Andrew McCarthy: “Mississippi one of the happiest surprises of my travel life.”

“One of the happiest surprises of my travel life has been Mississippi. Elvis’s birthplace in Tupelo, Rowan Oak-William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, the Delta and the blues in Clarksdale (where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil), the tragedy of Emmett Till and all that led to. “Complicated” is a word you hear throughout Mississippi – I’m glad I came and can’t wait to return and dig deeper.”

– Andrew McCarthy, Facebook post, Dec. 14, 2023

A man of his word, Andrew McCarthy is returning.

McCarthy will be our guest author when The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour kicks off the 2024 Oxford Film Festival on Thursday, March 21 at 5 pm (Note early showtime) at the Gertrude C. Ford Center.

The show is free and open to the public with no festival pass required. Doors will open at 4:30 pm.

The Ford Center is located at 351 University Ave. in Oxford.

(NOTE: McCarthy will sign books at Square Books on Friday, March 22 at 2 pm, the day after his Thacker appearance at the Ford Center).

Andrew McCarthy is best known for his acting in memorable films from the 1980s including Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Than Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin.

In recent years, he has turned to directing television and writing. His memoir chronicling his movie career, BRAT: An ‘80s Story, became a New York Times Bestseller in 2021. A film documentary, Brats, based on the book, and written and directed by McCarthy, will stream on Hulu later this year.

McCarthy’s latest book is Walking with Sam, a chronicle of his 500-mile trek across Spain’s Camino de Santiago with his hard-to-impress, 18-year-old son, Sam. The memoir was a New York Times bestseller and “Editor’s Pick of the Week” and was recently named “Best Book of the Year” by the North American Travel Journalists.

Musical guests on Thursday’s Thacker will include Memphis songwriter Cyrena Wages and Alabama roots rockers, Reed Brake (pictured below). The show will be hosted by Jim Dees with Paul Tate and the Yalobushwhacker Big Band with the Thacker Horns and vocalist Mary Frances Massey.

The broadcast will air live locally on WUMS (92.1 FM in Oxford) and on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and other platforms (including Spotify, iHeart Radio) on Saturday, March 30.

Following Thacker at 6:30 pm, the festival will screen student films at the Ford Center in what is billed as an “UM Film Block” that is also free and open to the public.

A full schedule of Oxford Film Festival events (March 21-March 24) is available at

Check your local listings or the Thacker website ( for airtimes for our film fest show as well as all broadcasts throughout the spring and summer.

Our film festival show highlights a final month of great live shows before Thacker’s season wraps with our big finale on April 18.

Upcoming live Thacker shows will feature:

Ole Miss Gospel Choir, songwriter Cary Hudson and poet (and former Oxford resident) Jessica Fisher (March 28)

Oxford Conference for the Book with Memphis funkster Hope Clayburn and novelist Kaveh Akbar (April 4)

Memphis songwriter Talibah Safiya (April 11)

Foot-stompin’ season finale at the Graduate Hotel with our Thacker Big Band and gospel rockers, The Wilkins Sisters (April 18).

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, now in its 27th year, will hit the road this summer for dates in Clinton, MS, the Neshoba County Fair and Ocean Springs, MS with other cities to be announced.

The show will resume live performances in Oxford on Thursday, Sept. 5.

Join the fun and keep this party going (for as little as ten bucks a month): Friends of Thacker Mountain Radio.

Thanks yall! See ya on the radio!