BILL BLOG Friday November 8, 2013 Day 8 on the beach in Gulf Shores...and yesterday was busy. STARTED EARLY It started with that TV show I blogged about yesterday on WEAR-ABC Pensacola promoting the songwriters festival and ended with our gig at the Compleat Angler. Steve Dean and Lisa Shaffer made it in....and we played for about an hour last night for our opening show...which turned out to be an adventure. We walked in...there was a sound system...but only ONE microphone. "Hits And Grins" is a TRIO...three singers...with harmony. That's a problem. After initially thinking about just leaving...we realized we had family and friends and folks who came to hear us play...so we pulled up three chairs table side and sang without mics. Talk about intimate! Somehow...it worked...and folks were more than appreciative. It made the night a bit more special for those who came....and thank all of YOU for really listening. It could have been a disaster but luck smiled on us last night. Though it was fun...I'm looking forward to having FOUR microphones and monitors when we play the SUNSET CORK ROOM tonight with Brent Burns. DAUGHTER We did have to say goodbye to my daughter Heather yesterday as my wife drove her to the airport in Pensacola to fly back to her American Airlines base in Miami where she's off to Dallas then Seattle today...working girl. I'm so glad she surprised us for a day by sneaking in here to Gulf Shores. I'm hoping there's more and more and more of that in the future. CHRISTMAS Hard to miss Christmas already. Last night our gig at the "Wharf" area of Orange Beach had a row of palm trees all lit up and they were blasting lights and Christmas music as part of a production they do there all the time It was gorgeous...but...can we wait til I carve the danged turkey? THE WEEKEND Little football tomorrow I'm sure...Alabama and LSU are always entertaining. But for the most part...we're playing music. Tonight at 7 pm at the Sunset Cork Room (and then key lime pie at John and Sharon Kendall's place!) Saturday we have two gigs. Sunday night one more. Check out the complete schedule on my website at billwhytecomedy.com or HERE on the festival website. Come catch a little "Hits And Grins" on the beach.
SALUTE And lastly...but most importantly...it's Veteran's Day weekend. Here's the the men and women who serve and have served. I appreciate you so much...thank you for allowing me to live in best country in the world....freely. Have a great weekend.
BILL BLOG Thursday November 7, 2013. And the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival started REALLY early for me this morning. TELEVISION So at 4:30 am...I'm sitting in the Flora-Bama on the beach. Why? I was "live" on WEAR-TV the ABC affiliate in Pensacola and we did 5 or six cut ins to promote the songwriters festival. I got to bits and pieces of four of my songs....and also had a chance to talk about the festival which does start today with a tribute to the late Larry Butler and more. Two weeks...over 200 songwriters are here. Just a great event that keeps getting better. I'm honored to still be part of this and to have been asked by Lori this morning to represent the writers. My first gig is tonight at the Compleat Angler in the Wharf in the Orange Beach area. My musical partners in crime...Lisa Shaffer and Steve Dean are on the road right now getting ready to join me for our 7 pm "Hits And Grins" show. The trio will play 5 times this weekend. Not too late for you to join us here on the beach! YESTERDAY So...I get a great surprise. I'm out walking...phone rings...it's my American Airlines daughter Heather. I ask if she's flying somwhere today...and she says, "sort of". She flew into Pensacola to see her Mom and Dad! And she surprised our extended Raymer family too...especially Granny Dean. She has to fly back to her base in Miami today with upcoming flights to Toronto, Montreal, Vegas, Dallas, Seattle, New York and I forget where all. She looked pretty dapper in her "flight" outfit coming out of the terminal. Big hugs. Great day...and we'll enjoy her being here til mid afternoon. Life just got better on the beach. We did take her to the Irish Pub "McGuire's" in Pensacola. Awesome place. Put on your must "do" if you're down here. They make their own root beer...cheap navy bean soup...huge quantities of food. I took half of a corned beef home with me. And there's over a million single dollar bills hanging from the ceiling...true story. CMA Yes...watched the entire show...wrote my thoughts all night long on Facebook and my Twitter page...so go there if you want those. I also wrote some post comments for the comedy syndicate I write for in New York who shipped those out to radio shows across the country this morning. But here's a couple thoughts. I don't know that there was an "oh my gawd" performance last night. My fave was the stripped back version of "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by Strait and Jackson. Biggest shock...easily...George Strait winning for Entertainer. How bout that? Perhaps a loud peer vote that we still like "country" music. Little Big Town was another mild surprise since they were up against Lady A and Band Perry. Carrie and Brad were fun...Blake and Miranda are probably hung over...and Tim McGraw might look better in jeans. Just saying. Congrats to all the winners last night. THAT HORSE And congrats to my great friend Brent Burns...part of a racing syndicate that owned the fastest filly in America until yesterday when she was auctioned off in Lexington. Good things for good folks. They did more than well in a sport where the odds are sooo long. Here's to one of their other horses growing up to be as good as "Groupie Doll" was. TODAY Off to enjoy my daughter...tune my guitar...and get ready for the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. Have a great Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday November 6, 2013 Day 6 on the beach in Gulf Shores. Starting to get used to this. YESTERDAY Laaazy....lazy....and busy all at the same time. I spent a fair amount of time yesterday writing comedy bits for my syndicate. Sometimes it works....sometimes...not so much. The latter reared it's ugly head a bit more yesterday...but that's the nature of it. Today...has already started on a funnier foot....so it's all good. PIRACY I did find time to catch Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips" with my wife. I don't think I've ever seen a Hanks movie I didn't like. This one keeps you on the edge of your seat. Two thumbs up for me on what is supposed to be a true story. There's some now saying the movie took a lot of liberties and made the Captain look better than he was in real life. Who knows. Just go see it...and enjoy it for entertainment. And then LAST NIGHT...a vicious 3-13 card game broke out again overlooking the Gulf with the Raymer's who also spend the month down here in Gulf Shores. The Margarita Bucket is now half empty. The good news is...there's another one in reserve. Tough life down here. TOURISM More folks are discovering Baldwin County down here. They just had another record year for tourism putting something like 2.9 billion in the coffers. Hotels, condos, seafood places, charters and souvenir shops all did well. I'm going to have to talk to the ad people and demand they stop telling others about my little quiet piece of paradise! TODAY Off for my little walk this morning...little seafood with some great friends early this afternoon and then tonight I'll be on the couch watching the CMA Awards show making some "live" real time observations on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow along tonight...I promise it will be fun. And tomorrow the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival starts here with a Hit's and Grins show at 7 pm at the Compleat Angler. More on that in tomorrow's blog. Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday November 5, 2013 Day 5 on the beach here in Gulf Shores. No...this do not get old. YESTERDAY Life goes a little slower this month on the beach. Sunrises...sunsets are spectacular. Go for a walk...find a book to absorb while sitting on the lounge chair overlooking the water. This is the only time of year that life slows down enough for me to page through a book. I went to the local library yesterday and took out "Live From New York"....the complete back story of Saturday Night "Live". Tom Shales is the author and as good as they get for doing his homework and getting the back story. It's taken completely from the folks who were connected to the show as Tom interviewed the main stars we loved...Chase...Akryoyd...Crystal...wives of the deceased...Belushi and the writers...producers....set designers....everyone connected to what was a ground breaking TV show when it launched way back when. A comedy show for OUR generation...and it's still on! And of course a lot of the book deals with Canadian Lorne Michaels...who truly is the genius behind that show. I'm already completely absorbed. I'll blow through this big book pretty quickly so there will time for a second...so I'm open to ideas if you have a favorite book. Just attach the title of that book to the legs of a seagull and have it fly over my balcony please. LAST NIGHT I did sneak into Lulu's to hear Brent Burns run through a few songs before he gets on a plane today and heads to Lexington where his champion filly "Groupie Doll" will be auctioned off. Here's hoping a couple of sheiks get into a big time bidding war for my buddy. What a horse. And he was wearing his "Groupie Doll" cap on stage that the Breeder's Cup folks gave him after his owner's team watched her win that race for the second year in a row. Don't blame him...I'd brag a little too. AND THEN... It was back to the condo where we played our cut throat game of cards called 3-13. Big time nickels were at stake as we played around the table overlooking the water with Dodge and Dean Raymer (my second parents) and their daughter Marsha and husband Jack. (my extended sister) My wife Kathy has been keeping score...and has won both nights! Look for someone else to keep score tonight when we gather. Marsha brought a big Margarita bucket...so I blame being a little fuzzy minded for my loss. BACK IN NASHVILLE Red carpets...lots of stars...CMA Awards show tomorrow night. I'll be doing my Facebook-Twitter "play by play" which I've done for years. Just fun...stupid comments in "real time" as the show progresses. Keep you computer open as you watch the show and participate with your own comments. We'll have fun. After years of working the red carpet...and broadcasting at the awards...heck even winning one once upon a broadcast time ago...I"m enjoying my life these days of watching from the ocean. Good luck to everyone...and to my radio buddies up there...don't forget to let a record rep pick up your bar bill this week in Nashville. NEW SONGS CUT My thanks to young artist HEATHER RILEY back in Missouri who just recorded her first project in Nashville and did a great job. She recorded four of my songs...and they sound terrific. All of the co-writers say so too. So thanks to her...and Dean Raymer for taking care of our songs. And to my old bass player from long ago Mark Powelson for his deft touch in the studio as producer. Love it guys! TODAY Just another day in paradise. A little time writing funny stuff for my comedy syndicators in NYC...then the day opens up for being lazy once again. Getting ready for the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival that starts this Thursday! Have a great Tuesday.
BILL BLOG Monday November 4, 2013 Good morning from the beautiful island that is Gulf Shores, Alabama. Sun is up...so am I...and I'm glad to be here once again with my wife soaking it up and re-charging some some creative batteries. NOVEMBER Once again it's November and once again my wife and I are enjoying our favorite place taking in the sunsets off our balcony on the coast here in lower LA. Lazy days. Although some will get busier as the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival approaches later this week. I'll be playing 8 or 9 times this year...the first night is this Thursday at the Compleat Angler located in the Wharf off Canal Road in Orange Beach. This will be a 7 pm "Hits And Grins" show with Steve Dean and Lisa Shaffer. The complete festival schedule for me is on my calendar on my website at billwhytecomedy.com....the complete festival line up is HERE...featuring over 200 songwriters. It's truly a great event...so c'mon and get ya some surf and music.
CELEBRATION Last night we made a little trip to a sports bar here in town as my friend Brent Burns had just returned from California after watching his amazing horse "Groupie Doll" win it's second Breeders Cup Race on Saturday. Only 13 horses can lay claim to that. It's been an amazing ride for my friend who is a minority owner....but still managed to catch lightning in a bottle in a sport where FEW have real success. Now they will sell the horse this Wednesday in Lexington which should be pretty emotional I would think considering the success they've had with her. But...the timing is right...and I hope a couple of rich buyers get into a bidding war over Groupie Doll for my friend. Could not have happened to better folks. Congrats to Fred Bradley and his son...trainer Buff Bradley, Carl Hurst and of course my friend Brent Burns and his wife Pam. Wow. (and of for the record...Brent BOUGHT drinks last night) GATLINBURG Kentucky is taking a look at the Eastern part of their state thinking it would be a great location for another "Gatlinburg". Awesome. We can't get enough putt putt courses, taffy stores and water parks in the world. Bring it on! MULL THIS OVER Dolly Parton... Dollywood in Gatlinburg has a 3-D show of the "Christmas Carol" this year. Dolly has mastered Double D already...so this may not be that big of a stretch of the bra thought for her. (rim shot...please)
CMA WEEK I got a call from a great radio friend yesterday who wondered if I was in Music City? Seems like a logical thought because it's CMA week...and the big awards show hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood is this Wednesday night. I did my share of broadcasting for those...these days I watch it on the beach...and make smart aleck comments with observations that will be posted in a running commentary style Wednesday night on my Twitter and Facebook pages. Follow along for a laugh or two.
TODAY I'm off for my walk here in Gulf Shores....I have a little writing to do for my syndication companies in New York to file....but mostly it's feet up on the deck of our balcony getting lost in the sun and water view and daydreaming. Tough tough tough life sometimes. I'll probably sneak off to hear my friend Brent Burns play some tunes at Lulu's tonight and then... Might catch the Bears and Packers...still one of my favorite games of the year after learning to love cheese-heads and the Pack from six years of living amongst the die hard brat grilling fans in Milwaukee. Go Pack. Have a great Monday.
BILL BLOG Friday November 1, 2013 Weird...first of November! Geez. LAST NIGHT No Trick or Treaters...big winds. In fact...if someone sees my garbage can please return it. It apparently went airborne with a couple of witches from the big gusts we had. SOUTHBOUND So...a short blog this morning because my wife and I headed to Gulf Shores for our annual November trip down there which is always fun and surrounded by the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival I'll be playing at in the middle of the month. Lot of gorgeous sunrises and sunsets coming up that we're looking forward to. My buddy Brent Burns who's from down there will join me at least a couple of times during the Festival...and I'll be rooting for him and Pam and his buddies and especially his race horse "Groupie Doll" who runs in the Breeders Cup again tomorrow. Last year it won...we're hoping it happens again. It will be on NBC so we'll be watching with an ocean view cheering her on. WRITING I'll also get some songwriting...and even more comedy writing done while I'm down there too. I've always written comedy songs, bits etc for some folks in New York and that work load just increased yesterday as they want even more...which is a good thing. So a lot of my morning will now be tied up trying to make something funny happen on this computer screen to forward to New York where they will produce it and load it up to radio shows around the country. After almost 30 years or more ON the radio...I'm still on...just in a different way and I'm enjoying the work. I get to laugh every day...and try to make others laugh. That ain't a bad way to make a living. AND... Our plans this year include Zip Lining with our great friends the Raymer's. I'm sure I'll make my annual trip to the Pensacola Naval Air Museum and drive by their brand new ballpark...home of the Pelicans...a Cincinnati Reds minor league team. We'll hit Lulu's and the Oyster House and the Shrimp Basket and other food faves. Walk out on the pier over the Gulf...sit on the sand and the balcony...wear out a Margarita Bucket that Marsha Raymer is bringing....play cards and steal each other's nickels and laugh...and enjoy some great company. And I'll watch the sunsets from our balcony with my wife...or off the deck of Bamboo Willies...or the Pink Pony...or wherever there's an open stretch of sand. And the best part? The weathers great....there's no crowd...and you feel like you have it to yourself. Life is good...and I'm blessed for sure. A more normal blog coming Monday from the Gulf. Have a great weekend...and turn your clocks back!
BILL BLOG Thursday October 31, 2013 Happy Halloween...last day of the month...October be gone...turkeys are now getting nervous. YESTERDAY I spent some time on Music Row tweaking on a new tune with Jerry Salley. There's still work left to be done. Sometimes songs come spilling out...other's you have to be patient with...like this one. It will be worth the time and love when it's all said and done. Time well spent. LAST NIGHT I had the pleasure of playing a little 45 minute show with "Hits And Grins" at the Listening Room. Preshias Harris is DRIVEN to raise awareness about how much music is stolen every day from songwriters with illegal downloads and more. I applaud that effort and was happy to do my part with Steve Dean and Lisa Shaffer. It's up to us and songwriting associations to keep trying to educate folks that stealing a song is no different than stealing a car off a dealers lot. There's a lot of work to be done to change the mind set for sure. I was also happy to see BUDDY JEWELL there last night...the first winner of Nashville Star back in the day. Sings as great as ever. And thanks to all the volunteers and performers who showed up for the cause.
NEW WAY TO SEE CONCERTS How bout this. You can pay for a personal concert seat ticket now like you do football seats. An idea that started in Charlotte...and is just now hitting Music City. You pay a one time fee of $500...then $1,500 per year for the right to see three big music artists in concert in a smaller venue with pre and post parties.
Pretty steep price for three shows. Heck...I'm still paying folks to come and hear me sing. MUSIC TOUR NAME Ronnie Milsap who of course is blind....has a new tour coming up to promote a new CD. The tour is titled 40-40 Vision. LOVE that! Love Ronnie Milsap...who can laugh at himself as easily as anyone. In radio interviews he'll joke about driving his bus. I saw him with his piano one night on the floor at a club.. He had played earlier in the day at a big show...and he and his band decided to just walk in and surprise a friend of mine...Nick Nixon... who was playing at a place called the "Downspout". Of course...Nick gets Ronnie up to do a couple. There was no room on stage...so they set Ronnie's piano up on the dance floor. He starts playing "HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON" and people start dancing all around him! One dancer kicks one of the rods on the piano....and without missing a lick he bent down...found it....re-hooked it up...and kept on pounding on the keyboard. Blind. Love Ronnie. HALLOWEEN They put out the top 5 horror movies as far as making money. Jaws...The Exorcist...The Sixth Sense...The Mummy and Jaws 2....in that order. I've seen one. Sixth Sense. I like the ocean too much to see Jaws...too much tape to look at in the Mummy...and I'm not fond of spinning head spitting pea soup...so no Exorcist ever for me. Happy Ghoul Day to those of you who love it. TODAY I'm packing for the beach! We leave for Gulf Shores in the morning...so all of November I'll be blogging little beach blogs for you here with a view of the water hitting the sand every morning...and an orange ball dipping into the Gulf every evening. It's become my yearly retreat with family and friends where it's quiet...and gives me a chance to re-charge. Can't wait. And I hope to see some of you down there for the FRANK BROWN SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL which runs through the middle two weeks. Have a great Halloween.
BILL BLOG Wednesday October 30, 2013 Halloween Eve...waiting anxiously for the Great Pumpkin to show up. MORE TREAT THAN TRICK Speaking of Halloween...where have I been? They now make CANDY CORN OREO COOKIES? Yep. Out for a limited run for the holiday. I can't wait for the Eggnog Tootsie Roll Pops come Christmas. ORANGE UMBRELLAS We may see "Trick Or Treaters" showing up with umbrellas tomorrow night as they are calling for big time rain...and a possible tornado. Good grief. We may see candy corn scattered for miles if that happens. Let's hope not. AND...that brings up the possibility that JIM CANTORE the infamous weather man that Brent Burns sings about his new cd "BEACH FIX" showing up in town. If you've not heard this funny song yet...check out the sample clip and laugh. Brent and I co-wrote this song which is a favorite for those on the coast who live with Mr. Cantore popping up whenever there's a wisp of a hurricane chance. Check it out...and buy a copy for Christmas! YESTERDAY I spent some fun time with Steve Dean and Victoria Lyn Venier in a writing room. Victoria and her husband run a big production company here and produce shows for themes parks, corporate folks and more...so I learned a bit about that yesterday which was cool. Just another great creative day in Twang Town. THEM AND US Kelly Clarkson got married over the past few days. They bought a little 17,000 square foot double wide here in town. Wonder if there's two different time zones in place that big?
COUGH...COUGH...COUGH How bout this little startling fact? At least 4 times a month...some cockpit on some plane is filled with smoke. Wonder if my flight attendant daughter is aware of this and is standing near an on-board extinguisher? 4 times a month. That's about as many times a month that Willie Nelson takes a plane instead of a bus isn't it? TODAY I'm off to work on a song that I started with JERRY SALLEY a couple of months ago. Jerry is truly one of the great true country singers in town...and a meticulous writer. This one is pretty "deep" content wise...so it could take awhile to finish...but it will be worth it...and it will be a fun morning for sure.
TONIGHT I'm off to the LISTENING ROOM for a 6 pm set with "Hits And Grins" as part of show to raise awareness about the continuing problem we have of folks stealing music. Happy to be part of this. Dave Gibson, Buddy Jewell and Bernie Nelson will also join us. Thanks to Preshias Harris for putting this together. Hopefully we'll be able to educate and open eyes where needed. On the beach in Gulf Shores Friday! Have a great Wednesday.