The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

February 7, 2014

Knoxville's Courtney wins songwriting contest

Knoxville — Knoxville's Kelli Courtney was writing songs for six months before one of them was chosen the winner of a contest sponsored by the Farm Hands Bluegrass Quartet. The song will be recorded on the Quartet's next album. 

Courtney grew up in Knoxville, enjoying old country music as a child. As a teenager, she began to appreciate Bluegrass. She participated in choir while in school, and in 2011, formed the Radyo Flyer Bluegrass Band. (They intentionally misspelled "radio.") 

During a gig in Kirksville, Mo., she and her bandmates met the Farm Hands. But it wasn't until she came across a notice on the Farm Hands' website and in a bluegrass magazine that she found out that the Quartet was sponsoring a new songwriter contest. Three of the four members of the Quartet are songwriters themselves. They wanted to provide an opportunity for a fellow songwriter, with no professionally recorded songs to their credit, to achieve this goal. 

Courtney seized the opportunity and submitted three songs. One of them, "Down this Old Gravel Road," was chosen as the winner. 

While working her day job as Marion County's Chief Deputy Assessor in December 2013, she received an email message to inform her of the Quartet's decision. She was alone in the office at the time, and had to read the message more than once to believe it. An even greater challenge was not telling anyone until the Quartet made the official announcement on Jan. 1. 

The Quartet chose to debut its rendition of Courtney's song Feb. 1 at the 2014 SPBGMA Convention and Awards Show in Nashville, Tenn. Courtney drove to Nashville to hear the debut of her song live at the awards. Prior to playing the song, the band discussed the contest and pointed Courtney out to the crowd. 

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Chronic wasting disease found in wild deer OTTUMWA — Since 2002, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has collected more than 50,000 samples of captive and wild deer in Iowa in an effort to look for cases of chronic wasting disease. On April 9, they confirmed an infected wild deer had bee

    April 15, 2014

  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry making a difference BLAKESBURG — Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Blakesburg began its third full year of operation this month. Start-up funds included the South Central United Methodist Conference grant of $1,200 and a large cash donation from Hope Well Church in response

    April 15, 2014

  • Council approves sale to Historical Preservation Society BLAKESBURG — Blakesburg City Council on Monday approved sale of the museum property to Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society. The $4,000 bid submitted by BHPS was the only bid received. Terms of the bid include a clause that if at sometime the p

    April 15, 2014

  • Construction Trades pic 1 Marion County building permits on the rise

    It's expected to be a busy construction season around Marion County. According to County Zoning Administrator Missy Poffenbarger, her office has issued 17 building permits since March 18. 

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Zones photo 2 Blue Zones kicks off in Osky

    OSKALOOSA -- Blue Zones Project held its Oskaloosa Kickoff Monday evening at the Oskaloosa High School gym to help improve the community's health. Blue Zones originated with Dan Buettner of National Geographic. He was asked to find areas of the world

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Medical marijuana bill may surface in Senate DES MOINES (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he will sponsor a bill legalizing the sale of medical marijuana in Iowa, reviving an issue once thought dead this year. The persistent efforts of woman who have children with epilepsy chang

    April 15, 2014

  • Branstad: Action needed to protect Iowa students DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has called on the Legislature to take action following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found school coaches cannot be convicted of sexual exploitation by a school employee under current law. The Iowa Supr

    April 15, 2014

  • Troy Rider.jpg State responds to gag order request

    Marion County Attorney Ed Bull has filed a resistance, on behalf of the State of Iowa, to a motion made by Troy Neil Rider's defense attorney to restrict law enforcement's ability to comment on the pending case. 

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041414 Trees Photo Trees Forever to work on levee pocket park

    Centerville is branching out with new trees thanks to a $1,440 grant from Alliant Energy. Joyce E. Thomas, president of the local Trees Forever said the money will go toward planting more trees in Centerville and the group will begin in the levee are

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National