BILL BLOG Thursday December 19, 2013 And by now you've got all your Christmas shopping wrapped up right? 6 days to go. Fa la la la la.... YESTERDAY Wednesday I spent a lot of time writing comedy scripts for my radio syndication company in New York. I got to spend a little time with our daughter Heather who is home for a couple of days...but flies back to Miami tomorrow to work the holidays for American Airlines before returning for a late Christmas celebration at the "Whyte House" on the 27th. With her birthday being New Years Eve...we'll have a double celebration. Here birthday always reminds me how different life became after her. AULD LANG NO MORE After singing in bands for lot of years on the road...I always played New Years Eve somewhere...ringing out the old....ringing in the new in front of people with party hats and noisemakers all with drinks in their hand. After Heather was born...I haven't gone out once for a New Years Eve party...and can't even remember being up past midnight on New Years Eve since our little quiet birthday celebration with her started happening. When you have a kid born on New Years Eve...you don't need to buy any more noisemakers. Just saying. LAST NIGHT I had the pleasure of being on WSM radio again...home of the Grand Ole Opry. Last night was "Way Back Wednesday"....where Eddie Stubbs (who I filled for) goes way back in the country music library to play some real classics. I had fun choosing Jack Greene, Roy Drusky, Jimmy Martin, Carl Smith, Ray Price, George Jones and the like and sharing stories with the 650 AM audience. Nothing like it. I played a song by Roy Drusky called "JODY AND THE KID". It was not a number one song...but it had country music history attached to it. Roy Drusky was the first to record a song written by Kris Kristofferson....and that was the song.
Being able to spend a little time at a radio station that still talks about and reveres the history of the format that much is rewarding to say the least. I should be on multiple times next week as so many of the full timers will be off for Christmas. I'll let you know when as soon as the schedule rolls out. IS IT JUST ME? Or does anyone else suspicion that the "Elf On A Shelf" is working for the NSA? IF YA CAN'T GET TO SLEEP... Think about something positive before you shut off your Homer Simpson night light. That's what the experts say. Duh....or "doh"! from Homer. I'm guilty of having my head full of work many nights. So a couple of nights ago I dreamed I won the Megamillions drawing and it worked. I went right to sleep. But then I woke up the next morning to find out that once again...I didn't have one single number on my ticket that matched the winning numbers. So that night...I got no sleep at all. Sigh. TODAY I'm off this morning to write with Jimmy Fortune the long time Statler Brothers tenor and my great friend Sydni Perry...the talented fiddle player singer who works out on the road some with Jimmy and Patty Loveless. Love writing with these folks and hearing both of them sing. It's one of those days I'll sit with a guitar in my hand and I'll be thinking how dog-gone blessed I am to be able to do what I do these days. Have a great Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday December 18, 2013 Seven days til the fat man greases the chimneys with Crisco and comes sliding down. STILL WORKING Two winners for the Mega Millions last night. I just checked. Nope. Guess I'll go ahead and finish this blog then while someone from Georgia and another from California run around naked screaming at the top of their lungs. Okay...that's what I'd do...just assuming they're doing the same. YESTERDAY It was a day of rehearsal for our "Hits And Grins" trio tightening up a few songs so that we could play them for an small audience of folks who will be instrumental in acquiring dates for our trio out on the road. We have a lot of work to do...but so far so good and the little "audition" went off great yesterday on a sound stage just north of Nashville. Much more on this in the future. SURPRISE One of the really great perks that my daughter Heather has right now is being able to jump on a plane and fly for free...as do we her parents. Yesterday...she realized she's has a few days of "downtime" and flew in from her American Airlines base down in Miami and will leave come Friday. But...ya take every day you can with your kids...and we're glad she's here as Christmas starts to sneak up on us. We kind of like those calls we get that say..."pick me up at the airport". WEATHER We're going to see some 60 degree weather this week. Love that. I see where November was the WARMEST ever around the world. Apparently Russia had a HUGE heat wave this year which helped put the numbers over the top. I don't know if that's global warming...or the Russians creating so much heat with all the vodka shots. AT THE MOVIES The new "Ron Burgundy" with Will Ferrell is out today. He's been around the world "in character" promoting this for months now. So "over the top" stupid...but funny as they poke at those guys with "TV Hair" reading the news. I actually thought about TV news at one point in my career...but...I'm a hair or two short of having the look of a TV anchor...or a preacher...so those choices were not available to me. You can be thankful for that. TODAY I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter...do a little comedy writing...and then tonight I'm back on the radio from 7-Midnight on WSM. Tune in if you can on the internet at wsmonline.com Have a great Wednesday.
BILL BLOG Tuesday December 17, 2013 I got up early this morning...5 am or so...pulled out of the garage headed for my little routine of coffee and scouring a couple of newspapers and had to stop for a second just to take in a mammoth full moon hanging over Old Hickory Lake. These days...I do a little better job of appreciating "little" things like that. WSM I was on the air filling in for Mike Terry yesterday when the call came in that Ray Price had passed. 4:44 Central Time at home with hospice care and family gathered. What a loss. Ray was a friend of WSM and a personal friend of Eddie Stubbs who followed me on the radio last night and paid tribute to Ray as only he can. Eddie is as much historian as he is radio announcer and I felt fortunate to hear him talk and play Ray all the way home after my shift was completed. I also feel very fortunate to be a small small part of such a great radio station as 650 AM WSM...the home of the Opry that still keeps alive the tradition of great great iconic artists like Ray. Jimmy Carter called in and had T.G. Sheppard was with him and they both talked a bit about Ray as we broke the story. Eddie will be doing a complete 5 hour program to honor Ray sometime next week...and I'll let you know when so you can listen in worldwide at wsmonline.com HIS PASSING Reportedly Ray was in no pain at the end...as he left the hospital giving up his battle with pancreatic cancer. Hospice made sure that he died in peace. My Aunt Vivian and I had a great conversation about dying once. She spent a fair amount of her life as a nurse. She told me "no one should be in pain" when it comes their time with the help of modern medicine. I hope that's the case for all of us...and the conversation made me feel better about dying when it comes my time. I don't think I fear death so much as I fear not living...because I'm having such a good time doing that. KEEPING IT REAL Phil Robertson...the head matriarch for the bearded "Duck Dynasty" family bailed on Barbara Walters and her "Most Fascinating People" show that he was to be a part of. Why? Because he went hunting. Love that. I've got a brother back in Missouri....Gene. If he grew a beard...he'd fit right in with that gang. Barbara Walters and national TV....or the quiet of the woods with a gun? Easy choice for them...and him. And I think they're priorities are correct.
MEGA MILLIONS? You got your ticket? Worth a half billion bucks or so tonight. I can't fathom that. I heard one lotto winner say one time that he was going to really splurge with his millions and fix his old truck. Lofty goals huh? TODAY I'm off to rehearse with Steve Dean and Victoria Lyn Venier who is the new member of our "Hits And Grins" trio. Lisa Shaffer my great friend...co-writer...and singer has decided to move back to her home state of Kentucky with her husband Kevin. Although she will continue to write songs and stay in touch...she's made a tough choice I'm sure to move on and so we have to re-tool the trio. I feel so fortunate to have her and Kevin in our lives...both my wife and myself adore them and wish them the very very best in the future. She's happy...so then we'll be happy for her...but will certainly miss her more than we can tell. OH....and tomorrow night I'll be back on WSM Radio from 7 pm to midnight filling in for Eddie. Have a great Tuesday.
BILL BLOG Monday December 16, 2013 I think we're just a few "Ho" short of a "Ho Ho Ho Christmas" aren't we? THE WEEKEND Got my Christmas shopping done! Woo hoo. And I got into the spirit just a bit yesterday by joining some other songwriters and singers to sing Christmas Carols at a nursing home in Bellevue just west of the Nashville Metro. We had a room full of seniors...many in their wheel chairs...some unable to sing along. But...it did seem to me that I saw more smiles and twinkling eyes that one could count so I feel like we did a good thing to help lift spirits there a bit. And some of course knew all the words and sang at the top of their lungs. At the end...each Senior got a foam red nose to wear. Nothing says Christmas like a red nose. I'm wearing mine this morning as I blog and I look marvelous. My thanks to T.J. Kirby who organized this event yesterday. As I told him afterwards..."you can never go wrong doing a good thing'. Merry Christmas to those folks and to all who joined us yesterday. WSM The group of Caroler's actually moved on to a second home yesterday that I had to pass on because of a commitment to Scott and Heino...the hosts of the "Music Row Show" that's heard every Sunday night on WSM. It's a two hour show featuring songwriters and last night the guys wanted me to come in and sing my Christmas tune titled "Blue Light Christmas" that I wrote with Jim McBride. Jim wrote "Chatahoochee" and "Chasin That Neon Rainbow" for Alan Jackson..."Rose In Paradise" for Waylon and many more. So one day he calls and asks me to write this funny Christmas idea he had about how some family members seem to wind up in trouble with the law during the holidays. Maybe some of you can relate? Thus..."Blue Light Christmas" was born. So last night I had the pleasure of singing it on WSM. Thanks for inviting me to be part of this idea Mr. McBride. MORE WSM I'll be on the other side of the WSM microphone today taking the place of Mike Terry between 3-7 pm this afternoon. Yep...I'll mix in a little Christmas music along the way so listen in if ya can at wsmonline.com RAY PRICE My friend and Hall of Famer Eddie Stubbs had to call into WSM last night and dispel the rumors that Ray Price had died. He has not...despite all the posts...some from reputable sources like our Nashville paper The Tennessean...who retracted it as well this morning with an apology. For the record...Ray is in hospice at home in Texas. It probably wont' be long...but for now...he is indeed alive and being taken care of by family. In a world of "tweet" and "Facebook" posts....we sometimes take those things as gospel...when we should question. My best to one of the greatest country singers ever. STILL NOT RICH Like a lot of you...I looked at my Megamillion ticket...with not ONE number showing up. Sigh. Bought another today. 550 million is much better than 400 million anyway. I'm wearing a t-shirt right now that reads "Why Not Me"?
TODAY I have some comedic writing to do for New York and then it's off to WSM for the 3-7 pm shift. Have a great Monday!
BILL BLOG Friday December 13, 2013 Friday the 13th...just saying. I've still got a ladder next to our Christmas tree that my daughter climbed on last night to top the tree...so I'll be VERY careful about not walking under it before I fold it up and put it away. YESTERDAY I did a little Christmas shopping...still have a bit to go...but I'm waiting on the "half off sale" at Dollar General Store to finish up. My wife and I spent a little more time with our daughter Heather last night before I took her to the airport this morning to fly back to Miami where she's based out of. She'll most likely be flying on Christmas Day for American...so our Christmas this year with her will not happen until December 27. So we'll hold all the gifts and our holiday dinner until she's able to join us. If you're flying during the holidays and see a blonde girl with a name badge of "Heather"...give her a hug from us. RAY PRICE Gosh...I love Ray Price. His time is very short now as he went home to hospice yesterday with pancreatic cancer. From the young days of "Heartaches By The Numbers" to orchestra days of "For The Good Times"...truly one of the GREATEST country singers ever. Thoughts and prayers today. WSM I'm so happy to work at the home of the Grande Ole Opry 650 AM WSM from time to time because we get to talk about our legends like Ray...and play his music. I'll be doing some of that next week as a matter of fact. Monday I'll be on air from 3-7 pm for the drive home. Wednesday I'll be in for Eddie Stubbs again from 7-Midnight. As always you can listen from anywhere at wsmonoline.com LOVE THIS I saw a picture of a Mom, a daughter and a son all wearing the same T-shirts with a picture of their Dad who died in action in Afghanistan. The caption read..."deployed to heaven". CELEBRATING One of the new hot deals in Vegas? Divorce parties. Big time. They could rival "honeymoon" parties in the future for popularity considering more than half of all of us get divorced. Vegas has got it figured out. They charge big time for weddings, honeymoon parties...and now divorce parties. The perfect trifecta. Wonder if they blare Tammy Wynette's big hit? D I V O R C E? They should. That song inspired a funny tune that I once wrote with Wood Newton (who wrote "Bobby Sue" and "Private Malone")....our is "She got a D U I-V O R C E. The guy would just NOT stop drinking. CASHING IN Megamillions is worth 400 million tonight. What are the odds that I could hit on Friday the 13th? Zero. But ya gotta buy a chance right? THE WEEKEND With any luck that half off sale will happen at the Dollar General and I can finish my Christmas shopping. Maybe a movie...and on Sunday I'll be singing with some volunteers at a couple of nursing homes trying to lift some spirits and bring some smiles for the folks there. I'm sure the experience will make me feel just as good as those we'll be singing for. Have a great one yourself.
BILL BLOG Thursday December 12, 2013 How many shopping days til Christmas? Good grief. YESTERDAY I did a little on camera interview with my friend Diane Untz who is half of the "Jack And Diane" songwriter show called "Nashville Unleashed". She is doing her own online video channel now and I sat down to talk with her about radio and songwriting and more. It was fun...and it should be available for you to watch soon. I'll let you know when and where as soon as I know if in case you'd like to see it. We live in amazing times. Diane did the entire thing herself. We actually did it from a Panera in south Nashville using her computer...a tripod with a little Flip Camera (and I thought they quit making those) and her cell phone for a monitor. The entire thing fed into the laptop where she can edit and tweak the video anyway she wants to. That kind of technology continues to make me shake my head in amazement. I talk with music folks all the time about how tough the music biz is. And trust me...it is. We talked about that some yesterday...but also talked about what a GREAT career it is if you really love it enough to pay your dues and wait tables and do whatever one needs to do to survive. And one of the things available to anyone with talent is "technology" like we used yesterday to expose your music or creative works. The business is an even playing field that way. Odds of ever getting a major record label deal and then a HIT...are like buying a winning lotto ticket. But...some folks do have that happen. And the rest of the talented folks? Marry technology. It allows you to find your own audience. CAN YA HEAR ME NOW? Today...the FCC starts the debate on whether to allow the use of cell phones when we fly on airplanes. My daughter Heather is still here and she flies for American. I'm going to get her opinion on that when she gets up this morning. Personally...as convenient as that could be...I can't imagine sitting next to someone yakking for 30 minutes while I'm concentrating on whether to buy the electric foot massager or lava lamp from the Skyways Magazine. And...you just KNOW if a family gets separated on a plane...that the phone will ring and it will be from another family member on the same PLANE. I'm leaning towards a "no" vote on that one. MOVIES I still go to a lot of movies. Not as many as I did a few years ago...but certainly a fair amount. As many as I see...I'm constantly amazed at myself for how few of those are nominated for the big awards. So far...that holds up this year as I have not seen ONE that was nominated for "Best Picture" by SAG....The Screen Actors Guild. The nominees this year are: American Hustle (which I will see) 12 Years A Slave (which I've heard from those that have seen it is moving) The Butler (I missed this one...but I hear that Oprah who's in it...does not surprise the theater audience with any free gifts...so what's the point?) August Osage County (Streep-Julia Roberts...and I'm not interested for some reason) Dallas Buyers Club (another I hope to see because I know Matthew McConaughey is incredible in this...and I'm a fan of his)
TODAY No more putting it off. After I finish up my writing chores for New York this morning...I HAVE to get my Christmas shopping done. Anyone else go out Christmas shopping and wind up buying stuff for themselves they don't really need? I'm going to try and resist that temptation today. But...if I run into a story that has a "half off" sale on that Miley Cyrus "BubbleButt" doll....all bets are off. Have a great Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday December 11, 2013 Fog...thick fog this morning. I've got the lo-beams on my Apple turned on. YESTERDAY My daughter Heather is a HUGE fan of "Hunger Games" so the family went to see the second in the series "Catching Fire". Thought it was okay. I'm not the fan she is...but any chance these days to spend time with her works for me. She'll be going back to Miami tomorrow...where it's 82 degrees...warmest spot in the country. I may have to sneak into her carry on bag. THE STAR With her leaving...we have one family Christmas tradition she'll have to take care of...putting the star on the top of our tree. The ladder is ready to go. She's had that job for years...this year will be no different. And it's a reminder to me how important it is to hang on to some traditions. It makes every one feel better. She told us a GREAT story about "stars". On one of her recent flights...the pilot let her sit in the second seat...turned all the lights out so she could see the stars on a perfectly clear night. She said the view was breathtaking. Her Dad is glad she's making such great memories for herself...and sharing some of them with her Mom and Dad. POKING MY EYE OUT That's because I saw Trace Adkins dressed as a SHOWGIRL last night in yet another Country Music Awards Show on television. Danica Patrick wore it better...no doubt. I only saw a little of the show last night...just too many of them to suit me. I'm hearing that LeAnn Rimes "wowed" the Vegas audience though with her acapella take on a Patsy Cline song last night that I'll have to look up. Because of her personal life...we sometimes forget what a "gifted" singer LeAnn is. More of that please! I have two great memories that always come back when LeAnn Rimes is mentioned. One...she came by for a broadcast I was doing on the stage of the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville one year for WMIL Milwaukee...Fan Fair....and her Dad came with her. Yep...back in the days of the song "Blue" where this little girl amazed us with her vocal and yodeling skill on that wonderful tune that Fort Worth Radio Hall Of Famer Bill Mack wrote. Still love that song. The second memory was when she came into the WUBE studio in Cincinnati for my morning show...and played "Rock em Sock Em" Robots with our producer...and would not STOP playing until she finally won and knocked his block off. Couple of memories worth storing huh? SPEAKING OF AMAZING MUSIC There will be a NEW Johnny Cash album coming out next March. When Johnny was dropped by Columbia Records in the mid 80's....Billy Sherrill had produced an album on John that was never released. But Johnny kept the tapes. And they've dug those bad boys out and will finally release this unheard "Cash" music next year. Cool. The album is titled "Out Among The Stars". I'm sure I'll get to play some of that on WSM after it's out. MEGAMILLIONS The lotto drawing for Friday night will be worth 400 million or more! Now that I have ZERO chance of winning with the odds being a billion to one...of course...I'll buy a ticket! I'll also buy a couple of those paddles to re-jump my heart just in case. TODAY I'm off to be interviewed by a musical friend for a Web Series based show. We'll be talking about radio and music and how they work or don't work together. I'll let you know when it's available to listen to. And then tonight...we were supposed to be going to see Belmont play basketball but the visiting team is from the east coast where the weather is bad enough that they cancelled because of not being sure they can get a flight in. So...we'll turn on the fireplace and watch out daughter Heather top the tree instead. Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday December 10, 2013 Woke up to white stuff this morning. What's with that? YESTERDAY I had a very fun writing appointment with one of my favorite country singers in this town...PAUL BOGART who brought a musical friend with him...Daniel Wilson who also plays in a talented musical trio and is great too. We wrote on the Row at Sony Music who re-built an adjacent firehouse building and turned it into a very cool writers house where folks gather to write music. So we had a great vibe with pictures of Sony writers like Roger Miller, Bill Anderson and other legendary writers hanging on the wall. Talk about trying to live up to what's gone before ya! But we had a very fun and great writing session and got a song to add to the catalog. Time well spent with a couple of creative dudes. Safe travels to Paul as he's on a bird to Italy tomorrow for a big festival show with his band this Saturday. Even Italian's love real cowboys...and Paul is all of that. LAST NIGHT I was on air at WSM until midnight...part of the reason this "blog" is up a bit late this morning. A TON of people running up and down the hallways in that mega huge Opryland Hotel that houses our radio studio. The tourists are in town to soak up the Christmas Lights and shows that are indeed impressive every year. Last night went a little quicker because my friends Lisa Shaffer and her husband Kevin were in the building sight seeing and stopped by to bring coffee about 10 pm which gave me a second jolt of energy.
The left before the weather hit...I got home safely too but it had just started. THIS MORNING... A little snow on the lawn...some iced up roads....folks were going very very SLOOOOW. We do sweet tea and country music well in Nashville. Snow? Not so much. But I have to admit...my view outside the window this morning is very postcard like with snow on the roofs and lawns....framing Old Hickory Lake in the background. Perfect day for hot cocoa and leg warmers...if I weren't worried about the Man Card Police showing up. HAPPY HAPPY Lisa Shaffer is a third of our "Hits And Grins" trio which is re-tooling as we speak...Steve Dean is the other. It was his birthday yesterday. He's a HUGE "Three Stooges" fan...so I'm going to have Moe go by and poke him in the eye. Happy Birthday buddy. TODAY I have quite a bit of comedy writing for New York to take care of before I can clear the deck and catch a movie today with my wife and daughter who wants to make SURE we see the "Catching Fire-Hunger Game" thing. She's hooked on the series. So...we'll go and dive into the big box of popcorn that I can pay back on an installment plan with any luck. Then tonight I have a music rehearsal as we continue to re-tool our little "Hits And Grins" trio. Again...more on that later. ON THE TUBE Tonight? Trace Adkins and Danica "Go Daddy' Patrick host another TV trumped up awards show with country stars. Danica is so tiny compared to Trace...I'm hoping he doesn't mistakenly give her away as a trophy to Florida-Georgia Line. I may DVR it. And then the Victoria Secret Show is on CBS tonight. Taylor Swift is in this...and on the ACA show. Hopefully she chose the right wardrobe for both...or not. Have a great Tuesday!
BILL BLOG Monday December 9, 2013 Green grass outside my window is what I'm looking at . That ice storm that sent everybody running to Krogers for bread and milk? Not so much. I think it fooled our squirrels too as they worked extra hard this weekend cleaning the walnuts off our lawn as if to lay up for bad weather. That may be a new song idea. "Bread and Milk". THE WEEKEND Well...the weather did have us staying indoors for the most part so we finished decorating our Christmas tree...with my wife doing the heavy lifting. She's got a tremendous eye for decorating and our living room with the fireplace on looks like a Norman Rockwell painting right now. And as for me...it was a LOT of football. The college bowls are lined up...and we've got the right teams I think in the Championship with Auburn-Florida State. Should be good. Proud of my home state Missouri for having a great year despite coming up short against Auburn...and now headed for the Cotton Bowl. Been a loooong time since Mizzou has been this good. THE DAUGHTER Then we got a nice surprise. My daughter Heather flew in from Miami to join us for a couple of days pre-Christmas. She was in Dallas a couple of days earlier when they delayed over 600 flights. She's a flight attendant for American so she was directly affected and had a very long day waiting for a plane to be able to fly. This of course will be part of her job on a fairly regular basis I would think at this time of year. In fact at her graduation in Dallas that we attended...one of the speakers kind of mentioned that in her speech which was telling. So...we're going to spend some time with her...and if she stays long enough we'll catch her alma mater Belmont in a basketball game Wednesday night. So...Christmas came early this year at the Whyte House. SPEAKING OF SNOW It was wild watching the Eagles-Lions game in Philly yesterday with all that snow. One could hardly watch the patrons chomping on their Philly-Cheese steak sandwiches. Here's a great quote from a Buffalo sports columnist about that. "We in Buffalo have a name for what they're facing in Philly. Autumn". SOUND OF MUSIC Carrie Underwood is having the last laugh at her "Sound Of Music" critics with HUGE ratings for her portrayal of Maria. My wife and I DVR'd it....and then watched...and I think for her first time...she did remarkably well. Those kinds of things are easy to pick apart. But the MUSIC is so great in it....it was easy for me to ignore her acting stiffness in places. And she yodeled pretty well too didn't she? I'm going to practice yodeling. Ya just never know when one will need to put on a pair of lederhosen and do a "yodel aee ooo" on top of a snow capped mountain to call the sheep home. SPEAKING OF MUSIC Brenda Lee gave her first concert in Nashville ever according to the paper this morning. Wow. She lives here. Don't know why this is her first. David Powelson who plays guitar for her...he played guitar in my band when we were young...gets to travel the world with Brenda. He tells me she is still a rock star in some countries. All I know is she's the nicest person. I got to have lunch with her one day in Milwaukee with David as they had a show that night and I joined them early. I'm sure everyone last night was entertained to the nines. And what's Christmas without Brenda singing "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree"? TODAY Full day. I'm off to write with my great cowboy friend Paul Bogart who's been traveling a bunch...Italy has been one stage of call lately. He's bringing a musical buddy from a new trio...so we'll write together for the first time down on Music Row. Then tonight...I'm on the radio again on WSM from 7-Midnight filling once again for Eddie Stubbs. Dial up the home of the "Grand Ole Opry" at wsmonline.com Have a great Monday.
BILL BLOG Friday December 6, 2013 Looks like it's going to be a great weekend for just staying in. Icing tonight and tomorrow in Nashville. We don't do ice well in the south. First...I don't skate. Second... I got rid of my snow-blower after leaving Milwaukee years ago...so none of that please!
YESTERDAY Another busy "blur" of a day that started with writing a new song with Daisy Mallory and Steve Dean. Always fun to write with a guy who's already had six number one songs...and a young artist who's sooo....talented. So that was a great way to start the day. Then I got my writing done for my content provider in New York for radio....and then it was off to do "radio" at WSM. I was on air last night from 7-Midnight inside the Opryland Hotel which was PACKED with tourists who come in to see the massive hotel all done up in it's Christmas best. It is gorgeous and worth a visit if you come to town. Bring comfortable shoes...and a GPS....you can get lost in that place. I'm sure I'll be on air several more times this month as the full timers will be taking some time off for the holidays. I'll let you know when. And my "on air" dates are also listed on my calendar along with my performing dates at billwhytecomedy.com NELSON MANDELA That is THE news headline for every paper today. I'm not going to wax about him here....except to say how amazed I am at how many repeatable "quotes" he offered up in his lifetime. Quotes you can hang on a wall. One of my faves..."don't judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up". The people I admire in my life...are human. They fall. They sin. They're real. BUT...they get back up. They try again. They do better. They succeed because they refuse to lay flat on the ground when they fail...or when life hands them a bad turn. The just keep getting up. In the end...I essentially feel anyone can make something great of their life if they really want it bad enough...and consistently refuse to give up. PUPPET MAN In January Jeff Dunham is coming to town with Walter and Peanut and all his puppet characters. He's now doing big ARENAS and filling them up which is pretty amazing when you realize how small he started. I had the pleasure of opening for Jeff for a week at the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Cincinnati several years ago so I got to know him a bit better. He had me announce that his comedy DVD from Comedy Central had become the biggest ALL time seller with a phenomenal amount of units sold. It was shortly after that he stopped doing small clubs...and launched himself into another stratosphere. Good for him. It's interesting...when Jeff does radio interviews...he brings the puppets...and you wind up interviewing THEM. Odd...but really funny...considering the radio audience can't see the puppets! And even odder how as the interviewer you LOOK at the puppet and talk to him...instead of at Jeff who of course is really doing all the talking. THE WEEKEND Well...first...the anniversary of the invasion of Pearl Harbor is tomorrow. Here's to those brave men and women who did what the could to repel the Japanese sneak attack that fateful day. It's eerie standing over the Arizona laying at the bottom of the harbor...but so worth the flight to Hawaii to witness that. AND THEN... I'll do some Christmas stuff...do a few cards...help my wife finish our tree...and maybe watch a Christmas movie with the fireplace on. But...I won't be watching any of that during the SEC Championship Saturday evening. Go Mizzou! Have a great weekend.