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Bill Whyte / Blog

Radio Today...Smokies Tomorrow

BILL BLOG Thursday March 19, 2015 Good morning from Music City...good EARLY morning. Sun is not up yet and I'm already pondering things like...is it really true that one can not roller skate in a "Buffalo Herd" as Roger Miller once surmised in this SONG. YESTERDAY I teamed up with songwriters Victoria Venier and Paul Bogart at the Sony Music Firehouse on Music Row...a low...old brick building just off the main Sony building that tourists see when they take their Music Row tours. This one kind of goes unnoticed...a bit more discreet...but there's a ton of history as a who's who of folks have written some monster hits in this little building. Kris Kristofferson...Guy Clark...Bobby Braddock...Bill Anderson...the list is long and impressive. And there the three of us were having fun and trying to come up with something that does the ghosts proud. AND THEN I had a little get together with the President of the Nashville Songwriters Association Bart Herbison...and got updated on the effort that's consistently going on in Washington DC to educate congressmen and women about the plight of songwriters these days in a digital download world that's making it almost impossible to make a full time living doing that. Bart makes regular trips to Capitol Hill in an effort to come up with a better plan of payment for writers from those that stream the music in particular. He takes some of Nashville's songwriters with him on these trips...and they are able to walk into a congress man or woman's office and play their hits. Sometimes they'll get a "I LOVE that song". Like a lot of folks do. At that point...the writer can show the congressmen a statement from Pandora...or a digital streaming service and show them that the song they LOVE got two million streams on the internet...and then show them the check they received for 20 or 30 dollars. The education goes on...and I certainly applaud the effort...and would certainly make one of the trips to DC if asked. We'll see. CALENDAR ADDITIONS At least a couple of new things have been added. There's now a date in Wyoming for 'Hits and Grins" on a tour that starts in September later this year for me and Steve Dean and Victoria Venier. Love Wyoming...so I was glad to get the note telling me to put it on the calendar. This weekend...I'm working with some writers in Gatlinburg, TN along with writer Jerry Salley. Saturday night we'll be playing a show at Three Jimmy's alongside Wil Nance and Steve Dean who are also along on this trip to write and teach some folks who signed up for the two day workshops in the Smokies. The gig at Three Jimmy's is open to the public...we start playing at 6 pm. TODAY A full day for sure. It starts this morning with a writing session with Paul Bogart and Steve Dean....and ends with me being on WSM radio from 3-7 pm. Listen in if you like at wsmonline.com I'll be talking on the microphone...but looking to my left a lot at the TV that will have the basketball games on today. KY plays this evening...I think I heard they are favored by 33? That might be conservative. Then...it's time to pack a bag (gonna see if I can get my wife Kathy in it)...as I head for Gatlinburg tomorrow for two day of writing and a show Saturday night. Gonna be fun. More on that in tomorrow's blog. Have a great Thursday!

More Than A Movie

BILL BLOG Wednesday March 18, 2015 Okay...everybody put their green clothes away for another year...and get back to work. YESTERDAY Nope...did not watch a parade or drink beer...or even have a corned beef sandwich. I figure I celebrate St. Pats early every year when I make a run over to Pensacola during our Gulf Coast stays and have that corned beef at McGuire's. Great Irish place if you're ever near. BIPPITY So yesterday I went to the movie theater with my wife and daughter to see the new Cinderella movie. I know...but I'm a Dad...and it gave me quality time with my girls. I moved an appointment on my calendar to make it happen...and it was certainly worth it. The movie itself was really great if you're into Disney and the classics. And the young lady they picked to play Cinderella....well....let's just say they should bonus the casting director for choosing Lily James who was perfect. I'd not noticed her before...she's in the critically acclaimed "Downton Abbey" that I've not seen. But she really owns the role here in Cinderella. Two thumbs up from a Dad. MARCH MADNESS Part of my Tuesday was spent writing a parody song for my folks in New York about March Madness...and the brackets that we all fill out...and most of us tear up after one day of play. I think I came in second once in an office pool. The boss actually won...so I still think the "fix" was in. I'll never know. I just do not see anyone beating KY this year. It's not like someone can sneak up on them either because they are pumped to go "unbeaten" for the entire year. I like Wisconsin a lot...and I'll root for our tiny Belmont team who goes up against Virginia this Friday. But...I just would not bet a lot of dollars against Kentucky. A better bet might be guessing how many times the camera will freeze on Ashley Judd. LEE ANN WOMACK I'm a big fan of hers...love her music. And a co-writer of mine plays in her band out on the road these days. She may be the best pure country female vocalist today. In an article today she talked about how saddened she is by so many who interview her who would prefer to talk about her wardrobe or makeup or her workout routine as opposed to talking about her music. Yep...I get that Lee Ann. But take it from a dude who's been on the other side of the microphone interviewing thousands through the years...the commercial audience...those listening...want to be entertained. And these days...they find the "light" talk more interesting than knowing where you found a great song or anything about the producer or nuts and bolts of a new album. As an interviewer...who lives on both sides as a radio guy and songwriter/performer...I always try to provide balance. Give the audience what they need...while inserting what the artist needs...all within the same interview. But...I can also tell you...that if the interview of 10 or 15 minutes is taped...a producer of that morning radio show will take it and chop it down to a couple or three minutes...and guess what info gets edited out the most? I'd rather talk about the music too...but it ain't my choice...or the choice of radio guys trying to acquire ratings to keep their jobs. TODAY Off to a writing appointment on Music Row with Victoria Venier from my "Hits and Grins" trio...and my buddy Paul Bogart. It will be the first time the three of us have written together. Paul and Victoria are both into horses big time. I bet horses once in a while...and I've dropped a quarter to ride the Wal Mart beast....but that's about it. I may be the outsider in this venture today. Tomorrow I'll be on air for WSM from 3-7 pm...and then Friday morning it's off to Gatlinburg to participate in a writing clinic over there. Busy days...and more on those events in tomorrow's blog. Have a great Wednesday.