MS Songwriters Festival attracts hundreds to Gulf Coast

Musical legends honored and inducted in the Songwriter Hall of Fame

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The Mississippi Songwriters Festival is taking over downtown Ocean Springs and Gautier.

More than a hundred songwriters from across the country debut new music right here on the coast, and new faces are joining the Songwriter Hall of Fame.

The 13th annual Mississippi Songwriters festival attracts hundreds to the Gulf Coast for a 4-day event.

Tunes of the south fill the halls at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center.

“The beautiful thing about the Gulf Coast is the is that they’re open to all kinds of genres of music. For a songwriter to come down, we’re welcome with open arms. And people want to hear the songs that been written on the radio or television shows. Something like that,” said Gasaway.

Gasaway is on the board of Mississippi Songwriters Alliance. He names the Magnolia State as forefront to what we hear today.

“The Gulf Coast, Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music,” said Gasaway.

And the board is making sure pay homage to those legends.

Up first on the agenda, inducting new members to the Hall of Fame and honoring those who paved the way.

Five artists were inducted during the ceremony, bring the total number of members to 16.

“People don’t realize the people who have made this great songs in Mississippi and we want to have a place to honor them and show all kinds genres, from Jimi Hendrix to Conway Twitty,” said Brad Bohannan. “It’s great to see everybody and people are like ‘I didn’t know they were from Mississippi. They’re singing about my hometown.”

Other inductees included Gentry, Robert Johnson, and Clay Mills.

Scott Stradtner says it’s vital to provide a space that highlights local, statewide and international talent.

“One of our missions for the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance is to honor, protect and keep the rich Mississippi musical heritage. This is the best way to do that. We’ve got blues. We’ve got rock and roll. We’ve had several singer-songwriter here locally who who are pop writers,” said Stradtner.

Within the next year, the Mississippi Songwriter Hall of Fame Center and Amphitheater will open in Gautier.

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Stephanie Poole

Stephanie Poole

Stephanie Poole is a Gulfport native. She returns to South Mississippi after spending nearly four years as an Anchor/Reporter with WCBI-TV in Columbus, MS.