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Today is May 30, 2020

Mississippi Songwriters Festival to honor Paul Overstreet

By Nancy Jo Maples

Mississippi Songwriters Festival to honor Paul Overstreet

Country music celebrity Paul Overstreet will be inducted as the first member of the Hall of Fame for the Mississippi Songwriters Festival this month.

The 10th Annual Mississippi Songwriters Festival will kick off its four-day event September 19 in Ocean Springs with famed songwriter Paul Overstreet being the first inductee in the festival’s Hall of Fame.

A native Mississippian, Overstreet was born in Newton and relocated to the Vancleave community of north Jackson County at a young age. After graduating high school in 1973, he moved to Nashville and worked blue-collar jobs while pursuing his dream as a songwriter. His songwriting career took off in the 1980s and includes multitudes of hits. Two of those, “Forever and Ever Amen” performed by Randy Travis and “Love Can Build a Bridge” recorded by The Judds, earned Grammy Awards. A Country Music Trail marker on Highway 57 in Vancleave acknowledges Overstreet’s accomplishments and emphasizes that his songs focus on “affirmed married love, the value of family life, and of the spirit.”

This year’s festival will showcase more than 80 aspiring and professional songwriters who will be performing “in the round” throughout the weekend, including Overstreet, at various venues in the downtown area. Mississippi Songwriters Alliance President George Cumbest said having talents such as Overstreet, Brent Anderson, Chris Wallin, Buddy Jewel and other pros attend the event “is incredible and inspiring to the kids with dreams of being professional writers. We are continuously growing and providing a more solid platform for aspiring writers.”

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