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Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival Spotlights Composers

by S. Lynne on November 13th, 2023
The famous Flora-Bama Lounge on Perdido Key
The Flora-Bama Lounge, on the Orange Beach, Alabama and Perdido Key, Florida line, is one of many venues where songwriters perform in the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.
Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival singer/guitarist
Photo by Beth Childs

International Songwriters’ Festival’s 39th Year

The Gulf of Mexico and its white-sand beaches are the backdrop every fall for the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival. Rated one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, the Frank Brown festival showcases the talents of songwriters — many award-winning — from around the world.

More than 175 Artists on 31 Stages

This year, the festival opens November 9th for 10 days of great music, written and performed by the songwriters themselves. This is the 39th year for the popular event, which will feature more than 175 artists in 210 performances on 31 stages. Venues are from downtown Pensacola and Perdido Key, Florida, to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama. The festival regularly draws tens of thousands to the area and is esteemed as “the largest gathering of national and local songwriters performing on the Florida coast” according to its website.

Also described as the “grandaddy of songwriter festivals” by both Billboard and American Songwriters magazines, the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival is named for the late Frank Brown, long-time night watchman at the Flora-Bama. Mr. Frank, as he was known to Flora-Bama regulars, loved music and was the last person the performers saw every night at closing time.

Showcases the Composers

A one-of-a-kind event, the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival focuses on the composers and the stories behind the songs. So how and why they wrote some of the world’s greatest hits rather than on the performers who made them famous. And because many of the entertainment venues are small, the songwriters have plenty of chances to interact with the audience.

A Sampling of This Year’s Artists:

  • Buddy Cannon, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame who presently works with Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson and Reba McEntire.
  • Marla Cannon, Buddy’s daughter, who wrote “The Fool” recorded by Lee Ann Womack which hit #1 on the country charts, and who has also written songs recorded by Blake Shelton, George Strait and Kenny Chesney.
  • Austin Church, who co-wrote “Brand New Country Star” with Jimmy Buffett and recorded three of Townes Van Zandt’s songs accompanied by Townes on guitar.
  • Dean Dillon, who is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, a 2020 inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and who wrote or co-wrote 76 songs for George Strait, 11 of which reached #1 on the charts.
  • Rick Carter, an Alabama native and prolific songwriter who has collaborated with the Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews, Jason Isbell, Bob Dylan, John Fogarty, Willie Nelson, and the Marshall Tucker Band.


Admission to most venues is free, although some may have a small cover charge. Performances will continue daily through November 19th. For more information, visit

Where To Stay During the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival

For places to stay in the area, check out our listings of condos, beach houses, and hotels at Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals, Orange Beach Vacation Rentals, Perdido Key Vacation Rentals, and Pensacola Beach Vacation Rentals.

This article was originally written by S. Lynne and updated by BeachGuide staff.SaveSaveSave

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