Ten Songwriters in Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest in WWALS River Revue

Update 2023-09-06: WWALS River Revue on WKUB 105.1 FM 2023-09-06

Hahira, GA, August 16, 2023 — All ten songs were so good we couldn’t decide, so we accepted them all as finalists. We’ve got six songwriters from Florida, three from Georgia, and one from Tennessee. Genres range from easy-listening pop to a mining protest chant. Come hear them at the Finals of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, 6-10 PM, Friday evening, September 22, 2023, at the Turner Center for the Arts, Valdosta, Georgia. Also enjoy a catered sit-down meal, speakers, a silent auction, and a kayak raffle.

[WWALS River Revue Flyer 2023]
WWALS River Revue Flyer 2023

“Traditionally we extend the song submission deadline twice, but we didn’t need to this time,” said longtime organizing committee member and new WWALS Board member Scotti Jay.

Follow this link for tickets, sponsorship opportunities, and more:


WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman said, “Your ticket or sponsorship helps support everything WWALS does, from water quality tests, paddle outings and swimming & boating lessons, to chainsaw cleanups, and beyond to advocacy to stop trash at its sources, strip mines, and pipelines. We work for water trails, solar power, and the Right to Clean Water, with growing engagement for youth and marginalized communities.”

“We’re gonna rock the autumn equinox,” said organizing committee chair and WWALS President Sara Jay Jones. “Thanks to our sponsors so far: Georgia Power, Brooksco Dairy, Landis International, Michael Smith, Clyde Butcher Gallery, Great Dame, Georgia Beer Company, Azalea City Woman’s Club, Agri-Supply, Olympia Bend Shooting Range, and Jack’s Chophouse. You, too, can be a sponsor!”

These are the ten songwriter finalists, in alphabetical order, with a bit they wrote about themselves:

  • Cindy Bear, Jacksonville, FL, cowriting a folk song with Susan Grandy. “Cindy Bear is half of Bear and Robert (row-bear) with Franc Robert, who are an award winning singer-songwriter duo from Jacksonville, FL.”
  • Kyle “Bird” Chamberlain, Lake Park, GA, with a blues song. “Echols County resident who loves the water and music.”
  • Jane Fallon, Dunedin, FL, with a Singer Songwriter-Folk song. “I love writing songs about history and the environment, and songwriting contests that encourage these things have always been of interest.“
  • Peter B. Gallagher, St. Petersburg, FL, with a Florida Folk Music song. “I am a Florida native who has been a professional writer since I was 17 years old.”
  • Bacon James, Gainesville, FL, with a Folk song. “I returned to music after a long hiatus in 2023, winning first place at the annual Santa Fe Riverfest songwriting competition, and playing small solo shows at local businesses and establishments across North Central Florida.“
  • Anthony Melendez, Lake City, FL, with a Pop Easy Listening song. “Producer of kids tv show.”
  • Terry Pinder, DeLeon Springs, FL, cowriting with Sharon Pinder. “Retired mail carrier and life-long musician and song writer.”
  • David Rodock, Adel, GA, with an amerikinda song. “Daddy dhaveed.”
  • Kevin Stephenson, Valdosta, GA, with a Country song. “He enjoys telling stories through the art of writing and has written songs performed at various events over the past 30 years.”
  • Robert Thatcher, Signal Mountain, TN, with a Folk / Bluegrass / Americana song. “I’m from Tennessee, but some of my ancestors settled around White Springs, FL.”

Cindy, Kyle, David, and Kevin have played with us before; David won overall last year.

M.C. Chuck Roberts will guide us through the event.

Chris Adams will bring Wiregrass Country Cultural Artifacts and talk about them.

Fannie Marie Jackson Gibbs will speak about Juneteenth, African and Native American history, and Our Rivers.

Kenneth Sulak will speak about Paddling into the Past: Finding Florida in the 1800s, Trails from Georgia, and Early Border Ferries.

“Headliner Katherine Ball will play, and then the ten finalists. The three judges will award $300 for best overall song, with $50 each for Best Song from Within the Suwannee River Basin and Best Song from Without, as well as plaques for Best Song in each genre,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

About WWALS: Since June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity working for a healthy watershed with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable water.

Mission: WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the surface waters and groundwater of the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary, in south Georgia and north Florida, among them the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds, through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.

Our Watershed: The 10,000-square-mile WWALS territory includes the Suwannee River from the Okefenokee Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico, plus the Suwannee River Estuary, and tributaries such as the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers as far north as Cordele in Georgia, as well as parts of the Floridan Aquifer, which is the primary water source for drinking, agriculture, and industry for millions of Georgia and Florida residents.

Suwannee Riverkeeper: Since December 2016, WWALS is the WATERKEEPER® Alliance Member for the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary as Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®, which is a project and a staff position of WWALS focusing on our advocacy.

Contact: John S. Quarterman
Suwannee Riverkeeper


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