Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
September 29, 2008
Contact: Jennifer K. Davis
Mel Tillis and Harry Crews selected for Florida Artists Hall of Fame
Tallahassee, FLORIDA –
Recording Artist Mel Tillis and Novelist Harry Crews have been recommended for the 2009 Florida Artists Hall of Fame by the Florida Arts Council and approved by Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning from a distinguished slate of the state’s finest artists.
“The long and indisputable Country Music career of Mel Tillis is further noteworthy because of his perennial pride for the Sunshine State”, said Secretary Browning. “His lifetime of philanthropy for good causes, particularly in helping the youth of Florida, has made him a much-appreciated household name in every part of this state.”
One of our most legendary performing artists and hit songwriters, Mr. Tillis, at 76, is a model for a successful career in Country Music. His many achievement awards, more than 70 recorded albums, and numerous platinum record sales, represent a major level of success in the music industry that belies his humble upbringing in Pahokee, Florida. He has been the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, BMI Songwriter of the Decade, and been inducted into the Songwriters International Hall of Fame, The Grand Ole Opry, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
A prolific author of international standing, writer Harry Crews has penned seventeen novels, two award-winning collections, short stories, essays and film screenplays. He is the recipient of prestigious literary awards, including that of The National Institute of Arts and Letters. A brilliant novelist in the Southern tradition and a longtime professor of creative writing, Mr. Crews is well known as a gifted writing instructor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, his alma mater.
“For more than 50 years, Harry Crews’ writing has shined a powerful spotlight on Florida’s common folk. In so doing, he has carved out a major place in the literary communities of Florida, the nation, and the world,” said Secretary Browning.
About The Florida Artists Hall of Fame
Established by the Florida Legislature in 1986, the Florida Artists Hall of Fame recognizes persons, living or deceased, who have made significant contributions to the arts in Florida either as performing or practicing artists in their disciplines. These individuals contribute to Florida's national or international reputation as a state with a sustained commitment to the development of cultural excellence. The Florida Artists Hall of Fame currently consists of over 30 inductees, including musician and performer Ray Charles, actor and director Burt Reynolds, writers Zora Neale Hurston, Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway, and visual artists Duane Hanson, Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist.
For more information, please contact Ken Crawford, tel. 850.245.6395, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.florida-arts.org.
About the Division of Cultural Affairs