Elisabeth Williamson, winner of the 2013 Will McLean Florida Song of the Year
The three winners of the Will McLean Song Contest have been announced today by Margaret Longhill, head of the Will McLean Foundation.
The first place and Florida song of the year goes to Elisabeth Williamson for her song, "F-L-O-R-I-D-A."
Elisabeth Williamson is no stranger to the winners circle, having won a few years ago for her song "Florida Cracker Girl." Besides being an excellent songwriter and musician, she is best known as owner and co-producer at Gatorbone Studios, which she runs with husband Lon, who happens to be an top rated bass man. Together they are producing some outstanding new artists and great music from their studios in Keystone Heights.
The second place/runner-up song is Susan Brown's "My Florida." Susan is a veteran performer from St. Augustine and is usually seen with her musical partner Jamie Defrates at various gigs and festivals. Together they play and sing some beautiful acoustic music and harmonies.
The third place position is also not a stranger to the song writers winners circle and he is Mr. Rog Lee with his new song, "Florida No Appointments & a Full Tank of Gas." Rog won in 2008 with the song "City of Jacksonville" and he has a fun, easy going, laid back style of performing, usually at local watering holes in and around central Florida. His songwriting is some of the best and he is a favorite at the festivals where he performs.
All three winners are well known, well respected folk artists and have been performing for years; Its nice to see all three of these great Florida songwriters get the recognition they deserve. Nothing against out of staters occassionaly winning but this year all the winners actually live in Florida and we like it when that happens.
The 2012 song contest was open September 1, 2012 and the winners will be featured at the annual Will McLean Festival in March on the weekend of the 8th and 9th at the Sertoma Boys Ranch. The top three winners will receive cash prizes as well as extensive media coverage. This year, the process included Florida folk Heritage Award winner Frank Thomas and Nashville songwriter Billy Dean, a bit of an award winning songwriter himself.
Information about the contest, as well as this years Will McLean Festival and the Will McLean Foundation is available at www.willmclean.com
Again, congratulations to this years winners of the Will McLean Song Contest and indeed, all who participated. We are all richer for the new music we now have about our home, Florida, the land we share and love.
That was Will McLean's intent and his accomplishment, still alive and well, long after his passing away in 1990.
I think Will McLean would be very proud of this years winners.