Tag Archives: Florida Folk Festival

A Gatherin’ In The Live Oaks 4-Part Music Series

From my audio archives:

A Gatherin’ In The Live Oaks

Four One-Hour Music Programs produced from mainstage performances at the 45th Annual Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, FL

(including selections from the archives of other festivals and performances)

Will McLean (14)
The late Will McLean and Paul Champion in the late 1960s to early 1970s

Produced by Bill Beckett and hosted by Donna Green-Townsend with production assistance from Jim Bickerstaff, Ken Crawford, Pete Gallagher and Ray Valla

Part One:

Featuring music from Marie Nofsinger, Valarie Caracappa (Wisecracker), Upsala, Pete Gallagher and the Green Grass Revival, Wingnuts, Vassar Clements, John McCuen, Clyde Walker and Sam Pacetti

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Part Two:

Featuring music from Jeanie Fitchen, Chuck Hardwicke, Ken and Leigh Skeens, Grant Livingston, Frank and Ann Thomas, Dale Crider, Ron and Bari Litschauer, Happy and Patti, Simple Gifts and Mindy Simmons

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Part Three:

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The late Gamble Rogers at the FL Folk Festival

Featuring music and stories from Jim Ballew, Paul Champion, Cush Holston, Will McLean, Cousin Thelma Boltin, Gamble Rogers and Don Grooms.

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Part Four:

Featuring music from Long John Higginbotham, Rock Bottom, James Billie and John Anderson

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Jessie and Lee Townsend’s Florida Folk Festival 2016 Highlights

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(from l to r) Lee Townsend, Jeanie Fitchen and Jessie Townsend (photo by Donna Green-Townsend)

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 Folk Festival. Of special note is the fact Jeanie received the first ever “Legacy Award” from the Florida Folk Festival organizers this year.

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(from l to r) Andy Garfield, Lee Townsend, Jessie Townsend and David McBrady (photo by Donna Green-Townsend)

Another magic moment was having the opportunity to perform the late Jim Ballew’s beautiful song, “When I Die,” on the Ann Thomas River Gazebo Stage.   Though Jim Ballew is best known for his incredible guitar picking, it’s been said that the last time he played on the Gazebo Stage he played “When I Die” on a banjo in honor of his music buddy and great banjo player, the late Paul Champion.  It was especially memorable to Lee and the band to learn about that memory since Lee just happened to play banjo on the song that day.  As they performed you could hear the audience singing along.  It was a goosebump moment for sure. Jessie and Lee were joined by Andy Garfield on guitar and David McBrady on bass.

Jessie and Lee’s performance set at the River Gazebo Stage included a variety of songs that will soon be added to their latest CD project which they’re calling, “Tribute.” In all there will be 12 songs which pay tribute to some of Florida’s best songwriters past and present and more. Six songs have already been mastered and are available on their CD Sampler. In addition to “When I Die,” (the song above) the upcoming CD will feature a song originally written by environmental troubadour Dale Crider from Windsor, FL. Here are Jessie, Lee, Andy Garfield and David McBrady performing, “Oh Kissimmee River” which points out the environmental boondoggle of the government for trying to straighten Florida’s Kissimmee River.

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(from l to r) Lee Townsend, Jessie Townsend and Mark Smith (photo by Donna Green-Townsend)

Gainesville Singer-Songwriter Mark Smith asked Jessie and Lee to join him on the River Gazebo Stage on the last day of the Florida Folk Festival to sing one of his songs, “Florida Lullabye.”

It’s a tradition to end the final set on the Gazebo Stage at the Florida Folk Festival with the performers and audience singing together on “Old Folks At Home.”

Meet singer Jessie Townsend

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Jessie and Lee Townsend

Jessie and Lee have been performing as a brother/sister musical duo for several years now singing and playing at a variety of venues including the Will McLean Music Festival and the Florida Folk Festival, special events at the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Historic Site and a variety of church programs and private events.

Jessie has always loved to sing.  While in high school in Gainesville she participated in several music productions with the P.K. Yonge Performing Arts Program and competed in state and regional vocal competitions.  She performed at Disney World in Orlando during two Christmas candelight performances.

 

Jessie and Lee Townsend’s new “Tribute” CD Now Available

DSC_0081Jessie and Lee have recorded their first professional CD at Gatorbone Studios in Keystone Heights.  Click here to listen to song samples and to find out how to order one.

 

 

dsc_0044To see video highlights of Jessie and Lee’s stage performances at the 2016 Florida Folk Festival click here:  

 

2016-03-13_17-41-35_962To see highlights of Jessie and Lee’s stage performances at the 2016 Will McLean Music Festival click here:

 

 

 

At the 2016 Florida Folk Festival, state Heritage Award Winner Jeanie Fitchen invited Jessie, Lee and  her mom to join her on the Old Marble Stage to sing one of Jeanie’s favorite songs, “Dumbarton’s Drums.”

 

Music video of Jessie and Lee and the band performing Will McLean’s “Crying Bird”

 

Music video of Jessie and Lee and the band performing the late Jim Ballew’s song, “When I Die”

 

On April 26, 2015 Jessie and Lee Townsend performed “What Wondrous Love Is This” at the Homecoming Services of the New Cross Creek Baptist Church on April 26, 2015

 

During the Homecoming service Jessie and Lee also performed “Amazing Love”

 

On March 15th, 2015 Jessie performed Will McLean’s “Macclenny Farewell” during the Hour of Power on the Main Stage.

Jessie and her brother Lee Townsend also made great harmony on the Azalea Stage at the 2015 Will McLean Festival performing Towne Van Zandt’s, “If I Needed You” with help on the bass and harmony by David McBrady.

The trio even got in some bluegrass with “Drivin’ Nails In My Coffin.”

 

2015 was Jessie’s second year performing at the Will McLean Festival. She made her debut here on March 8th, 2014 singing a song by the late Steve Blackwell called, “The Line.”

Jessie singing I Need You at the 40th dedication services at the New Cross Creek Baptist Church on August 31st, 2014

Jessie singing King of My Heart at the 40th dedication services at the New Cross Creek Baptist Church on August 31st, 2014

Jessie singing Be Thou My Vision at the Homecoming services of the Providence United Methodist Church on October 26, 2014

Donna, Jessie and Lee Townsend singing Never Grow Old at the Homecoming services for the Providence United Methodist Church in Windsor, FL on October 26, 2014

Jessie and Lee performing “Bury Me Beneath the Willow”  along with Andy Garfield in November, 2014

Jessie and Lee performing “A Living Prayer” at the Homecoming Services for the Providence United Methodist Church in Windsor, FL on October 26, 2014

Jessie and Lee performing “Ten Thousand Reasons” at the New Cross Creek Baptist Church on October 14, 2012

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The Gatherings (26-Part Music Series Recorded at various Florida festivals and venues)

Musicians perform Apalachicola Doin' Time finale at the Florida Folk Festival in 2000The Gatherings – Folk and Blues From The Land of Flowers   26 part live-music series

(Producer- Bill Beckett and Host- Donna Green-Townsend)

 

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Program #1- Dale Crider & Roy Bookbinder 

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Program #2 Al ScortinoCarrie Blackwell Lon and Lis Williamson 

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Program #3 Sue Grooms & Ron and Bari 

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Program #4 Mark Smith – Grant Livingston Paul Garfinkel

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Program #5 James Hawkins & Frank and Ann Thomas 

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Program #6 Valerie Caracappa – Boomslang Bobby Hicks 

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Program #7 Under the Water Lilies – Rod MacDonald – Blue Velvet

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Program #8 Patchwork & Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys 

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Program #9 Steve Blackwell & Marie Nofsinger 

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Program #10 Don Grooms Tribute

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Program #11 The Spiritual Consolators & Pam Laws 

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Program #12 Art Crummer & Bill Wharton and the Ingredients 

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Program #13 The Spiritual Consolators & TC Carr and the Catch 

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Program #14 Upsala and Sno Rogers

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Program #15 Tammerlin 

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Program #16 Mindy Simmons 

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Program #17 Dinella and Gieger & Ken Skeens and Leigh Goldsmith

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Program #18 Jeanie Fitchen 

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Program #19 Clyde Walker 

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Program #20 Magda Hiller 

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Program #21 Sam Pacetti 

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Program #22 Harvey Reid 

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Program #23 Destination Still Unknown 

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Program #24 CD Sampler

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Program #25 Campfire Tapes 

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Program #26 Studio Tapes 

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Deep Behind the Music- The Campfire Tapes from White Springs

Deep Behind the Music- The Campfire Tapes from White Springs

This one-hour special features music gathered from around the campfires of the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs.  Musicians include:  Gabe Valla, Greg Turner, Dale Crider, Raiford Starke, James Hawkins, Rod MacDonald, Becky Palmer, Clyde Walker, Lis and Lon Williamson and Frank Thomas.

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Songs in this program in chronological order:

1.  Gabe Valla, Greg Turner and friends jamming

2.  Sweet Sunny South- Dale Crider

3.  Girl From Immokalee- Raiford Starke

4.  Kiss Your Baby Goodbye- Becky Palmer

5.  Swept Away- James Hawkins

6.  Ballad of a Black-haired man- Rod MacDonald

7.  Gabe Valla, Greg Turner and friends jamming

8.  No Trouble Doc- Raiford Starke

9.  Devil Eyes- Becky Palmer

10.  Deep Down In The Everglades- Rod MacDonald

11.  Wind and Water- Clyde Walker

12.  Sweetheart of the Pines- Lis and Lon Williamson, Gable Valla and Greg Turner

13.  I Remember Gamble Rogers- Dale Crider (written by Steve Gillette)

14.  Macclenny Farewell- Clyde Walker (written by Will McLean)

15.  Old Folks at Home-  Frank Thomas & audience at Ann Gazebo stage (written by Stephen Foster)

16.  Bonus Track:  Did Bill Really Show Her His Willy- Rod MacDonald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Jurgensen

Singer-Songwriter-Musician Mike Jurgensen From New Port Richey Continues to Entertain Mike Jurgensen performing at the Florida Folk Festival. Mike Jurgensen has won the Will McLean Best New Florida Song Competition three times.  Now he serves as one of the contest judges.  It’s a testament to his talent.  Whether singing solo or performing in the band 2PM, Mike’s smooth “James Taylor-style” voice captivates the audience. Two of his songs, “Margaret” and “Music Drifts Along This River,” were included in the national Edward R. Murrow award-winning documentary, “Apalachicola “Doin’ Time” produced by Donna Green-Townsend in 2000.

Mike currently performs with the trio, “2PM” which includes musicians Pete Price and Pete Hennings.  During the group’s latest appearance as part of the Sunday Sampler Series at the historic train depot in Dunnellon, FL they performed one of Mike’s latest songs, “Let’s Just Play One More.”  The song captures how music  can go late into the night around campfires at music festivals around the state because it’s just hard to pull yourself away from a great jam with friends.

 

 

Mike Jurgensen sat down with Donna Green-Townsend to talk about what inspires his songwriting:

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Feature on Mike before a concert at the Studio Arts Center in Crystal River, Florida.

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Tom Shed

Tom Shed

Singer Songwriter Tom Shed
Singer Songwriter Tom Shed

Gainesville singer songwriter Tom Shed loves to write and sing about Florida.  He was influenced by the late Don Grooms, a Florida Heritage Award Winner, when he was one of Grooms’ student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. Shed says he likes to write and sing about, “history, humor and the human condition.”  He talked with WUFT’s Donna Green-Townsend about the 60th Annual Florida Folk Festival in 2012.

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Tom Shed produced Don Grooms’ “Walk Proud My Son” CD

Singer songwriter and musician Tom Shed played a pivotal role in helping Don Grooms produce his CD “Walk Proud.”  In this special, which aired in the late 90s, Shed talks about why this project was so special.  You’ll also hear many of Don Grooms’ best songs.

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Beryl cuts the music a little short at the Florida Folk Festival

Aired on WUFT on May 29th, 2012

This weekend between 10 to 15 thousand people were attending the Florida Folk Festival at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs. As Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Donna Green-Townsend reports, White Springs is in Hamilton County and was in the target area for high winds and heavy rain from what was “then” Tropical Storm Beryl as the storm was moving west across the state.

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The state official folk festival celebrates 60 years this weekend

Aired on WUFT on May 25th, 2012

The 60th Annual State Folk Festival got underway today in White Springs just north of Lake City and runs thru Sunday night.  Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Donna Green-Townsend talked with longtime festival performer Tom Shed about the history of the longest running folk festival in the country.

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Billy Dean, Florida’s Country Star From Quincy

Billy Dean performing on the River Gazebo Stage at the White Springs, May 2009
Billy Dean performing on the River Gazebo Stage at White Springs, May 2009

He’s had many songs top the Country Music Charts, but Quincy native Billy Dean never forgets his roots. Dean was the headliner at the 58th Annual Florida Folk Festival in White Springs in 2008. Donna Green-Townsend reports on the man and his music. 

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After his popular appearance at the Florida Folk Festival in 2008, Billy Dean was scheduled to make a reappearance at the state’s official music event.

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Billy DeanQuincy, Florida native Billy Dean headlines tonight at the Florida Folk Festival (Feature aired on WUFT on May 27th, 2011)

Grammy Award-winning country artist from Quincy, Florida, Billy Dean is headlining the mainstage at the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs at 10 p.m. Dean has snagged thirteen top 10 hits in his career. Though he grew up in the Panhandle he now lives in Tennessee. Yesterday before packing up to head to the state’s official folk festival his family headed to the basement because of all the severe weather heading across the Midwest. He talked with Donna Green-Townsend by phone about the storms and what he has in store for tonight’s performance in White Springs at the Stephen Foster State Park just north of Lake City.

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