Video: Dear Ol’ Suwannee –Dick Grillo; send your song for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-22

Last year, Dick Grillo sang his song “Dear Ol’ Suwannee,” and got written up in the Suwannee Democrat for that song, Live Oak’s Grillo wins at Songwriting Contest. He won Best Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin with a $50 prize, and a plaque for Best Folk/Country song.

This year, you can send in your song until July 8, for the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, on August 22, 2020.

[Dick Grillo Singing 'Dear Ol' Suwannee' in Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Dick Grillo Singing ‘Dear Ol’ Suwannee’ in Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019.

The three judges are ready to hear your songs, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Headliners will play, food truck and cash bar, finalists will play, silent auction and kayak raffle, judges will judge, prizes will be awarded, winners will play M.C.: Scott James of Talk 92.1 FM Radio.

Tickets to listen are on sale now, $10 online (children under 12 free), or $12 at the door. For VIP tables send email to

Songs can be about the Suwannee River, or the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Alapahoochee, Little, New, Dead, or Gopher Rivers, Okapilco, Piscola, etc. Creeks, the Okefenokee Swamp, Grand Bay, or springs, sinks, swamps, or ponds. (But not the Santa Fe River; which has its own contest.)

Here’s Dick Grillo last year with Dear Ol’ Suwannee:

Video by Scotti and Sara Jay for WWALS in Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019.

Dick Grillo also got written up by Advent Christian Village, Singin’ for Dear ‘Ol Suwannee,

Dick Grillo, Singin' for Dear Ol' Suwannee, Advent Christian Village
Photo: Advent Christian Village, of Dick Grillo, Singin’ for Dear Ol’ Suwannee, some time in fall 2019.

Dick Grillo, ACV’s Sr. Director of Church and Community Relations was honored recently for his talent in songwriting. He learned that the second Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest was to be held in August, in which finalists performed their songs live at the Salty Snapper in Valdosta, GA. He entered a song he had written in February 1999 for “Treasures of the Suwannee.” It was a musical drama that depicted the history of ACV and Dowling Park, which was performed both in 1999 and again for ACV’s Centennial anniversary in 2013.

The song Dick chose to enter was “Dear ‘Ol Suwannee,” because it talks about not only the Suwannee River, but also about ACV. (See the lyrics below.)

Not surprisingly, Dick was chosen as a finalist and performed Dear ‘Ol Suwannee at the contest. As he performed, his cheering section expressed their excitement. Dick went on to win Best Folk/Country Song and Best Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin. Congratulations on your achievements, Dick! Thank you for sharing your musical talents with not only ACV, but with the community as well.

Congratulations to Dick for this well-deserved honor.

Dear ‘Ol Suwannee

Suwannee River flows so gently ‘round the river bend –
And the people gathered ‘round her treat her as a friend.

Down in dear ol’ Suwannee County flows a river, oh so wide
And the people gathered ‘round her speak of her with grace and pride.

If you lived along the river, there’s a sound you’d hear – and how!
It’s the sound of that ‘ol Steamboat known to all as “Suwannee Belle.”

In the county seat of Live Oak stands the “Union Depot Line.”
And the trains that whistled through her carried people far and wide.

Once the “Loping Gopher” lumbered from that Union Depot Line
And it made its way from Live Oak to that Dowling Park reside.

All along the Suwannee River miles of secret treasure lie.
And the children who grew up there found the secrets by ‘n by.

On the river stood a small sawmill, now it shelters young and old.
And the Advent Christian Village carries on a truth foretold.

Suwannee River flows so gently ‘round the river bend –
And the people gathered ‘round her treat her as a friend.

For much more about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, see:–songwriting/

[Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020]
Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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