MORRIS COLUMN:Ireland’s Van Morrison rocks,and so can you

I’ve got two options: Give up my quest to get Irish rock legend Van Morrison to play in Tupelo, or kick the effort up a notch.
Todd Hunt, director of the BancorpSouth Arena, is a busy man, but he needs to put more passion into making this glorious moment come to pass.
It’s too late to stop now. This is Tupelo, the birthplace of the one and only Elvis Presley. That was enough to get Bob Dylan to play here – twice. It should be enough to get the man behind “Tupelo Honey” to town.
So I’m introducing some competition.
Tony Caldwell, director of the 19th Cellular South GumTree Festival Songwriters Showcase, said he’s got a Van Morrison plan.
“If he’s still alive and we come up with $1 million, we’ll get him,” Caldwell said. “We need some Toyota grant money: ‘Toyota presents Van Morrison.’”
It works for me. I don’t care how Morrison gets here, as long as he gets here and I get a ticket.
I’m opening the competition to anyone who’s got a venue large enough to fit both Morrison and me. Good luck to one and all.

Music men and women
I have to admit that I blackmailed Caldwell into joining my effort. Caldwell wants something in the Mighty Daily Journal, and I want to hear “Into the Mystic,” “Call Me up in Dreamland” and “Brand New Day” live and in person.
Let the record show that I’m doing my part: The 19th Cellular South GumTree Festival Songwriters Showcase, May 9-10, needs you or someone you know.
Songwriters are encouraged to submit a CD with two original songs that haven’t been published or recorded. There’s a $25 entry fee, and Caldwell has extended the deadline to April 24.
Finalists will perform on May 9, and three winners will return to the stage on May 10.
First place gets $500, second earns $250 and third prize is $150.
The writer must perform his or her songs, though duos and trios are allowed.
“We’re keeping it acoustic,” Caldwell said. “No drums. They take too much time to set up between songs.”
Cary Hudson from Blue Mountain will serve as the showcase judge, and Blue Mountain will perform during the festival.
Applications are available at the GumTree Museum of Art Web site at or by calling the museum office at (662) 844-2787.
“We also have applications at music stores and around town,” Caldwell said.
Any questions? Call Caldwell at (662) 832-1658, or e-mail him at If he asks, tell him Van sent you.

Bonus quote
“She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey/She’s an angel of the first degree/She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey/Just like honey from the bee.” – Van Morrison, “Tupelo Honey.”

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or


M. Scott Morris

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