I have some good news! I received a call from Margaret Longhill of the Will McLean Foundation yesterday and was told that my new song Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams earned the "Bronze Medal" (third place for you non-olympians) in the annual Will McLean awards and my song Hemingway's Hurricane placed sixth. Some of you may know that I won the Will McLean award in 1997 for Banks of the Old St. John's and many of my other Florida tunes have placed in the top ten over the years including Teppintine, A Mother's Tears, Steam Train, and Withlacoochee Dreamer. However, this is my first time back in the top three since 1997.

I will be performing several times at the Will McLean Festival (info below), but I am told by Margaret that I will be performing opening night, Friday, April 4th, at 8:00 p.m. and that I'll be asked to perform both of my new songs that won awards at noon on Saturday. I'll post a complete schedule when it becomes available.

In the meantime, here is the info on the festival and the foundation. I hope to see you there!! Also, below the festival info I'm including the lyrics to the two 2008 award winning songs - Enjoy!!

April 4th, 5th, and 6th , 2008

The annual Will McLean celebration honors the work of Florida's
Troubadour, who wrote songs, stories and poems about his native state.
Although Will McLean died in 1990, his songs will live forever in the
hearts of those who love this "blessed, bloodstained, flowered land."

The Will McLean Foundation Established in 1990, the Foundation is a
not-for-profit organization; its goals are to: -promote, in Florida
and elsewhere, the works of Will McLean and other Florida artists;
-provide for research, education, performance and training to promote
understanding and appreciation of the works of Florida's artists;
-provide facilities, programs and educational materials to promote
involvement, by non-professional and professional communities alike,
in the artistic and educational fields; - provides loans, scholarships
and grants to students, organizations and/or specific individuals in
the community for the promulgation of artistic productions in
specified area. The Board of Directors and the Executive Committee
consists of all volunteers who labor tirelessly, donating hundred of
hours every year, to fulfill McLean's dream of passing on the history
of Florida to the next generation.




Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams
2008 Doug Spears

When you can see the Suwannee lying bright and black by the light of a
winter's moon,
When you see the sunrise out across Paynes Prairie with the spoonbills
and the loons,
When you smell the orange blossoms in the springtime and you know that
the honey crop's gonna taste so good,
Then you know that you're livin' in a land of sunshine and a state of
dreams.

When there's Zellwood corn lined up in rows just as far as your eye
can see,
When the strawberry farms down around Plant City are growing thick and
green,
When you're catchin' bass out on Okeechobee and redfish in the Gulf
around Cedar Key,
Then you know that you're livin' in a land of sunshine and a state of
dreams.

Oh way down upon the Suwannee River,
Never that far away,
That's where my cracker heart will live forever,
All my tomorrows and my yesterdays.

When the whips of the cracker cowboys pop and echo out in the scrub,
When the hot sandy soil beneath your feet seems to seep right into
your blood,
When the thunderclouds come rollin' in the summer and the wind in the
Spanish moss just feels so good,
Then you know that you're livin' in a land of sunshine and a state of
dreams.

Oh way down upon the Suwannee River,
Never that far away,
That's where my cracker heart will live forever,
All my tomorrows and my yesterdays.

When you can hear the notes ringin' loud and clear out of Gamble's old
guitar,
When you sing the songs of Will and Steve just remember where you are,
And take a moment in grateful silence to be thankful for the greatest
gift by far,
To be livin' down here in the land of sunshine and the state of dreams.

Don't you know that you're livin' in the land of sunshine and the
state of dreams.

Hemingway's Hurricane
2007 Doug Spears

Labor Day, '35,
Pressure falling, rising tide,
South by southeast, great wind with no name
Remembered as Hemingway's hurricane,
Remembered as Hemingway's hurricane.

Doughboys who fought World War I,
Hard times upon them, Depression brung,
New Deal jobs in the Florida Keys,
Highway to build, the Overseas,
Highway to build, the Overseas.

Now who left you there and who knows why,
Old Papa demands with a firey eye,
Careless or callous, no less blame,
After three score and and ten relive the shame,
And remember Hemingway's hurricane.

Send down the train she's starting to blow,
Too little too late no where to go,
Shacks and shanties, plywood and tin,
Oh Lord watch over the souls of these men,
Oh Lord watch over the souls of these men.

Now who left you there, who knows why,
Old Papa demands with a firey eye,
Careless or callous, no less blame,
After three score and and ten relive the shame,
And remember Hemingway's hurricane.

Then in 2005 another killer 'cane blows,
And New Orleans drowns as the levies let go,
Was it careless or callous, more whitewash and blame,
And after three score and ten we get more of the same,
And remember Hemingway's Hurricane.

Labor Day, '35,
Pressure falling, rising tide.