2009 Spring Retreat
Clarksdale, MS
The Art and Business of Lyric Writing


Carol and Gary Vincent:

Carol and Gary Vincent are lifelong professionals in the
music business.

Gary is a record producer, musician, engineer, and song
writer. His songs have been recorded by Mickey Gilley,
John Anderson, The Crickets, Gary Morris, Tompal Glaser,
Chris LeDoux, Leon Redbone, and many others. He was
recently nominated for a Grammy for his co-production of a
song on Elvin Bishop’s record “The Blues Rolls On”. Gary
is currently the President of Ground Zero Blues Club Music,
a co-venture film company with Morgan Freeman. He is also
the owner of The Clarksdale Sound Stage, a unique
recording studio and soundstage located in Clarksdale MS.

Carol Vincent has been involved in international song
catalog administration for over twenty-five years, having
managed and provided services for catalogs which
included titles by stars such as Christina Aguilera, Kelly  
Clarkson, The Byrds, REO Speedwagon, Jerry Reed, Jimmy
Buffett, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, George Strait, Merle
Haggard, Delbert McClinton, just to mention a few.

They now reside in Clarksdale MS.
Why did the Clarksdale Chapter Choose to Host a
Lyric Writing Retreat?

Virginia Schafer, Clarksdale Chapter Head, says:

“Clarksdale has been historically significant in the
development of the blues. Blues, being true to itself, was
also the beginning of today’s music such as Country,
Rock, Hip-Hop and Jazz.  Among one of the most famous
blue musicians from the Delta was Robert Johnson,
sometimes known as the Grandfather of Rock and Roll.
Legend has it that he sold his soul to the devil who in
return tuned his guitar and thus helped Johnson become
one of the most famous blues guitar masters of the 21st
century. This all supposedly took place at midnight at the
Crossroads, the junction of Hwy 61 and Hwy 49 in
Clarksdale, Mississippi.  Clarksdale has been known for its
Juke Joints, Blues Music Clubs, throughout the years and
some newer joints such as Morgan Freeman’s Ground
Zero, Hicks, the Hopson Plantation, and others have
brought in visitors world wide. What a great place to study
the art of writing and music!”

Report of 2009 Spring Retreat

Clarksdale Spring Retreat 2009 - A great time was had by
all!  Our morning started with a full house at the Cutrer
Mansion (of Tennessee Williams fame) to listen to Gary
Vincent, famous songwriter and record producer.  He told
us about his colorful start in the business, how he landed
up in Clarksdale, MS, dos and don’ts of getting into the
songwriting business and even played a few tunes.
(Personally, I was amazed at Gary's talent as an artist in
many genres that he demonstrated). Our lunch break at the
Ground Zero was graced by Bill Luckett and Morgan
Freeman, owners of the Blues Club and Cafe.  By the way,
Mr. Vincent is also in partnership with Morgan Freeman in
the Ground Zero Music Company.  After lunch, our
participants had a choice of speakers, some went to
Gary's unique recording studio to listen to his wife Carol
about the business side of the record business, tour the
studio, listen to fellow artists perform and even record a
demo record.

Others had the opportunity to listen to Coop Cooper, LA
Screenwriter and Screenwriter Guild Graduate and also
syndicated Newspaper writer. Coop has come back to his
hometown of Clarksdale to work on some new projects.
You can see what Coop is up to at his website
http//smalltowncritic.blogspot.com.  He had extensive
hand outs on the craft and plans to put his information on
his website.  We look forward to hearing more from our
two speakers.  Our beautiful day ended back at the Cutrer
mansion for a social gathering and wine and cheese party.  
Many also met up later at the Ground Zero  Blues Club
Anniversary party. Other weekend trips included the Tour
of Parchman prison and Birdsong Delta Tour. We have a
lot to offer in Clarksdale and hope you all come out to visit
us again soon.


Dr. Virginia Schafer and the Delta Writers Association.   
Carol Vincent and Mississippi's
own Morgan Freeman
Gary Vincent
Overview for The Art and Business of
Lyric Writing Workshop

10:00 AM    Gary Vincent Lecture    “Song Writing
Breaking into the business.

What it takes to be a pro writer.

Writing, Networking, Pitching, Demos, Etc,

12:00       Break for lunch

1:30        Carol Vincent Lecture       “Music
Publishing” The business side of a song.
The ins and outs of the music publishing business.
Copyrights, Licensing, Writer Deals, BMI, ASCAP,

2:30        Show and Tell    
Gary will perform a few songs that have been
Writers from the group will have an opportunity to
perform or play a recorded version of one of their
songs. If they wish, Gary and the rest of the class
will critique the song.

3:30         Recording Session
The group song that gets the most votes will be
Gary will show the class how a Rough Demo of a
song is made in the studio.

In addition a second session, Coop Cooper  (the
small town critic) syndicated newspaper columnist
and screenplay writer from L.A. (originally from
Clarksdale) will talk about screenwriting and
newspaper writing and how to get syndicated!  
There will also be another special guest for the
afternoon session, so don't miss out!

5:00         Cocktail  Hour   Wine Cheese, if of age,
otherwise Sprite and Cheese.
May 30, 2009
Cutrer Mansion
Clarksdale, MS
Visit Clarksdale
here and here
Visit Ground Zero Blues Club
Great Place to stay in Clarksdale:

The Big Pink Guest House

Shack-Up Inn
Delta Music Institute
Virginia Schafer
Email Virginia for more info
What an unbelievable time in the Delta, home of the
Blues and Americana Music