Sunset Beach Pete Gallagher
a native of Ft. Lauderdale who grew up in Cocoa/Rockledge and has lived in St. Petersburg since 1974, has been writing songs and singing about Florida for more than 35 years. An award-winning journalist 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 farm-worker 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 endangered Florida Panther, and his expose on unethical state government permitting and variance capers that allowed the destruction of the world’s oldest aboriginal canoes (for the Seminole Indian Tribune), he has consistently fought for truth and sanity in Florida environmental and cultural issues. He spent 15 years working for Chief Jim Billie at the Seminole Tribe of Florida, directing Tribal communications 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 the 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) and as a duo with longtime partner Pat Barmore. ◙ Pete has released seven albums, the legendary Live At Tampa Theatre LP with Green Grass in 1979, Florida Folk Music I, Florida Folk Music II and Dog Peter Gnats (with Raiford Starke), Songs of Florida, with Kelly Green of Live Oak, Live In Florida (with Pat Barmore) and Orange Blossom Special (with the Green Grass Boys) Pete’s music combines humor (Dog Peter Gnats, Dog Paw Tea) and pathos (The Old Rope Swing, Tamiami Trail, Suwannee River 2023) with intuitive looks at Florida characters (Tom Gaskins, Scott Howard, Don Grooms) and places (Chokoloskee, Girl From Immokalee {co-written with  R. Starke]) 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 Live-Arts Peninsula Foundation’s “Floridian” songwriting contest. ◙ From 1981 until 1991, he managed the comeback career of blues singer Mary Smith McClain and was the writer/producer on a short film of her life called “Diamond Teeth Mary.” ◙ He is currently host of the Florida Folk Show (Thursdays 9-10 a.m. on WMNF 88.5 FM Community Radio Tampa Bay) and co-host (with Pat Barmore) of two Florida Folk Music Songwriter’s Showcase Nights:  Thursdays 6-10pm at the Sloppy Pelican on Blind Pass, St. Pete Beach ; and Tuesdays 7-10pm at Kojak’s Ribhouse in Palmetto. ◙ 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 is a member of three musical acts: Dog Peter Pat (duo with songwriter Pat Barmore), Green Grass Boys (with Elan Chalford, T.C. Carr & Raiford Starke) and the Green Grass Revival (with Sandra Jemison, Elan Chalford, Jack Piccalo, Joe Smith and Foster Barnes). Pete performs in two themed shows for the Florida Humanities Council and other organizations: a “Tribute to The Florida Fiddler” with Florida state fiddle champ Elan Chalford and “Florida Songs” (with Pat Barmore), which employs Florida music to both educate special audiences about Florida history and present a case for Florida cultural, environmental and artistic preservation. ◙ In May, 2010, Pete was awarded the Stetson Kennedy Foundation’s "Fellow Man & Mother Earth" Award, which recognizes performers and composers whose lives and works have reflected their concern for the environment or human rights and traditional culture. You can contact Pete at or 727-510-5474.