BILL BLOG Friday May 15, 2015 End of another week...weekend has arrived...which begs the question...has anyone ever said, "it's finally Monday?" YESTERDAY I had the pleasure of getting to know a great new...young talent...Jenny Tolman. Sings like a bird. Her Father passed it down apparently as he played and still plays. Jenny is already a good writer...getting better...and we were both more than a little pleased at our first effort together yesterday. The amount of young amazing talent in this town is just ridiculous. What's cool about Jenny is that she's FROM Nashville. That doesn't happen a lot. I had seen Jenny recently at a show we were both part of...and she was impressive to say the least...just her and her guitar...and her own self written songs. Anyone can hear that kind of talent...not just me. As we sat down...I asked her who she was listening too these days and she lit up over "Brandy Clark". Brandy's album "12 Stories"....produced by a nice guy...Dave Brainard is my favorite album by ANYONE over the past couple of years. I was actually listening to that CD on the way to our writing appointment! So....that broke the ice big time and the writing session became much more comfortable quickly I think...for both of us. And I absolutely LOVE the song that came from a title I had...that Jenny...in her own quiet way twisted just enough to make it MUCH better than what I had. And what's cooler than anything was her telling me that Dave heard her at a little gig recently...just happened to be in that little club that night and fell in love with her too. So...she and he...and his hit writers are going to take Jenny under their wings and start writing with her for the next year...and will eventually craft an album for her. Big time. And good for her. Just file her name away for now...it's going to pop up again in the future. Just one of those days again that makes me glad that I get to do what I do these days. ON YOU TUBE...I MUST BE FAMOUS So...another great young talent you've read about here...Ayla Brown...has just released her new CD...and I have two songs on it. One...co-written with her and Rick Tiger is titled "I Just Wanna Be Your Baby". An uptempo fun commercial song. Yesterday Ayla is on a morning radio show in the eastern part of the US to promote her new CD and the morning show host challenged her to write a song about "Deflategate"...the on-going comedic football mess created by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. On the spot...she used our melody to "I Just Wanna Be Your Baby" to create a parody about "Deflategate."
MORE GOOD NEWS I just found out last night that another young girl I write with some when she comes to town from Milwaukee...is going into studio to record a song we wrote together last time she was here. Thank you Nora Collins. I've had the pleasure of watching her and her music grow through the past few years so I'm certainly pleased to be a part of her new upcoming EP in the future.
Off to write with my North Carolina friend Amanda Daughtry today...finishing a beach song.
Have a great weekend.
BILL BLOG Thursday May 14, 2015 Middle of May already. The guy who finds a way to slow down time is going to make a fortune. YESTERDAY My writing appointment was with Amanda Daughtry...North Carolina proud. Amanda gigs a lot with her band...keeps busy...and is working towards a new CD project. She loves the North Carolina beaches and so we wrote something a little "beachy" yesterday that I think she loves a lot. It was one of those days where one of our phones seemed to be ringing, beeping, or vibrating all the time...so we've made time tomorrow to get back in the writing room and finish the new song. She told me a great story about her parents who did the "downsize" thing big time. They had the guts to do what they always thought they wanted to do. Sold the house...everything in it...and now live on a houseboat on a lake...and love it. I should do that...I know I should. Downsize...live smaller...do that "room with a view" kinda thing. Better people than me have whispered that thought at one time or another. But...when you're having as much fun as I am these days...I'm not sure if the trade off is even or not. Maybe someday...as my friend Jim McBride wrote for Alan Jackson...but "someday" is not today. RADIO CLASS Yesterday my writing room was at the Nashville Songwriters Association. They provide those to members...and I've been one for a long while. One of the first things I encourage young writers is to join that organization and take advantage of their classes both in person and on-line. There's a wealth of knowledge there. I had the pleasure to conducting songwriting classes for them over the past couple of years on the road...and in town...and come August 13 of this year...I'll be at the NSAI headquarters teaching songwriters about radio and it's relationship to songwriters and artists. Why do some songs get on the radio...and other's don't? Is it possible for YOU to get your song on the radio? I'll teach a little...but the real info will come when those in the class raise their hands and ask questions. I'm looking forward it.
Off to write with a young talented newcomer by the name of Jenny Tolman today. Hopefully we'll inspire each other to write something great today.
Have a terrific Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday May 13, 2015 YESTERDAY I sat around the pool yesterday with my "Hits and Grins" trio that includes Victoria Venier and Steve Dean. We did some rehearsing at Victoria's place out in the country...beautiful property. Around the pool we ran through songs for our upcoming shows with help from her two dogs and her horses just across the fence on a perfect Tennessee day.
If you'd like to know more about Victoria...watch this great episode of "One Pan Nan" hosted by my friend Nan Kelley (of GAC) filmed at Victoria's house as Victoria cooks an Italian dish and then dishes about her life and career. You'll see how talented she is.
And for that matter...while your checking out "One Pan Nan"...watch this episode of my other trio partner Linda Davis from my "Evening In The Round" trio in her kitchen.
Nan Kelley's (who host this show) husband Charlie Kelley is a talented writer/singer/proudcer....and the three of us have written a couple of Christmas tunes for Nan's upcoming Christmas CD in the future. (yes...Nan sings too...speaking of talented) So...I'm waiting for them to invite me to do the cooking show at which point I'll whip out my Grandma's recipe for Velveeta Mac and Cheese.
TELLING MUSIC NEWS Blake Shelton talking about team member Meghan Linsey on "The Voice" who already has had a successful career with the duo Steel Magnolia...then put her reputation on the line by being on a talent show. Here's the telling part of what Blakc said: ..."she's still in her 20's so it's all still in front of her". Wow...after 30...your career chances diminish? Dose of cold water truth about what is a whispered fact on Music Row. Younger...younger...younger. Put your nose to the grindstone when your 12 kids.
TODAY Off to write with my North Carolina friend Amanda Daughtry today. May the rhyming Gods be with us. Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday May 12, 2015 Mid 70's in the Rocky Top state today. Sun is out...pretty much a postcard looking day looking at the newly mowed grass that runs down the hill to the shores of Old Hickory Lake. YESTERDAY My writing appointment was with Paul Bogart and Zach Runquist...two talented young friends who you've seen me blog about before. We caught up a little on each other's life in our writing room at Sony yesterday...Paul has signed a new management deal...and Zach is loving his new gig playing several different instruments as well as singing harmony for Lee Ann Womack. Meanwhile I fill them in on my aching back...so you know which two are the youngest of this writing trio for sure. We finished a song we had started before...and Zach says it's time to hit the studio with some of the tunes we've written together. All agree...so we'll be looking for dates in the near future to try and bring some of these tunes to life. On top of everything else...Zach has his own studio...and Paul can sing the demos....and I'll sit back and have coffee and applaud. Sounds like an even deal huh? Fun fun day again with those two. SPLIT EARS I'm multi-tasking right now...blogging and listening to a country station here in Nashville on the computer because the syndicate I write for in New York is looking to provide material for them in the future so I'm acting as consultant...and will be on the phone with them about the time I finish this bouncing ideas around. My wife is always on me about providing so much free input to folks around the country in music and radio. She may be right. But I remember a lot of folks giving me free help and advice when I was coming up through the radio ranks. This continues to be a business of what you put in comes back in some other way you never thought about...so I'm happy consulting a bit this morning and acting like I know what I'm talking about whether I do or don't. Hey...maybe I AM a consultant! BUTCHERED LYRICS MSN put out a list of the ten most butchered lyrics in music. My favorite was the lyric that had a lot of folks thinking they heard..."There's A Bathroom On The Right"....instead of the correct lyrics..."There's A Bad Moon On The Rise" from "Bad Moon Rising"...the classic from Credence Clearwater Revival.
I had to work like crazy one time to convince a musician friend of mine back in St. Louis that he was singing the lyrics to the Glen Campbell song incorrectly. He was belting out...."Country boy your got your feet in a lake"...and thought I was crazy when I told him it was "Country boy you got your feet in LA". This part of my blog this morning is brought to you by Miracle Ear.
TODAY "Hits and Grins" Tuesday...getting together with Victoria Venier and Steve Dean. We'll be rehearsing for some upcoming shows. All dates available at billwhytecomedy.com
Have a great Tuesday!
BILL BLOG Monday May 11, 2015 Here's hoping you spoiled your Mama! THE WEEKEND Mine got started Friday when I joined a small gathering of WSM employees out behind the little white radio building that many of you see as you turn to go into the Opryland Hotel on your visits to Nashville. It's the first time my calendar allowed me to join everyone for one of these informal gatherings. It gave me a chance to meet our new interim GM who I worked with once before when I did the morning show for WSM-FM several years ago and hang with our PD Dean Warfield. I'm encouraged the direction the radio station is headed for sure. Sometimes as an employee...and I'm only part time...you agree with the "vision"...other times...not so much. I totally agree with where this iconic ship is being steered right now. So...it will be even more fun to be on air at the home of the Grand Ole Opry. There was a little cornhole game going on...and I shared with our PD how I had written a song called "Cornhole" that wound up over the credits of "Cornhole The Movie" that was filmed in Cincinnati...went straight to DVD and made me a whopping zero cents. But...it was cool...and makes for a great story every time I see bean bags being tossed around at boards. NASHVILLE The TV show filmed her got renewed for a 4th season which means you'll be seeing it for years now because it will be syndicated and in re-runs for years. The city and state help to pay for production costs and it's apparently worth every dime as tourism is through the roof from the attention this show gives to Music City. 20 million bucks goes to local labor...over 500 employees draw checks...and countless no-body's can brag they were on the show as an extra getting a "blip" of fame they can brag about to their family. And so it goes. DUCT TAPE I wrote this fun little tune called "Duct Tape" with a writer named Gary Cavanaugh several months ago. Gary performs almost any time he can get on a stage...put it on a little CD he sells...and has been telling me how the song goes over. I got a note from him this weekend telling me that some guys who are developing a video game about...of all things...post nuclear disaster consequences. Apparently there is a chapter in the game called...guess what? Uh huh. Duct tape. So...they are interested in using the song. We'll see what happens...but it's just proof to me that you never know about those little songs you write...even the fun ones.
TODAY Off to write with Paul Bogart and Zach Runquist. Here's to some magic happening.
Have a great Monday!
BILL BLOG Friday May 8, 2015 Ceiling fans on "high" today... YESTERDAY I was in a studio yesterday with my Missouri friend Becky Blackaby who recorded a song we wrote together a few months ago that pays tribute to Dolly...but the song is as much about Becky...as it is Dolly. I know... a bit hard to explain...but the song just came alive yesterday with an old fashioned upright bass, guitar/mando/fiddle/dobro...all coming from ONE musician (I hate guys like that) and a percussionist. Add Becky's vocals and ya got a kind of "grassy"...Americana....rootsy production that Dolly would love I'm sure. I texted Becky last night as she's making her way back home to Paris, Missouri and told her that I thought she was going to have a song to be proud of for a long time. I'll let you know here when that song will be available. Surely nice to be a part of this song...and hearing the musican's digging on our little musical baby and watching Becky's smile as she recorded it. Fun day. CHANGE OF PLANS I got home after the studio and walked into a mess that I made myself. Because of a scheduling conflict...I had to cancel a show planned in Sopchoppy, Florida...and a songwriting class that a friend was putting together for me in Jacksonville because I had put my Pinehurst, North Carolina corporate gig on the wrong day of the calendar! Scramble time. The bottom line is I will be rescheduling those two shows for a later date...and my thanks goes to Rick and Nell Ott in Sopchoppy...and Juanita Hotard for being so understanding and working with me on this. Good grief.
THE WEEKEND It's Mother's Day weekend. I've been surrounded by great Mom's. Blessed. My Mother...Madge Lucille Dunbar/Whyte was killed in a car crash many years ago. I was on stage singing when a police officer came into the little bar in Decatur, Illinois and told me to call home. I will admit to you that I weep pretty easily if the right memory buttons are hit for me about my Mom. An upright piano...a Broadman Hymnal....macaroni and cheese...her favorite TV shows...one room country churches will often do it. And then I have a great second Mom in my life...Dean Raymer back in Missouri who has meant to much to me and my life...as well as many others she has influenced in a positive way over the years. And then there's my wife Kathy...who has been and continues to be a GREAT mother to our daughter Heather. The bond between Mom and child is really something to observe. She's as close to our daughter...or closer perhaps than ever....and that's another blessing. I love all of them...Happy Mother's Day to them. If you're lucky enough to still have your Mom with you...this is your opportunity this weekend to let them know you love them. With all of that said...I was hoping to buy my wife that new Corvette I talked about earlier. I just hope she'll like that used Toyota Tercel as much. Have a great weekend!
BILL BLOG Thursday May 7, 2015 Starting to feel a tad like summer round here. YESTERDAY I cancelled a songwriting appointment yesterday to pick my wife up at the airport who got back from Miami earlier than we had planned...which is a good thing. More fun hanging with her as opposed to two hairy legged buddies with guitars and a rhyming dictionary for sure. And they sooo....understand which is a good thang. My wife helped my daughter move to a new place down there and do some decorating...painting. Most people go to Miami to vacation...mine went to work. She's going to have to do a make up trip to take advantage of the scenery down there. A MEETING I did have a meeting on Music Row at the Nashville Songwriters Association with the President and some of his staff. Always great to get some one on one time with the President Bart Herbison who is in DC a lot these days fighting for songwriters on Capitol Hill...and trying to get legislatures on board for a fairer system to cover the new digital world that is basically raping the songwriters...especially streaming entities like Pandora and Spotify. All writers appreciate the hard work going on there. I'm optimistic that change is on the way. I did not know...or remember...that Bart started his career in small market radio like I did...so we have some common ground which makes for fun conversation. We both got to be part of the medium when it was truly fun and Mom's and Pop's owned little radio stations all across the country...which served as valuable training grounds for guys like us. No more... Looks like I'm going to go into NSAI in August and talk to a class of songwriters about radio...and how songs get on the radio...and how they don't. And they're going to set me up with some new young songwriters they like a lot for me to write with which is always fun. I learn about as much from them as vice-versa. Good meeting. LAST NIGHT Baseball time again. The three B's at work...baseball...beer...brats. Hard to beat for me. I got to show a couple great writers the new park. I've been twice already...this was the first time for Steve Dean and Jim McBride to see the new digs with the guitar video scoreboard...wide concourses....and downtown skyline over the center field wall. Nothing serious got done last night....just baseball with buddies. And...the home team broke out of a long losing streak and won 6-0! TODAY Off to the studio with my Missouri friend Becky Blackaby to record a new song we wrote together. Should be fun!
Have a great Thursday.
BILL BLOG Wednesday May 6, 2015 Picking my wife up in a couple of hours at the airport..so I have to blog fast so I can sweep the corn curl dust under the carpet. YESTERDAY I made a little trip to McMinnville/Manchester TN to do a little online "live" radio show at the Last Chance Saloon. I had zero idea where I was going. GPS...24 south....bout an hour and a half drive to get there. I left plenty early knowing that at 4 pm traffic would be sort of like the planes that tried to get into Vegas this past weekend for the "Snooze Of The Century" fight. Sure enough...gridlock. But...I left early enough to get there an hour and a half early which I was hoping to do so I could grab dinner somewhere. Once I got off the interstate...the scenery was sort of like my birthplace back in Missouri...pretty scenery...but a lot of nothing...including places to eat. So...I drove WELL past my destination thinking I'd find some major chains somewhere...but outside of a Subway 15 miles down the road...nothin'. So...back I trak...and decide stop at this non-descrip Bar B Que shack...nothing special looking on the outside...but several cars parked out front...so I thought that might be a good sign. It was! Delish....bar b que...beans...fries....sweet tea...back home kinda stuff. Somehow...I never got the name of the place....but I'd go back if I were near. One of those pleasant surprises you get sometimes when you're out on the road...hungry and desperate. THE SHOW Thanks to my old friend/musician Jason Adams who invited me to be on their little online radio show last night...called "Midnight Madness" which is on air "live" at 7 pm when they do this thing. 7 pm start and the radio show is called "Midnight Madness"....don't ask me.
So I'm on stage at this road house saloon in the middle of nowhere...again reminding me of some of the places I played in with a band as a kid. On the dance floor in front of me was Jason and two other guys...all firing questions...and I'd play some tunes in between. I got to know Jason when I hosted an Opry like show called "Nashville Traditions" a few years ago. Jason is a singer who appeared multiple times on that show. So last night...as he pointed out on air...we had switched roles. Indeed... I know they were glad I made the journey down there...and I wish them much luck with their show.
NEW SHOW March 4 of 2016 look for our "Evening In The Round" show with Linda Davis, Lang Scott and myself in Evans, Georgia...a suburb of Augusta. I may have to put on my Bill Murray groundskeeper outfit and sneak out for a picture on the course. Full details on my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com
SOUNDS Little meeting today...Sounds baseball game tonight at the new park with my songwriting pals Jim McBride and Steve Dean. Tough life huh?
Off to pick the wife up at the airport...hoping I can find her Mother's Day gift in the terminal.
BILL BLOGTuesday May 5, 2015 Happy Cinco De Mayo. I have nothing to celebrate here as I have never once used Mayonnaise on a single sandwich I've eaten. YESTERDAY Spent some time writing a new song with Rick Tiger and Ayla Brown just off Music Row. A really really good song came out of the time spent yesterday which were all happy about. Ayla's brand new CD "Let Love In" is out today...and I have TWO songs on this CD co-written with Ayla and Rick. Really good CD from the former American Idol, and former starting player for Boston College's women's basketball teams. She's getting ready to hit the road for her "Defend Freedom Tour"...she plays a lot for the troops..another thing I like about her. My two songs are "Can't Run Away" and "I Just Wanna Be Your Baby". Thanks for the great job on these babies Ayla! MEANWHILE...Rick Tiger and his wife are loading up their car with a small PA system and will be traveling the concert with his wife performing small intimate house concerts. Folks will love him. He told me yesterday that he will be performing one of our songs titled "Pearly Gates" on his tour that I wrote with him. It was the way he felt about his family when we wrote it...and then after my Father passed away this past year...I realized it was about me too. I hope you get to hear this song on his tour. Have a great run you two...safe travels.
PREPARING I'm making a run to Manchester, Tennessee myself tonight to do a little show with my friend Jason Adams. This is a "live" studio audience radio show and you can hear it HERE tonight if you want on the "Midnight Madness" show on WFMCJAMS.COM at 7 pm. I'll be their special guest...and I'm guessing we'll be talking about mostly everything and I'll be playing a lot of my songs too. Tune in if you can.
QUOTE OF THE DAY I'm not one to cut and paste cute quotes...or deep quotes. Not my thing. But every now and then...one will hold my attention. Like this one from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. "If you do not change directions, you may end up where you're heading."
Wonder why it's always a Chinese philosopher who comes up with these things? You never see a quote from a Greenland philosopher or Portugese philosopher. Always Chinese.
TONIGHT Off to do that radio show in Manchester. See you online I hope. Have a great Tuesday.
BILL BLOGMonday May 4, 2015 Getting the shorts off the shelf this weekend. Mid 80's all week. THE WEEKEND Friday evening found us in a recording studio with our daughter Heather who played some of her original music using her ukelele. The noted producer said, after she pulled the instrument out of her case, "wow...nice uke". He's a great player himself...so his comment made her Mom and Dad feel good because that was her Christmas present last year...and she's actually used it a lot! Because uke's are so small...it's a perfect instrument for her to take on her flights around the world with American Airlines. When she's bored...and in her hotel room all alone...which is often...when boredom sits in she reaches for it and writes some. That makes her Dad proud. She sent us a song Sunday morning that just knocked my socks off. I told her so...and that I wish I had written THAT one. Back to the meeting. My thanks to a friend...Lyn Stevens who happened to hear Heather at a little house gathering of musical players...singers...songwriters recently. Lyn did radio up in Wisconsin years ago when I was working on air up there. These days Lyn works a full time job in security...but also works at being a musical connector and helping make things happen for those she thinks is talented. Heather knocked her socks off. So she set up this meeting Friday night that was one of the more fun educational business meetings I've ever sat in on. The producer...I think was impressed too. "Unique" was the word I heard most...and I agree. And "unique" is a good thing in this business. So...long story short without telling more than I need here...I think my daughter will be coming home more and more to hang at the studio and learn...and write...and who knows what all could happen. But...it's a great opportunity for Heather...and my thanks goes to Lyn. We'll see what happens down the road. STELLA PARTON Dolly's younger sister is 66 today. She does not have a "Stellawood" theme park to my knowledge. There's another one. Back in the day when I was on the road with a band...we backed the stars brothers an sister who always sang. Stella Parton...Michael and Joni Twitty...Tommy Cash....if they had a famous relative and were musical themselves...we backed em up. All of them were nice. Happy Birthday Stella. HANG ON TO YOUR JOB A person in the tech know says predicts that one third of all jobs will be replaced by software, robots and smart machines by 2025. Yikes. I don't lose sleep over that. I'm confident know smart machine has the skill set to write and record a song like "If I Had Boobs" like I did. Try that you stupid robots.