Florida Folk

Defining Florida folk music is very difficult. Everyone has their own idea what makes a song a Florida folk song. Those who like traditional folk often discount contemporary folk, and vice versa. To me, it has less to do with rules and more to do with soul. Does the song or songwriter or performer have a Florida soul? Can you feel it? I hope the Florida Folk Show will help capture that soul, step up interest in the genre and, maybe, inspire some new Florida songwriting.

  • Hosts : Gary Horrell, Ronny Elliott, Pete Gallagher
  • Broadcast channel: Saturday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM


Listen Again


Gary Horrell


Gary Horrell, Pete Gallagher and Ronny Elliott

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January 1, 2009 Horrell joined Pete Gallagher and Raiford Starke on the Florida Folk Show.

After a test run in November of 2008 Horrell started live Web-casting the Florida Folk Show from the WMNF radio studio in Tampa, Florida. In addition to watching the show live via the web at www.WhistleEntertainment.com, viewers could now share comments and interact with each other in the show's Chat Room.

With Raiford on the road and unable to make the show each week, Horrell was asked to step in and serve as co-host. Not only is Horrell webcasting the show live, his quick wit offers wry commentary to show's ever changing cast of characters.

Between the live webcast and Youtube videos the Florida Folk Show is now seen and heard with verified viewers tuning in from countries as far as Scotland, England Italy. Poland, Japan and Australia.

Freelance Videographer Gary Horrell has worked on projects ranging from producing Web site videos for small businesses to personal oral histories. After earning his certification in television production in 2006, Horrell established Whistle Entertainment. Folk Lure, his first locally produced TV show, featured area singer-songwriters. Horrell produced, directed and edited a total of 12, 30-minute shows which were aired on local cable in 2007. Horrell also worked as cameraman and technical director on other shows learning many of the ins and outs of TV production.

Horrell met Pete Gallagher in December 2006 and invited him to perform on a Folk Lure show. Taped in January 2007, Gallagher's performance along with Raiford Starke and Elan Chalford aired in March and April of 2007. In March of 2007 Horrell was invited to videotape Gallagher's Florida Folk Show at WMNF; that show aired in June of 2007.

In late 2007 and 2008 Horrell started creating Guerrilla Style performance videos of some of Florida's finest folk musicians who were performing at area festivals. Many of these videos can still be viewed on YouTube. Its hard to believe but in 2007 most people didn't know about Youtube.

Although pulled off the air for almost 2 years, the video webcast of the Florida Folk Show has started up again as of January 2014.


Ronny Elliott


Grumpy, harmless writer born in 1947. Good intentions. Good eater. Gets along well with some others. Marries regularly.


Pete Gallagher


Pete Gallagher, a Florida native born in Ft. Lauderdale and raised in Rockledge, has lived in St. Petersburg since 1974. He has been writing and singing about Florida history, culture and the environment for more than 35 years. An award-winning journalist, accomplished grant writer, event producer and freelance writer, Pete has been involved in Florida preservation pursuits since he graduated from the University of Florida in 1972. From his landmark Vanishing Florida column in the St. Petersburg Times to his investigative work that freed migrant farmworker James Richardson from jail (after being wrongfully convicted for murdering his seven children) to his work exposing the tragedy of Rosewood, the plight of the Florida panther and his expose on unethical state government permitting and variance capers that allowed the destruction of the worlds oldest aboriginal canoes (for the Seminole Indian Tribune), he has consistently fought for truth and sanity in Florida environmental and cultural issues. He has worked over 18 years in Tribal communications for Chief Jim Billie and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, writring for thew award-winning Seminole Tribune newspaper, and producing large-scale entertainment events (including the Discover Native America powwow series, the Fire On The Swamp country music fests and the Phish NYE 2000 show which drew 100,000 folks to a Big Cypress cattle pasture on the millennium. Pete has appeared at the Florida Folk Festival each year since 1972, most of that time as a member of the original Green Grass Revival (Florida bluegrass/folk band). in duos with former WMNF co-hosts Raiford Starke and Kelly Green. Pete also plays bass and guitar in the Florida Boys with Florida State Fiddle Champ Elan Chalford, national harmonica talent T.C. Carr, dobro-ist Foster Barnes, singer Pat Barmore and guitarist Bart Hanchley Pete has released four albums, the legendary 'Live At Tampa Theatre' LP with Green Grass Revival in 1979, 'Florida Folk Music,' 'Florida Folk Music II' and 'Dog Peter Gnats' (with Raiford Starke) and 'Songs of Florida,' (with Kelly Green) , 'Orange Blossom Special' (with the Green Grass Boys) Pete's music combines humor (Dog Peter Gnats) and pathos (The Old Rope Swing, Suwannee River 2023) with intuitive looks at Florida characters and places, everything presented with a pro-Florida environmental theme. Pete was the winner of the first Will McLean Poetry Contest, and is a two-time winner in the LiveArts Peninsula Foundation's Floridian songwriting contest. From 1981 until 1991, he managed the comeback career of blues singer Diamond Teeth Mary Smith McClain and.called “Diamond Teeth Mary. He (with co-hosts Ronny Elliott and Gary Horrell) present the WMNF Florida Folk Show (Saturdays 9-10 a.m.) and co-hosts (with Pat Barmore) Florida Folk Night at Beak's St. Pete.--one of the state's top acoustic songwriter showcases. Pete is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and has been the executive producer on three nationally-released (Grammy nominated) CDs. Pete and Fiddle champion Elan Chalford present a 'Tribute to the Florida Fiddler' themed live concert show. They strive to educate their audiences about Florida's unique Cracker Jazz fiddle music, exploring the styles and songs of Vassar Clements, Arthur Smith, Chubby Wise, Erwin T. Rouse and others. You can contact Pete at pgallag2@tampabay.rr.com or visit his Web page at www.floridapanther.com .