After reaching out to the local community, KEET-TV received more than 25 submissions to its “Stories from KEET Country: Telling Your Story in Song” contest.

The event was developed to support Ken Burns’ new 16-hour documentary series, “Country Music,” which will premiere on KEET starting Sept. 15. Country music has long been famous for telling the story of real people’s lives in a simple and accessible format. KEET sought to capture those narratives and energy while also connecting its viewership with a wider, national story.

And so the contest was born, deployed in July as a means of collecting stories about life, living and love on the North Coast.

As part of its outreach, KEET hosted four screenings of a “Country Music” preview special, followed by panel discussions with local historians and musicians throughout its viewing area. Jan Bramlett and Jeff DeMark also hosted a storytelling/lyric writing workshop to prepare participants to enter the contest.

With so many fine entries, the judges struggled to make their final selections. Afterward, they said many of the submitted stories would have made great songs, but rules dictated that only the best three be chosen.

The judges were Georgia Ruth Hellum, Rick Levin and Tracy Smith. Together with KEET, they have  announced the following winning submissions: Tina Catalina Corcoran with her song “I Rejoice When I Hear Your Voice,” Charles Lilly with his song “For the Sake of Moving On” and Patrick Cleary with his song “Fickle Heart.”

Local country band Cadillac Ranch will craft tunes to accentuate and support the winning lyrics, ultimately performing them live at the Humboldt County Fair on the main stage on Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m.

More events remain in KEET’s latest dalliance with country music. On Aug. 24, KEET-TV is partnering with the Humboldt County Library to present Going Country-Loud in the Library Day, which includes a barn dance with the Striped Pig String Band along with Lyndsey Battle at 11:30 a.m., a screening of “Country Music” by Ken Burns at 1:30 p.m. and a performance from the Humboldt Music Academy Fiddlers at 2:15 p.m.


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