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Bill Whyte / Blog

Whirlwind Yesterday...Benefit On Sunday

BILL BLOG Friday September 19, 2014 And it's Friday...and no one is complaining. YESTERDAY Thursday was a whirlwind requiring a few different caps. There was no blog here as you may have discovered...because I got a last second call to come into WSM and do the morning show as the regular host Bill Cody has taken a couple of day off. So..I was back up early doing morning drive once again on the home of the Opry which of course is a treat...and an honor to tell ya the truth. My thanks to Charlie Mattos (Bill's on air partner and great producer) for making things so easy for me yesterday. We had great fun together...and I look forward to doing it again sometime. This morning I'm listening to my friend Nan Kelley "One Pan Nan" (great cook)...whom many of you have seen on GAC through the years. She's filling in this morning and the first break she mentioned what a great songwriter she thought I was. Because of a long radio career...I'm sure a lot of folks think of me in that light...so it was extremely nice of Nan to say that. I get to write with her and her husband Charlie Kelley every now and then...writing Christmas songs recently for a Christmas CD that Nan is going to get around to recording one of these days. Can't wait. AND THEN Got home for the middle part of the day writing stories for New York about country artists including one about Band Perry offering to baby sit for their friend Carrie Underwood when she has her baby in a few months along with her husband Mike Fisher who plays hockey for our Nashville Predators. When the Band Perry would find time to burp a baby with their busy schedule is beyond me....but that's what they said! AND THEN...It was off to write with my friend Rick Tiger and Ayla Brown...Ayla who tours and is very busy...just got married...getting ready to honeymoon in Jamaica...and is out on the road raising money for her Dad Scott Brown who is running for Senate again in New Hampshire. The publishing company Rick writes for is looking for up-tempo songs...so that's what we wrote yesterday. Rick's great song he wrote "Jesus and Jones" that the legendary Sam Moore sang on...is being highlighted right about now on the "Imus" show on television...so I'm thrilled for my friend getting that kind of exposure. Rick actually parked cars at the Opryland Hotel when I first met him many years ago...and now we both write songs. Pretty cool. Three hats...one day in Music City. Wouldn't have it any other way. THE DAUGHTER My daughter Heather gave us a little good news when she told us she's not leaving until Saturday instead of today as we had originally thought. An extra day with your kid is always a great thing. She's got her Mama's good looks and her Daddy's sense of humor. Lord help us. THE WEEKEND Off to write with my Missouri friend Becky Blackaby this morning who's in town for a couple of days. Then Sunday...our "Hits and Grins" trio with Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself will help raise money for Cody Adcock who's battling cancer. A lot of musicians are donating their time to play Sunday at Smiley Hollow in an all day event to help as much as we can. Music starts at noon..and there's a ton of activities through the day. Bring the family. And if you're curious...here's a VIDEO tour of Smiley Hollow in Goodlettsville, TN. Have a great weekend!

New Baby...and Early Radio Tomorrow

BILL BLOG Wednesday September 17, 2014 The sound of squirrels running across my roof top this morning is deafening. Been a really long time since I've had squirrel gravy. YESTERDAY The morning was spent with my "Hit's and Grins" trio..taking care of business things that included sending out material for promoters of future shows...including those who are in charge of the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival that we'll be a part of in mid November down in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach. We also got some great news that we will be traveling quit a bit come late 2015 into 2016 as several buyers chose "Hits and Grins" to come to their venues and cities after we did a big showcase for hundreds of them in Nashville a few months ago. We look forward to coming to your part of the country for sure. It will still be quite a while before a tour schedule is put together with venues and cities...but...as soon as all that is locked in...I'll post our dates on my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com FORMER HITS AND GRINNER I got some really great news yesterday about our former female singer in our trio...Lisa Shaffer...when her husband Kevin Stone texted me a photo of their first baby! A baby girl! The little girl's name is Carrie Mae Stone. Lisa went in a little early...but from all reports came through in flying colors. Everyone is healthy...and I'm thrilled for my great friends. They will be incredible parents...and now have a daughter to add their little family that includes "Fozzie" the dog. Congratulations! It makes me and Steve Dean...uncle's! I told Kevin that they are now living a SONG that Lisa co-wrote that Steve Dean and I used to have the pleasure of singing with her every night on stage..."Sitting On Top Of The World." Congrats!!! EVENING IN THE ROUND And...I got a little good news from my other trio I have the pleasure of performing with..."Evening In The Round" with Linda Davis and Lang Scott. The end of January has shaped up nicely...and it looks like we'll play two nights in the Tampa area and one in Pensacola at the end of January. Let's see...end of January...and Florida? Yep...that works for me. Complete details will be posted on those three shows soon. CHANGE OF SEASON Yesterday I mentioned how the Opryland Hotel (where our WSM studio is located) is already getting gussied up for Christmas. Today...I read where Pensacola has a gingerbread making contest coming up...and UPS is gearing up for Santa by hiring 95,000 seasonal workers. Good Lord. How bout we get Halloween out of the way first? Maybe I'll put the tree up tomorrow and cork off the neighbors. SPEAKING OF WSM I just got a text from the morning producer Charlie Mattos who asked me to come in tomorrow morning as Bill Cody is taking a couple of days off. So....I'll be back in the early morning saddle one more time....on air at 5:30 am tomorrow with Charlie. I can promise you...that will be fun. You can listen from anywhere online at wsmonline.com. And...I hope you will! TODAY My daughter Heather flew in late last night from Miami...after being in Dallas the past four days to train and certify for American Airlines on the new gigantic airbus that the airlines are putting into the fleet. So I'm hoping to spend time with her and catch up on her busy life these days for sure. This afternoon my writing appointment is with Rick Tiger and Ayla Brown. Ayla's Dad is a Senator and was a Jeopardy QUESTION a few days ago! How cool is that? Ayla just got married...and Rick wrote a very cool tune that a new-grass act recorded with the legendary Sam Moore! Here's the VIDEO of that great song Rick wrote...worth sitting through the mandatory commercial for. "Jesus...and Jones." Check it out. So...I'm in great company today. Have a great Wednesday

If I Were Mayor

BILL BLOG Tuesday September 16, 2014 74 for a high today in Music City. I think we've turned the corner on summer. YESTERDAY I was back on air from 10-3 on WSM...thanks for listening if you did. The studios are in the Opryland Hotel...and the decorating for the Christmas season is already going on. They string enough lights outside the hotel to light a small city for sure. Halloween is straight ahead...Turkey Day....and hello Christmas. It will be here before we blink. Geez. FREE JOLT McDonald's is doing that free coffee thing again...for a couple of weeks. McFree. It's my home office in the morning...coffee...paper. Now if they offer up a free newspaper...I may never leave. I'm looking for the funny stuff in the paper every morning...and pretty much everything is funny if you look at the world upside down. I don't have to dwell on the serious stuff....because there are always a couple of tables full of older guys going over the world problems....ISIS...Ebola...the NFL etc. Maybe congress should pull up a seat with those guys and share a free cup of coffee. THINKING BEACH With the temps starting to drop some...I'm thinking beach. Fortunately...music takes me that way some in the winter. Check my calendar at billwhytecomedy for the dates and venues...but in October our "Hits and Grins" trio will be in quiet Port St. Joe, Florida for "Blast On The Bay", followed by a November stop in Gulf Shores for the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. Then at the end of January...another Florida run of three or four nights is shaping up for "Evening In The Round" with Linda Davis and Lang Scott. That info will be posted soon. Come catch a little music in warmer weather with me sometime this winter. RCA RCA Studio A is in bad shape. The building where so many hits were recorded has been bought...and may be razed. There's a fight going on to try and save it for historical reasons. Yesterday the new owner issued eviction notices. That includes one to my friend and great co-writer Wood Newton who's been in there for years and we've created songs in that office many times. The truth is...the old place that Chet Atkins once called home...is dingy....and needs lots of loving work. It's not an architect's dream either. I have some history in the old building too...that I've talked about before so I'm nostalgic about it too...hoping something creative might be done to save it in some shape or form. I still have the albums Eddie Arnold gave me when I stumbled into the place as a kid many years ago when Studio A was vibrant. We'll see what happens. TODAY It's Tuesday...that means "Hits And Grins" gets together. We'll write today..and prep for a cancer benefit we're part of in Hendersonville, TN this Sunday. We play at 3 pm that day at Smiley Hollow. More details are in my calendar and I'll blog more about that show later this week. Have a great Tuesday!

Missouri Fish Fry

BILL BLOG Monday September 15, 2014 Back home...and back on air later today. MISSOURI My wife and I had a great trip home to the Show Me State for my brother Gene's fish fry which was bigger than ever Saturday. We got to pick up my Dad....and get him out in the sun with friends and family which was special. My brother Gary and his wife Kay AND their son Chris made it in from Pennsylvania trekking across the country in their new motor home...my sister Rita and husband Terry were in from Minnesota....and my brother Gene hosted the event. The fish fry is held out in the countryside...and a small army of friends and family help him Gene fry the best catfish you've ever eaten. Folks bring covered dishes...there's a separate dessert room for crying out loud. Horseshoes clink against the post...but most pull up lawn chairs to visit...old school...and great. My brother Gene catches all the fish we eat...just the best parts are fried up in his secret ingredient. Everyone agrees it's the best fish they've ever eaten. And it's a way for him to thank friends that allow him to hunt and fish on their property all year long. Pretty amazing. My Dad has had a tough go over the past few years..and so it was great to see him laughing and enjoying the fish with everyone else and soaking up the conversation. Being blind for many years now...conversation makes him happier than anything else...and there was plenty of that being spread around on Saturday. My old KPCR radio friend Joe Lewis and his wife Rosie came...and it's always great to see them and share old war stories about that one bedroom trailer that sat out in a cow-pasture in Bowling Green, Mo. My Aunt Alene brought my mom's old wooden piano stool that my sister Vickie had for a long while and that her husband Dan helped refinish. I have many memories of my Mom making music on the old upright piano sitting on that old stool. It's in eyesight now...with a guitar propped up beside it. My hope is to write a few songs on that old stool...I know she's love that. Vickie and Dan are in Virginia...she was home recently to care for my Dad and could not make the trip back so soon. We missed ya Sis...and thanks for the piano stool! I also spent time with my other family the Raymer's....Dodge and Dean and their gorgeous place that overlooks a lake and had dinner with some of the family. I can't get enough of their love and friendship. Family...for sure. The beach is just a litlle more than a month away guys! All in all...just a great little two day trip home. And here's to caregivers everywhere. I have a deeper and deeper appreciation for the job they do. My brother Gene's wife Karen has spent some time doing that...and watching her work with my Dad on Saturday was pretty amazing. Now it's back to work in Nashville where I'll be on the radio at 10 this morning on WSM. COMING HOME On the trip home to Missouri we stopped at the first rest stop once you cross over into Kentucky from Illinois on I-24. It's in an old Civil War type home called Whitehaven. Pull up the picture and look. Amazing...for a rest stop. There's was a woman sitting on the front porch...and when we asked what the place used to be...she told us about the plantation and slaves and stables and water well and the war....and never stopped to take a breath. Best bathroom break I've ever taken on the interstate. TODAY Off to the radio station...on air from 10-3 on 650 AM WSM. Listen wherever you are online at wsmonline.com Good to be home...have a great Monday!

Homeward Bound

BILL BLOG Friday September 12, 2014 77 degrees for a high today. Now we're talking. ROAD TRIP Bags are packed in the hallway...off to Missouri this morning to see my Dad, family and attend my brother Gene's huge fish fry that feeds multitudes. Over 200 folks will be gathered out in the middle of the country...horseshoes will be clanking...lawn chairs will be scattered everywhere and folks will catch up with other folks they haven't seen since the last fish fry. Going to be good to be among em' as they say. My Dad has been battling for his life recently...so I'm hoping he'll feel the love surrounding him this weekend and take his mind off all he's dealing with right now. Plus I'll get to hang with my adopted family "The Raymers" this weekend too. Our annual month at the beach is sneaking up on us in November. Can't wait. YESTERDAY Thursday was filled with a couple of meetings...one was about potential show dates for our "Hits and Grins" trio...another about adding a patriotic song to my first album "Off The Wall" which we recorded at the Bluebird. I'm working on adding a song called "Let Me Shake Your Hand" to a re-pressing of that album as a bonus track. With it being 9/11 yesterday it seemed more than appropriate to be thinking about doing that. I don't perform the song all that much...only when it feels appropriate. But the song certainly hits a nerve with folks and many have asked me to record it for a very long time. The song is all about my feelings not having to go to Viet Nam...or serve in the military like many of my friends did. I'll let ya know when it becomes available. WANT ADS I rarely look a the want ads in the paper I read every morning. However, I took a quick glance today and decided that if I want a job...I have two choices. I can be a truck driver or salesman. I looked for the senior Chippendale dancer want ad...but could not find it. Those positions are apparently filled already. SPEAKING OF MUSIC Another reminder today about my bad timing of trying to be a songwriter. In 1999 14.6 billion dollars worth of music was sold in the US. In 2013...7 billion. Wow. I'm already taking a look at those truck driver/salespeople openings. MEANWHILE RadioShack may declare bankruptcy. Used to be so hip to sneak into radio shack and pick up a cassette player, batteries, wires and plugs etc. What happened? It's like Stuckey's. They used to dot the interstate. Hard to find one anymore. Maybe Stuckey's could buy RadioShack and offer a free pecan log with every purchase of a transistor radio. That should save the day. THE WEEKEND Clarksville...Paducah...Mt Vernon....St. Louis....Montgomery City, Missouri. That's the path home this morning. Next week is full of writing and working some on WSM. I'll post the air times on my calendar for next week as well as the Monday blog. Have a great weekend!

Inspired Room...and Missouri Ahead

BILL BLOG Thursday September 11, 2014 13 years later and we still ask, "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning"? I was on air...WSM-FM when the planes hit the towers. Stayed on air for 10 hours or so covering the tragedy and trying to make sense of it on the radio with our listeners. So it's pretty easy for me to never forget. 13 years later...it still doesn't make sense. 13 years later...and we still have troops in harms way fighting a war that may never end. God Bless those that serve...and God Bless those families who lost loved ones 13 years ago. YESTERDAY My morning was all about writing a song with Steve Dean and Paul Bogart yesterday. We wrote at the Sony building on Music Row and our assigned writing room was named after Bobby Braddock...the Hall of Fame writer who wrote "He Stopped Loving Her Today"...to name just one huge hit he's written. Humbling...to say the least. We got a pretty cool song out of the morning...so maybe Bobby should get a little credit for the vibe. APPLE Today...the business news says Apple's stock shot up a bit yesterday now that the smart folk have taken a hard look at the smart watch and and new iPhone coming out. And...the word is you'll have to be patient to get one as they expect lines...and an immediate sell out of the initial product. It's hard keeping up isn't it? Something new every day rolls out that continues to amaze me. In the future...pedestrian cell phones will alert drivers that they are walking across the highway in front of us...prompting our cars to brake to not hit them. Wow. Wonder if they can get deer to carry a cell phone? GOOD NEWS Apparently...our ozone layer is recovering. We've removed some of the stuff that's caused that problem...and it seems to be working a bit. If we have the expertise to fix the ozone hole...why can't we eliminate potholes too? CONGRATS To my buddy Kevin King and his wife Taska. Kevin has programmed the country station in Pensacola for years now...and even has the big title of "Operations Manager". He's leaving the beach to take the Program Director's job at a country station in Knoxville. I'll miss seeing them on my beach run...but they'll be closer to Nashville which I know they want...so congrats to them. I almost went to work with Kevin in Pensacola years ago to do their morning show. A twist took me back to Cincinnati instead...but after the interview and job offer...and then turning it down at the last second...we've remained great friends...and he's extremely good at what he does. So...happy for him and Taska this morning. See ya in the Smokies! TODAY I've got a little business lunch downtown today...some writing for the New York folks...then it's time to pack the car to head home to Missouri to see my Dad and attend my brother Gene's mammoth fish fry on Saturday where 250 folks will all agree that my brothers fried catfish (all of which he catches himself) is the best tasting fish they've ever eaten. And it is. I'm packing camping chairs and a big fork. Have a great Thursday.

Halloween Gig

BILL BLOG Wednesday September 10, 2014 Wondering what happened to that "hump day" camel on TV this morning. Must have worn out his welcome in the office. YESTERDAY A catch up day at the house...writing for New York...spending a little time with the daughter...and adding a gig for "Hits and Grins". Our songwriter trio of Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself will play October 31...Halloween night at Puckett's in downtown Nashville. This could get out of hand. I'm already trying to decide if I'm dressing up as a ghost or Kim Kardashian where I would tie a pillow on my behind to get "that" look. Showtime that night is 8:30 pm..and the food is great! ACM The Academy of Country Music handed out some "off camera" awards last night. Not all the trophies are handed out on the TV show. Carrie Underwood teared up for a humanitarian award she received last night...and Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap picked up Career Achievement Awards. Rascal Flatts took a knee on stage with Tim Tebow as Tebow surprised the trio with an award. Pretty cool. If you're interested...this LINK will give you the rest of the story and other awards from last night. Congrats to all the winners. NEW PHONE Apple rolled out their new iPhone and a iPhone watch which was expected. So much so that their stock slipped. It's not good enough for Apple to give what's expected...we've come to expect a surprise from them through the years. Wow. Heavy is the head that bears that big ole Apple crown. I know I'm going for the upgrade on the phone...BIGGER screen. Maybe I won't have to use reading glasses now to find my "Angry Birds" icon. CELEBRITY CHEFS Cooking has become so popular we've made celebrities out chefs. Those who make a "celebrity" name for themselves are printing money for their bank accounts. There's a big food-wine festival in town this weekend where thousands will attend and sample stuff I don't recognize. And as far as wine goes...you'd probably see me at the Mogen David tent as much as you would the Mondavi tent. I've mentioned it before..that stuff is SO wasted on me. My wife now... SHE has great taste...is experimental...will try new things. Me? Mr. Plain. I wish my Mom had made a cook book. I forget how much lard goes into a frying pan...or how long a loaf of home-made bread should sit in a window sill or what the exact mixture was that went into the cylinder to be turned to crank out home-made ice cream. TODAY Off to write with Steve Dean and Paul Bogart today. Paul just completed a western tour with his band and I continue to be a big fan of his music as well as a friend and co-writer. Have a great Wednesday.

Hateful Women Songs and A Fish Fry

BILL BLOG Tuesday September 9, 2014 Feels just a tad like Fall this morning...cooler temps...and big time fog out my blogging widow this morning. YESTERDAY I had two song writing appointments yesterday. My morning session on Music Row was with Amanda Daughtry who brought an idea to the table that involves Facebook...and girls being hateful to other girls...sorta. So...a "contemporary" idea for sure. I'm not sure why girls do that to each other...heck...I...like most men don't understand a LOT about women and why they behave the way they do sometimes. (And of course women don't get guy behavior either) But...it's fun to explore it at a writing table for sure and getting an education on that stuff from your co-writer. The song is about half finished...and whether it turns out great or not...it was more than worth my time yesterday just go get educated a bit more. Amanda is working on her new album....so maybe this tune will show up there. I'll let ya know. AND THEN I made my way to Steve Dean's house for a "Hits and Grins" writing session as we finished up a tune we had started last week. This is something that Victoria Venier may add to her set list whenever our trio plays shows...we'll see. Speaking of "Hits and Grins" shows...I just found out that we play at 3 pm on Sunday September 21 at Smiley Hollow in Ridgetop, TN. This is a cancer benefit that will feature a lot of acts helping raise money for the cause. We're happy to be one of those. CONGRATS To Dave Haywood who's part of the Lady Antebellum trio. He and his wife had their first baby Sunday...a boy. "Cash Van Haywood." The "Cash" is from his wife's last name "Cashiola" and "Van" from Dave's fathers name "Van" Haywood. I've had the chance to hang a bit with Dave's mom and dad who must be proud grandparents today. (And...they're super people) They attended our "Evening In The Round" show in South Carolina recently featuring Linda Davis and Lang Scott and myself. Linda and Lang's daughter Hillary Scott and her husband Chris have a one year old now...so the only one not with child is Charles from that trio. Lot of pressure on him! TODAY I'll be concentrating on writing for my New York syndicates today..then spend a little time with the daughter before putting her back on a plane for Miami tomorrow. And this weekend I'm headed home to Missouri to see my Dad...and attend my brother Gene's mammoth fish fry that happens once a year...with truly the best fired fish you've ever tasted. Word is the weather is going to be cooler...so I'll be packing a jacket along with the lawn chair. More on that later. Have a great Tuesday.

Trop Rock Nomination

BILL BLOG Monday September 8, 2014 Time to make the donuts. THE WEEKEND Lot of football on this weekend...had a chance to catch a lot of it...both college and pros. But...also got to spend some time with my daughter Heather who's here for a couple more days with us which is always a treat for her parents. Her one year anniversary as a flight attendant for American Airlines is coming up in a few days...hard to believe. So she's heading for Dallas to train on the airbus aircraft that's rolling out for the airlines. If you're flying American...look for the girl with the ukelele case...that would be my daughter. A MOVIE My wife and I did sneak out to see a movie yesterday. We saw "100 Foot Journey" that starred Helen Mirren...but the entire cast was great. Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg both had helping hands in the middle of this movie set in the countryside of France about a young chef making his way with his family from India. They wind up competing against Helen Mirren's fancy restaurant 100 feet away from their own restaurant. We loved the movie. The scenery of France alone was worth the price of the ticket yesterday...and the acting was excellent. No special effects...no slam bang stuff...just lazy...interesting...great story. You wanted a bottle of wine to share while you were watching it....and it made us want to make that journey to France even more. That trip is on the horizon. Here's a sneak peak of the MOVIE. A LITTLE GOOD NEWS My friend Mr. Burns has not even posted this himself...talking about my frequent co-writer Brent Burns down in Gulf Shores. But...he's nominated for "Entertainer of the Year", "Album of The Year" and "Song of the Year" for the "Trop Rock Awards" in Key West coming up at the end of October. The significance of that is that the album and song of the year is a song called "Beach Fix" that I co-wrote with Brent and my friend Steve Dean. A song Brent and I wrote called "Don't Come Knockin' If The Tiki Hut's Rockin" won for song of the year last year...and now we're up again. Pretty cool. Congrats to my friend Mr. Burns. We'll be down in November to celebrate. Happy again for my talented friend down on the Gulf. TAKE SOME TIME OFF Some folks just can't do that easily. A survey shows that 40% don't take paid time off...or worry about taking that time off because there will be too much to do when they come back to work. Wow. I understand that feeling. With our hand-held devices...we're always in touch with what we do. E-mail stacks up. (I hate letting is stack up) Because a lot of what I do is writing for a living...I'm rarely un-plugged from the world. I can do that kind of work in LA as easily as I can do it here in Nashville...so I often do. But if I'm honest...I get bored pretty easily sitting on a front porch without something to do. What's the old saying? "I'll sleep when I die." TODAY A double writing appointment today starting with my North Carolina friend Amanda Daughtry who is working on her new album and has an idea she wants me to help her with. I'm always grateful when the artist brings an idea they like...and can't wait to hear about it. Then our "Hits and Grins" trio will get together to finish a song the three of us started last week. The trio will play a benefit in Hendersonville, TN September 21 for a great cause. I'm still waiting for our start time. All details can be found in my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com Have a great Monday!

A Teacher...And On Air Today

BILL BLOG Friday September 5, 2014 Hello weekend...where ya been? YESTERDAY It was a radio day...as today will be. On air from 10-3 today at 650 AM WSM. Yesterday I walked into the studio to see a couple of guys from the group "Exile" who were being interviewed by Bill Cody. Kentucky boys with a string of hits through the years. Keyboard player Marlon Hargis was there with Les Taylor...and Marlon came over and introduced himself and ask if I had been on the radio in Cincinnati. Yep...twice...for about 12 years in all. He then told me that he had some great friends from that area who loved the radio show back then and they were still upset that I had left the market and that it made no sense to them that the radio station there did not keep me. That's radio 101. Doesn't have to make sense. And if you're in that business long enough...you start to be immune to things that don't make great sense all the time...and you even get to the point that you don't take it personal. I've had waaaay more good than bad that's happened to me in radio...and I'm grateful for that. But...how nice to hear. For the record...my contract ended in Cincinnati...the radio station chose not to re-new it...or my wife and I would probably still be there. But...I'm glad it happened because we would not be here in Nashville now...and I simply could not be happier doing what I'm doing...which is mostly something creatively different every day. And I don't ever have to worry about me renewing my contract. JOAN RIVERS Like everyone else...sorry to hear of her passing yesterday. Acerbic...caustic...cut to the bone comedy. She picked on everyone...like the female version of Don Rickles. Joan Rivers once said, "Death is final...unless you're Shirley McClaine." My guess is...if she's allowed to walk on a red carpet into heaven...she'll walk right up to God and say, "Can we talk?" GARTH Garth Brooks cranked it up in Chicago last night. By all reports...the concert was typical Garth...lots of energy...lots and lots of fans...new and old. Worth going to see...at least once. GOOD OLE DAYS OF SCHOOL So I'm sitting next to a couple of young radio folks yesterday and they talk about their High School radio stations and newspapers. Their class sizes were over 200. Good grief. My Senior Class at Elsberry High in Missouri was barely over 30. No paper...certainly no radio. We had a Spanish class with a teacher that was barely awake...and I'm pretty sure he was struggling with "Habla" anything himself. It's amazing to me that I wound up a writer and broadcaster. I had a great English Literature teacher who probably helped lead me down that path as she was quick to praise some of writing work we had to turn in for class. One fictional piece was put in our little local newspaper...through her effort. Proof....that one teacher can make a big difference in a kids life. Encouragement at a young formative age is priceless. I'm still grateful to her. And I hope that somewhere in my own life...that I've said something positive enough to someone else to help return the favor that teacher did for me. THE WEEKEND AHEAD On air today from 10-3 on WSM. And then it's a ton of football over the weekend with both Pro and College games. I just read where more and more college football stadiums are starting to sell beer. So when those Auburn fans sit next to those Alabama fans at the Iron Bowl this year...things could get interesting. Have a great weekend.