Mississippi Songwriters FestivalStephen Anderson Collection

Joe Gilchrist Tribute at The Mississippi Songwriters Festival (Fri. Sept. 16, 2022)

On Friday, September 16, 2022, the Mississippi Songwriters Festival honored Joe Gilchrist, the longtime co-owner of the legendary Flora-Bama and the man whose love of music is credited as the driving force behind the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival. The 80 year old Gilchrist died earlier this year on May 25.

Gilchrist shared many tales of his career in “Bushwacked at the Flora-Bama,” a book published in 2012 by author Chris Warner, while the 2019 documentary “Stories in Rhyme: The Songwriters of the Flora-Bama” spotlights the annual festival.

The Mississippi Singwriters Festival has had a longtime friendship with Joe Gilchrist and The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival and proudly honored him and that friendship at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Arts Center in Ocean Springs, MS during this year’s festival in Mississippi.

The night featured some of the festival’s premiere songwriters including:

Mark Sherrill, who is no stranger to The Mississippi Songwriters Festival and has written songs cut by George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Hoyt Axton, Tanya Tucker, Lacey J. Dalton, Blake Shelton and more. In 2002, Sherrill received the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Achievement Award for “Ole Red”, co-written with Don Goodman and James Bohon.

Dave Pahanish, a 30 year veteran of the music industry has found success working as a music artist, songwriter and producer. Panhanish co-penned Tobey Keith’s “American Ride”, Keith Urban’s “Without You” and Jimmy Wayne’s “Do You Believe Me Now?” – all three climbing to #1 on Bilboard’s Country Charts. Some other notable songs written or co-written by Panhanish are Tim McGraw’s “Right Back Atcha Babe” and “The One That Got Away”, Jimmy Wayne’s “I Will”, Emily West’s “Completely Yours” and Collin Raye’s “Divine Everlasting Love”. He performs regularly and has released 7 albums to date. Plus, has performed as part of the Country Throwdown Tour with Willie Nelson, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry, Eli Young Band and others. Pahanish is always a welcomed addition to The Mississippi Songwriters Festival.

Clay Mills, one of this year’s Mississippi Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees (we shared an extensive bio of Mills in our recent article spotlighting the Hall of Fame), is a 16-time ASCAP award winning songwriter and producer. Mills has co-penned such #1 hits as Darius Rucker’s “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and Diamond Rio’s “Beautiful Mess”. He has also received Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” and Trisha Yearwood’s “Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love”. Some other artists who have recorded songs written or co-written by Mills include Lady Antebellum, Trisha Yearwood, Clay Walker, Reba McEntire, Easton Corbin, Andy Griggs, and many others. He and fellow hit songwriter, Marty Dobson, mentor thousands of songwriters worldwide at SongTown.com.

Click Here to read more about Clay Mills at our article spotlighting this year’s inductions.

Photos by Stephen “Andy” Anderson with introduction by Johnny Cole (additinal editing by Brenda Germany)

Joe Gilchrist
Tribute to Joe Gilchrist
Darwin Nelson (Mississippi Songwriters Alliance)
Jim “Moose” Brown
George Cumbest (Mississippi Songwriters Alliance)
Andy Haynes
Director of the Frank Brown International
Songwriters Festival
Mark Sherrill
Mark Sherrill
Dave Pahanish & Clay Mills
Dave Pahanish & Clay Mills
Clay Mills
Dave Pahanish
Clay Mills
Dave Pahanish
Clay Mills
Dave Pahanish

Related Articles and Photo Collections:
It’s Time for the 2022 Mississippi Songwriters Festival
The 2022 Mississippi Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductions
(article & two page of photos)

The Reggie Bates Memorial Scholarship Night (Sat. Sept. 17)
(photos & commentary)
Mississippi Songwriters Festival Kick-Off Party, Grand Finale & More
(photos & commentary)
When Sweden Came To The Mississippi Songwriters Festival
(photos & commentary)


Page Designed & Edited by Johnny Cole
Additional Editing by Brenda Germany
© The Southland Music Line. 2022.
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