W. Derek Russell


W. Derek Russell is the entertainment writer and Sunday editor for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. He has been published in DC Comics, CBS Watch Magazine, Titan Magazine publications and many others. Derek went to the Journalism School of Fletch and Clark Kent. If you have an event in the arts and entertainment world, contact him.

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Stories Written by W. Derek Russell

On a frigid night one December – Christmas Eve in fact – my daughter opened a small package with a bow to find a furry head pop out and lick her cheek. The some-week-old puppy inside yipped at her, instantly warming our hearts – even my cold one. Driving to church that evening, I asked […]

By W. Derek Russell Daily Journal TUPELO – Baltimore, 1962. Rock ‘n’ roll is king, hormones are raging, integration is shunned and plus-sized teenager Tracy Turnblad is ready to fulfill her dream of dancing on “The Corny Collins Show.” “Hairspray,” based on the 1988 film of the same name, packs a lot of social elements […]

By W. Derek Russell Daily Journal TUPELO – When Victoria Fox found out she had landed the role of Belle in Pied Piper Players’ production of “Beauty and the Beast,” it was the culmination of her lifetime of all things Disney. “Belle and Ariel were always my favorites,” said Fox, 16, a sophomore at TCPS. […]

By W. Derek Russell Daily Journal TUPELO – Whether it’s snakes, the guillotine or the electric chair, theatricality has always been a part of Alice Cooper’s stage presence. But he’s looking to add a little weather to his setlist when he plays Tupelo this weekend. “We try to get down to the South right during […]

By W. Derek Russell Daily Journal TUPELO – Few traditions stand the test of time like the GumTree Festival – but even with its many components, celebrating the arts stands at the forefront of the festival’s mission for the past 46 years. Part of that celebration is the annual songwriting competition, and this year is […]

Historically speaking, history has never been kind to the month of April. Wait, no, strike that – reverse it. The month of April has never been kind to history, historically speaking. Today alone is both the anniversary of the RMS Titanic striking an iceberg in 1912 as well as the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln […]

By W. Derek Russell Daily Journal TUPELO – The Tupelo Film Festival, now in its 14th year, lost a champion when Pat Rasberry died in September 2016. Rasberry was film commissioner of Tupelo for more than 25 years and was an integral part of the festival. But, in her absence, the work is continuing thanks […]

I spent the majority of Thursday in Yalobusha County with photographer Lauren Wood for an upcoming story in our Mud and Magnolias magazine on spending a weekend in the town. That’s, at least, what we set out to do. What we ended up with was a serendipitous journey through a photograph in time. I’ve been […]

By W. Derek Russell Daily Journal TUPELO – A good whodunit keeps you guessing, but Tupelo High School’s latest murder mystery will keep you laughing at the same time. “Ax of Murder” invites the audience in for a look at a haunted play that changes with each performance, and the latest production has brought forth […]

My daughter turned 6 on Wednesday, but she’s identified as 6 for a while now. The weeks leading up to 6 became “almost 6” after the first of the year. Make no mistake, in her mind, she has been 6 for more than two days. Her new age is definitely a milestone for her, joining […]