townsend give a snippet of what those tours are like.

 

 

Jon Semmes singing a song written by his mother Mem Semmes called, “My Dunnellon” at a Sunday Sampler on September 9th, 2012 at the old Train Depot in Dunnellon,FL.


 

 

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