Friends of The ExpoDiane Bowker
Editors Note: The Durango Songwriters Expo, as it is known today, was an outgrowth of a similar event held in Durango for many years, The Durango Songwriters Rendezvous, founded and organized by Diane Bowker and other Durango-area songwriters.
"I started the Durango Songwriters Rendezvous in 1985 in the Diamond Belle Saloon of the historic Strater Hotel in downtown Durango and that continued for the next five years. I think we had sixteen writers at our first event...
"What we called 'Be Discovered in Durango' was part of the audition process for the 'You Can Be a Star' TV show out of Nashville. Paul Overstreet [hit songwriter/producer for Randy Travis, Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss and many more] was one of the hottest writers in Nashville at the time and we brought him out to perform and to be one of the judges. Gretchen Peters was also part of the event...as was producer Buddy Cannon from Polygram Records...and others.
"When the word got out to the area songwriters that for just five dollars they could come play two songs live onstage for these industry people and be part of our contest...they came in droves. And we had a ninety-six hour marathon contest!
"After that [the fifth year] our event was officially a success and we started to get big sponsors...it went on for a total of twelve years.
"Right now I am a big part of Willie Nelson's BioWillie biodiesel fuel project and I'm really busy and excited about that. But I am so happy and proud that what we started so many years ago is still going strong and has grown to even more great songwriting events around the country!" Diane Bowker
Listen to this Inspiring and Educational Interview [22:14]
"Durango is nestled in the Animas River Valley surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. The Animas River - El Río de las Animas Perdidas or the River of Lost Souls - runs through downtown and boasts gold medal fly-fishing waters and is very popular for whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Durango is an outdoor activity paradise - Hiking, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, rock climbing, hunting, off-roading, year-round fishing, kayaking, rafting and golfing - to name just a few.
"In the winter, Durango has easy access to five major ski areas, including the Durango Mountain Resort at Purgatory, located just 30 minutes north of downtown. Located 35 miles west of Durango is Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings. Durango is also well known for another historical attraction, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a heritage railway which travels from Durango to the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado on steam-powered trains with rolling stock dating back to the 1920s and before." —Wikipedia
Durango is located in the 'Four Corners' area of southern Colorado...
"The Four Corners is the survey point at the intersection of the four U.S. states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona and the high desert plateau region surrounding that point in the southwestern United States. This is the only point in the United States where four states touch. Three of the four state corners are on the Navajo Indian Reservation. The fourth corner, Colorado, is on the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation." —Wikipedia