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Tribute from Florida's Secretary of State Sandra B. Mortham on the occasion of Gamble Rogers' induction into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame

Spanning a 30-year career and thousands of concert engagements throughout the U.S. as a headline performer, Gamble Rogers, prolific "Florida troubadour" and ambassador of Florida folk, perpetuated and popularized the traditions of folk music, storytelling, writing, and philosophical humor. Gamble was widely recognized as a guitar virtuoso. He played a pivotal role in the re-emergence of the art form of storytelling and inspired legions of other storytellers.

A second generation Floridian, he was born and raised in Winter Park and made St. Augustine his home. His shows usually chronicled stories and songs about the colorful characters that populated his mythical Florida county, "Oklawaha." He served as a mentor and had a profound influence on numerous young artists.

He gained national prominence through 30 years of appearances at the legendary folk clubs and festivals around the country. He was also a guest commentator and frequent contributor to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." In addition to albums of his music and storytelling, he was the author of several plays for radio, television, and theater.

From 1988 to 1991, he served in an official ambassadorial role for the Florida Division of Tourism and the Florida Folk Festival. Gamble Rogers received a Florida Folk Heritage Award posthumously in 1993.

He lost his life trying to save a drowning swimmer and was awarded a Kiwanis Award for Bravery and a Carnegie Award for heroism in recognition of that. The Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach is named in his honor, as is the Gamble Rogers Middle School in St. Augustine.

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