BILL BLOG December 26, 2014 Frost on the windshield...and lawn. I scraped the windshield...letting the lawn go. CHRISTMAS DAY I hope ole Santa brought you what you wanted...or needed this year. My list included some new headphones, a cell phone battery portable charger, a book...and my daughter brought me some leather wristbands from Brazil to wear when I'm on stage so that I look like a rock star. I think I'm going to need more than wrist bands to pull that off...but I do love what Santa brought in his bag for sure this year. Now TODAY of course is "return" day...and I know my wife will be in the middle of that. I have refused to let her return me. I'm working just fine...and my lifetime warranty is not up yet...so she'll just have to adapt. THE MOVIES There were very few stores open as we discovered as we headed for a movie on Christmas Day. Hollywood always releases a bunch of new stuff and we knew better than to try and see a "day of" release....so we chose to see "The Theory Of Everything" about the life of physicist Stephen Hawking. (I know...ain't we cultural and all) SO... We make a trip to Green Hills Mall which is SO crowded with traffic most days that I avoid it as much as I can. But on Christmas Day...it was smooth sailing into the mall as it was closed...except for restaurants AND the theater. Our instincts were right. As we lined up to buy tickets (from the gift cards we gave each other at Christmas) the attendant kept barking out..."the following movies are sold out"....and there were several. Now..."Theory of Everything" has been out for awhile so we were good. Although...by the time our movie started...our little theater was mostly full too. I'm guessing that's from folks who HAD to buy a tickets after being turned away for "Unbroken" or "Into The Woods" or "The Gambler" which were all sold out. The movie itself? Well....let me put it this way. It was not what either of us suspected it would be. We did not get into a ton of physics...or a ton of info on black holes and the universe being created...or the extended life of one Stephen Hawking who was given two years to live with Lou Gehrig disease and is STILL alive. Nor...did we get an explanation as to how he's managed to live as long as he has. What we did get...was a story about his love life. Apparently...even if one is severely handicapped it does not mean they won't have an interesting and complicated love life. So...be prepared for more of a love story (with all the warts and bruises) as opposed to what makes Mr. Hawking tick. Felicity Jones...who plays his first wife "Jane"...is spectacular in her role. SPEAKING OF MOVIES "The Interview" sold out almost everywhere yesterday as it was finally released. Our art theater here was packed...a ticket could not be had. One guy wore a red white and blue stocking cap on the front row. It was the simple man's way of flipping the bird at Kim Jong Un yesterday. I hope he got the message that we will not be intimidated from seeing really bad movies. No sir. If I were Seth Rogan...I'd create a North Korean threat every time I released a movie. And on top of all of that...much of North Korea is without internet again today. Coincidence? TODAY While my wife is out returning stuff...my schedule shows that the college football bowl season is underway. I see a plate of turkey leftovers, a remote control, and a place to rest my feet coming into play today. I'm working on being excellent at that. Have a great weekend!
BILL BLOG Christmas 2014 Merry Christmas to you all! I just looked outside my little Christmas window this morning which overlooks a piece of Old Hickory Lake...and saw a red fox scurry across the lawn. Late for his family Christmas I suppose. CHRISTMAS EVE Well...our little family wrapped up our Christmas yesterday. We went early because our working daughter had to leave at 5 AM this morning...meaning Dad got up and dropped her at the airport...a recurring theme...so that she could get to her home base back in Miami...and then catch an 8 hour flight tonight to Sau Paulo, Brazil. We'll take every day we can get with her...and she's been really good about coming home a lot since her job started. Grateful for that for sure. She tells her Mom and me she's now been in South America so much that she's made friends she can visit with while she's on her two day layover there...so that's good too. I put her on the plane with a new ukelele this morning that Santa brought her...so she can lead the singing now in South America. My wife Kathy prepared an amazing Turkey Eve Christmas dinner that will keep us in leftover heaven for a few days. What did she get? She asked for a ring she had spotted. So...that's what went under the tree. I made a trip to the mall...waited my turn...found it...and when the clerk asked "what size"?....There was "Crickets"....like the one's I helped write about in the Joe Nichols song. Sooo....she'll have a little trip to re-size department to make. THE REST OF CHRISTMAS EVE? We played Yahtzee and watched Christmas movies. "Home Alone" last night and I laughed out loud again at McCauley Culkin destroying the burglars that included Joe Pesci. I saw a little bit of the animated Mister Magoo Christmas Carol. Antiquated by today's digital comparison...but it's great..and I'm glad it was on. Magoo's voice was that of Jim Backus who amongst other things played the millionaire on Gilligan's Island. I interviewed him once in Hollywood with his wife. He was on his last legs at that time...and in the the interview room at the old historic Roosevelt Hotel (home of the first Academy Awards)...he was accompanied by his doctor. I told Mr. Backus what a fan I was of his and Mr. Magoo. He then sent his wife out and she brought back his book and he gave it to me...autographed...with both his signature...and Magoo's . So when I watch that old animated Christmas Carol featuring Magoo...I always think back to that interview and his kindness. Just a cool Christmas memory to have for sure. AND NOW With us putting the wraps on Christmas...we start to look at 2014 headlights and ringing in a New Year. New Year's Eve is our daughter's birthday so that's how we celebrate. After years and years and years of being on bandstand and making noise those in party hats blowing horns...I don't go out and do that. In fact...I can't remember the last time I was AWAKE at midnight...much less going out to party. Sad a bit I suppose...but I don't miss it. People always ask my wife if I'm a good dancer to which she laughs. I suck! She's great. She tells people something I told her years ago that makes them laugh on her telling it. "I don't dance because I've seen how so many of you look when you're dancing in front of the bandstand. I don't wanna look like that!" But don't let me stop you. Shake your booty...but remember...someone will probably take a picture or video and it'll be up on what Kim Jong Un could not get on the other day. SO...Enjoy your Christmas. Count your blessings...and thinks about the troops who can't be home for Christmas...or the cops and firemen and EMT's that are on call and serving today and give thanks for them quietly in your Christmas prayers. Now...where did my wife put the leftover turkey and mac and cheese?
BILL BLOG Christmas Eve...2014 It's here. Merry Merry Merry to you and yours. YESTERDAY On Christmas Eve Eve I played Yahtzee with my wife and daughter. That's right. We played a board game. It was like Norman Rockwell needed to paint something again. Three grown people rolling dice and trash talking. It put me in the Christmas spirit for good. I wanted to play Cootie...but got out voted. Dang. I discovered while trying to roll a small straight...that if you set a dish of peanut M&M's on the table while playing anything...they will be eaten. I did my part for sure. LAST NIGHT I was on air for WSM again located in the Opryland Hotel...which was just voted #6 on the best Christmas Resort to go to. It is gorgeous all lit up for sure. Tourists go by our window...stop...stare...take pictures. What they don't know is that I check them out too. Some of you should not be wearing some of what you're wearing. Just saying. 5 hours of Christmas music last night...and I heard from folks all over the country who were listening. One e-mail came from a guy in Miami (where my daughter lives) who was listening to us NOT on the web at wsmonline.com...but on his AM radio! We've got a 50,000 watt massive stick...that do get out a bit...especially at night. Pretty danged cool. New York, Ohio, California, Arizona....all checked in too. Amazing. STORM CENTRAL Part of late night's radio show dealt with severe storms in the south. 4 people killed by a tornado in Mississippi...state of emergency. Nasty nasty stuff. While that's going on my wife texts me to tell me the power is out at the house...and it stays off for several hours. Why? I dunno. I personally suspect Kim Jong Un hacked into our grid. We certainly had rain...but nothing severe like Mississippi. By the time I got home early this morning the candles and flashlights were all put away...and all is well at the Whyte House. Feeling for those families in Mississippi though. Geez. LITTLE NASCAR CHRISTMAS How bout this video. A dude in Florida loved a Christmas song my friend Brent Burns and I wrote...that Brent recorded....SO much that he synced the song up with his home Christmas light display back in 2007. Too funny. I am always amazed at how you can write a song...forget about it...and then it finds it's way to something like this. I guess that's why we write em...so that they'll go out and find a home somewhere. GOOD NEWS ON MUSIC ROW Some folks have stepped up...and they will preserve the old RCA Studio A. The music community was heard...and folks like Mike Curb stepped up to the plate to say..."no way" to allowing an investor to tear it down and put up condos. The place where Elvis and Chet Atkins and Jim Reeves and Waylon and on on and on and on will be preserved. Pretty sure we have plenty of condos. Historical music studios? Not so much. I was glad to read the news this morning. MERRY MERRY MERRY So...here at the Whyte House...we will open packages the minute my daughter gets up this morning...and have a turkey dinner this evening just the three of us...that will leave leftovers for a month. Heather has an early early flight back to Miami Christmas morning to go back to work for American and head for Brazil...so we will soak up the spirit of Christmas today. I'm thankful for my family and friends this season. And I'm thankful to the men and women who serve our country...many who stand on guard somewhere while we sit down with our families to celebrate Christmas. Thanks to all of you for all you do for us. Now where'd my yahtzee shaker go?
BILL BLOG Tuesday December 22, 2014 And a Merry Christmas Eve-Eve to all. YESTERDAY The daughter got home...from Brazil this time...so we are getting ready for a Whyte House family Christmas on Christmas Eve this year as Heather will have to fly back to Miami and then on to Brazil again for another flight for American...her job. Christmas tree lights are on...some packages are already under the tree...and I got the LAST of my shopping done yesterday! Can i get an amen? My wife? Shopping is a joy...an adventure...sport if you will. She can hang all day with the best of em. Me? I'm a guy. I know what I want...I'm in...I'm out...I don't haggle...I'm done. I did keep waiting for a half off sale at the Dollar store...but it never happened. I saw a sign at Victoria Secret's that said "half off"...but they were lying. Everyone was fully clothed as far as I could see. So we're good to go for Santa. C'mon down the chute big boy. LAST NIGHT I really caught some Christmas spirit as I was on air for five hours inside the Opryland Hotel on WSM and we played 100% Christmas music. The lobby was PACKED with tourists and folks staying in the mammoth hotel...lots of them pausing to take pictures through our fish bowl studio windows. Driving into the hotel and finding a space to park was a challenge because so many folks are here...but once parked...I could not help but notice the great light display in front of the hotel. You work long enough any place and you sort of get used to things and take them for granted. Last night...standing in a light rain in the parking lot....the lights caught my eye...and I took a second to soak it up and remind myself how lucky I am at Christmas to be so blessed...and to get to work on a radio station I idolized as a kid in Missouri. END OF YEAR We are already starting to look back...like 2014 is already gone. I'm more of a "what's next" guy as opposed to "what happened" guy....but yesterday was forced to look back when the comedy syndicate I write for in New York asked me to write an original song looking back at the highlights and low-lights of the year we are about to put in our rear view mirror. Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Robin Williams, Ice bucket challenge, Derek Jeter and Kim Jong Un all made it into the song that they loved. Thank goodness there was much to choose from. MUSICAL LOSSES Joe Cocker with the sandpaper vocal cords passed. "You Are So Beautiful" will surely be sung at his funeral. One of the GREAT music impressions ever was John Belushi doing Joe Cocker on SNL WITH Joe Cocker! If you've not seen it...do yourself a favor and watch THIS. Then noted session player...and great thumb-picker Chip Young died here in Nashville. He played on so many hit recording sessions through the years that you can't possibly count them. But here's one example of his great thumb-picking style that landed on the Dolly hit "Jolene". Safe to say...it made a difference in how we love that tune. RIP boys...and thanks for the great great music you gave us. TODAY Little family time today...Kathy is working on the Christmas dinner...and we're already counting our many blessings as the turkey un-thaws. Then tonight I'll get to listen to five more hours of Christmas music on WSM as I'm back on air from 7-midnight tonight. Tune in at wsmonline.com...heard around the world...and then some. Have a great Christmas Eve-Eve.
BILL BLOG Monday December 22, 2014 And...we're back. NO BLOG? There was no regular blog on this past Thursday or Friday because I was called in to do the early morning show on WSM which turned out to be great fun. I'm back on air tonight and tomorrow night from 7-Midnight. Listen in at wsmonline.com THURSDAY MORNING My studio guest was the great songwriter Wynn Varble who writes hit songs and funny songs...which I love. He has the current single by Garth called "Mom" which is a flat out tear jerker and likely to be a smash hit. Wynn told a great back story on the song. It was seven years old. Garth was looking for stuff for his new album and his wife said "pitch Mom to Garth." Wynn told her there was NO way he would like the song...but...because she would not stop bugging him about it he sent it to Garth. Two days later Garth called to tell him he LOVED the song and would cut it. The funny part of the story is Wynn revealing on air that he would rather have an enema than have to tell his wife she was right. Funny man. Then Friday morning 64 year old Doug Seegers joined me talk about making his Grand Ole Opry debut Friday night at the Ryman. 64! He'd been a street musician for years when a Swedish documentary director found him...filmed him...and all of a sudden he's off the streets touring Sweden big time. That got him noticed...and he stood on the stage of the Ryman Friday night like one of his heroes Hank Williams did once upon a time. Fascinating man...and good for him. Dreams do come true. THE REST OF THE WEEKEND It truly was a busy weekend. Friday night I played at Puckett's downtown Nashville with my "Hits and Grins" trio to a festive crowd in the Christmas spirit. Reminder to self...leave for anything downtown half an hour earlier. There's construction and building going on EVERYWHERE in Music City...and getting there and going home requires knowing some alternate routes these days. Thanks to all who came out for the show on Friday night. The SATURDAY MORNING I had the honor once again of playing at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with my friend Steve Dean inside the gorgeous and intimate Ford Theater for their songwriter series. 45 minutes flew by...and we had a chance to visit after the show with tourists who were in town from all over the country. What a blast. A lot of those folks went home with CD's too as Music City souvenirs. Enjoy. My thanks to Abi Tapia for having the two of us again. Truly one of my all time favorite gigs. MORE GOOD NEWS I just added a new show to my calendar with my friend Brent Burns down in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The two of us will have a show Thursday night February 12 at the Glen Lakes Country Club starting at 7 pm. We try to do one of these every year during Snowbird Season...and I can't begin to tell you how much fun these shows are. Those who have been...know. Details are available in the Calendar part of my main website at billwhytecomedy.com AND... I found out this weekend that Darin and Brooke Aldridge..."The Sweethearts of Bluegrass" just added a song I'm part of on their brand new album "Snapshots". This one is a gospel-bluegrass tune titled "He's A Coming" and they just slayed it in studio. The song was co-written with my great friend Lisa Shaffer and the "Georgia Quacker" Gerald Smith. Thanks to Darin and Brooke for loving our tune. TODAY Shopping...picking up the daughter...and on air from 7-Midnight playing nothing but Christmas music on 650 AM WSM Radio. Tune in if you can. Have a great Monday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday December 17, 2014 Yep...still got Christmas shopping to do. Thanks for asking. YESTERDAY Started with "Hits and Grins" Tuesday as our songwriter trio always gets together on that day. Yesterday was one for working at booking more shows. Starting late 2015 we will get EXTREMELY busy on the road...but have dates to fill between the start of the year and then. House concerts, corporate events, theaters, festivals you name it...we're available. If you know of someone looking to book music...think of us! You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org Break for lunch...then off to Music Row to write with 19 year old Nora Collins from Milwaukee who I befriended a few years ago...and I've watched her grow through the past couple of years on You Tube, and her social networks. Turns out she grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin...a part of Milwaukee...which is where my wife and I lived for six years when I did a morning radio show for the country station there...WMIL in Milwaukee. Small danged world. She brought an idea and a melody with her...so we wrote that yesterday and had fun. She's at that point where she's looking at making the big leap and moving from the frozen tundra to Music City. 19 is about the right age...as the charts are always getting younger...not older. I'll be rooting for Nora for sure. She's already playing 200 dates a year in Wisconsin...so she's doing her part to get ready for Music City. Good luck Nora. WSM I'll be on air tomorrow morning as well as Friday morning starting at 5:30 AM. Tune into 650 AM WSM around the world at wsmonline.com. A little after 8 am tomorrow morning...one of my favorite writers in town Wynn Varble will join me. Wynn is a co-writer on the new tearjerker smash from Garth called "Mom"...but Wynn is also very funny himself. He'll bring his guitar. If I were you...I'd listen. CONGRATS To Craig Wayne Boyd who won this season on "The Voice". We were rooting for him and Blake too. Guy has spent 10 or 11 years here in town trying to make it...and now that's gonna happen for him. Life changing. And he deserves it. That show "The Voice" is a lesson for TV folks. American Idol seemed unbeatable at one time. Several shows went up against it and failed...until a clever new approach with judges spinning in chairs and having a vested interest in their contestants came along. Not to mention "chemistry". Blake and Adam are worth every dollar they pay them. They are as much a reason for watching the show...as the contestants are. We still watch Idol...but by comparison now..."The Voice" seems younger...hipper...more fun. I want one of those chairs for my house!! BY COMPARISON The American Country Countdown Awards show did not seem hip and cool though it tried SO hard with a bar, cell phones, and the mosh pit girls carrying an average age of 21 between them. Too contrived. We've got enough of those type of shows...and the ratings bore that out. It finished 4th in it's time slot for Fox. If it does not return next year...no-one would miss it...and I think that includes a lot of the artists. I do appreciate how they tried to show off the songwriters in this town...but for the most part...for me...it was truly unwatchable. TODAY Off to Music Row this morning to write with Steve Dean and Paul Bogart which will pretty much wrap up the songwriting for 2014 as I'm getting ready to turn my attention to the holidays. Plus...I'm allowing more time to be on WSM through that period of time. I always post when I'm going to be on air in my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com...so you can check there if you have interest. Weather is calling for a wintry-mix here tomorrow...which means 1/4 inch of white stuff will cause a panic and Nashville drivers will just pull over and abandon their cars. Sigh. Guess I better go out and put the chains on. Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday December 16, 2014 Busy Tuesday. Extra coffee please. YESTERDAY I wrote for the first time with proud Alabamian Andrew Pope. You can always tell the Alabama fans. They wear the clothing...red...big A. Andrew's a country boy...and I like that. Friends with the guys in the group Alabama...pretty good company to keep for sure. So I made a new friend...and we wrote a pretty cool commercial drinking song. You can't get enough of those. A productive day on Music Row. LAST NIGHT Curled up on the couch with a bowl of my wife's chili...flipping back and forth between the MNF game...the movie "Bucket List" and the American Country Music Countdown Awards Show. For the most part...the Countdown Show could not hold my attention. Part of the reason being that we've had such a glut of these kinds of shows that I've had enough. I can't remember who won what anymore on which awards show. Oh...I do know that Luke Bryan won a big award which lets me plug my "Luke Bryan" song that I wrote with Cledus T. Judd, Colt Ford and Chris Clark. It's a parody to the Alan Thicke song "Blurred Lines". You'll find it on You Tube. EAST BOUND AND DOWN That was the iconic song used in Smokey And The Bandit...the movie starring that singer Jerry Reed. Oh yea...Burt Reynolds and Sally Fields were in it too. I bring that up because the "Bandit"...that black Trans Am he drove just sold at auction for almost half a million bucks! I remember seeing that movie more than once...in Bowling Green Missouri at a tiny theater off main street. Laughed my butt off. Hopefully the new owner will treat her well...and hang a cowboy hat on the radio antenna a time or two. (If you know what I mean) SIGNS YOU'RE IN NASHVILLE This morning...6 AM...at my McDonald's...I hear guitar music. Dude brings in his guitar...with a bunch of lyric sheets...and he's playing and talking music with another dude. McMusic if you will. Only in Nashville folks. MUSIC TRIVIA Millie Kirkham passed at the age of 94. I know. Her name means nothing to you. But you've heard her voice...many times...trust me. She was a background singer...sang on "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and hits for Roy Orbison as an example. She also did those high "ooh...ooh...ooh" parts on Blue Christmas for Elvis. Elvis hated the song. He told the musicians and singers to just be crazy and do whatever they wanted. So Millie added those "ooh" things you hear on that record. When completed...Elvis told them...they'll never release that song now...which was his hope. The rest of course...is musical history thanks to one Millie Kirkham. SPEAKING OF MUSIC The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct six new members. My fave? Bill Withers. "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean On Me" are reason enough to be inducted. Congrats. HAPPY BIRTHDAY To my buddy Bill Cody...the morning dude at WSM. I'll be filling up his shoes if I can this Thursday and Friday morning at 650 AM WSM...listen worldwide at wsmonline.com. I'll have a couple of special guests over those two mornings...so listen in. TODAY A double day of writing...which I don't do a lot anymore. But this morning I'm with my "Hits and Grins trio. We gather every Tuesday. Today we'll take care of some business and run some tunes for our Friday night Christmas show at Puckett's starting at 9 pm. And this afternoon I'll trek back to Music Row to write with a young Milwaukee friend Nora Collins who I've been keeping up with. She's making some noise in Wisconsin...and hopes to do the same here someday. We'll try to write something she loves today. May the rhymes be with us. Have a great Tuesday!
BILL BLOG Monday December 15, 2015 Good grief...10 days til Christmas. THE WEEKEND It started with a trip to Huntsville on Friday for a corporate Christmas show as my "Hits and Grins" trio joined our friend Jim Parker down in Huntsville to play at the Meza Luna Restaurant for a company that posts internet deals for consumers. The restaurant was in a mall...so we had time to shop a little before lasagna and then our show. Steve Dean and myself bought nothing...Victoria Venier filled up a bag or two...or three. Our trio is blessed to be sponsored by Epiphone Guitars...and we all love ours. I'm thrilled with my Masterbuilt guitar they gave me so you can imagine how my heart fell when I was walking away from the stage and hear a loud musical bang! Yep...the guitar fell off it's stand...off an elevated stage to the floor. I was sure the neck would be broken or worse...but the guitar apparently fell flat on the strings...and there was not one mark or blemish on it...AND...it stayed in tune! My admiration for how well built those guitars are jumped immensely. I'll be playing that guitar...thank goodness...this Friday night at Puckett's in downtown Nashville for a 9 pm show with "Hits and Grins"...and then again this Saturday morning at the Country Music Hall of Fame with my friend Steve Dean at 11:30 AM as part of their songwriter series at the Ford Theater. Come see us if you can. A REMINDER It's been about 5 or 6 weeks since I've been on the radio. A large part of that was because my wife and I were in Gulf Shores for most of November. But...that's all about to change. I'll be on the morning show this Thursday and Friday from 5:30-10 am with Jonathan Shaffer as the two of us fill in for Bill Cody and Charlie Mattos. Should be fun...and we'll play a lot of Christmas music for sure. Don't forget you can listen in on your computer at wsmonline.com AWARDS KAZOO Just what the world needs. Another Country Music Awards Show on Fox tonight. Geez. This one is the American Country Countdown Awards Show. This is the fourth major awards show for country...and I'm starting to think that if we can add a couple more...every person who calls themselves a country singer will get an award. I had the pleasure of hosting the American Country Countdown show three or four times filling in for Bob Kingsley who hosted the show before Kix Brooks. So I have a small vested interest...and will probably flip back and forth between the show and MNF. EVENING IN THE ROUND My friend and "Evening In The Round" partner Linda Davis sent me a text from Ohio at her next stop on the Kenny Rogers Christmas tour. The text was about what a friend sent her...another one of those funny business combos. You know...where one store does two things? This one sold "live' bait...AND fine wine! So...you can buy a bucket of worms and some pink Zin all in one stop. Put on a pair of waders and pour a glass. Love that. A reminder...our "Evening In The Round" show has a road tour coming up the first weekend in January. January 8 in Hot Springs Arkansas at the Five Star Dinner Theater. January 9 Tyler Texas at Liberty Hall. January 10 at Christ Fellowship McKinney, Texas Check my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com for details on these shows. TODAY Back to the writing table. First time writing with young Andrew Pope who's from Alabama and likes Hank Jr and Travis Tritt and more traditional country. So...we'll try to put something together that he'll love. Have a great Monday!
BILL BLOG Friday December 12, 2014 Good morning for foggy Nashville. Fog is thicker than a wrassler's thighs this morning. And...I had to dig for an ice scraper to clear the frost off my windshield at 5:30 as I left for my coffee and paper run. Geez. Tis the season I suppose. I thought perhaps the fog was REALLY thick when I filled up the tank this morning. I was looking for a bill of 20 something bucks or so...and it clicked off at $15! Amazing what a difference it makes in the bill when the cost per gallon is $2.19 compared to $3.80 or so not that long ago. I kinda like those kinds of surprise. YESTERDAY I did my first real Skype writing session yesterday with two friends. Flipped open my Mac Book at Steve Dean's house...dialed up Brent Burns in Gulf Shores...and over the two computers we wrote a new beach song for Brent that may be included on his next album he's working towards. I suspect it will be there as the song turned out great...with a huge smile or two in it and should work well for my Trop Rock buddy. Technology is a great thing if you can just figure out how to use it. While we're looking at Brent long distance on the computer...I have a word document open where I'm typing in lyrics and erasing and replacing as the song was being constructed. When finished...I boot up Garage Band in my computer...and record the song with Steve singing it...edit it...then convert it to an mp3...and a couple of minutes later I've sent both of my co-writers the lyrics and the audio for their files. We started at 10....were done by 1. Pretty amazing stuff really. I see doing more of this with writers in the future. And now if I can figure out how to "photo-shop" my "live" image on the computer...THAT would be great! A RETIREMENT Congrats to John Kiesewetter who is retiring after many a year with the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper as their media/entertainment guy. John wrote more than one article through the years about me and my radio career when I was on air in Cincinnati. Recently he was in Nashville for a couple of days and we had dinner and talked Reds baseball...and then he wrote a nice article about what I was doing here in Music City after coming off the air in Cincinnati several years ago. It was nice of him to do. And he always treated me nicely through the years. He appeared "live" on my radio show many times to talk about new TV seasons and the new shows. I appreciate him...and his writing and fairness through all those years. I expect to see my friend taking in even more baseball games now...and he deserves it. Congrats on your retirement my friend...and your friendship through all these years. GREAT QUOTE Kudos to Charlotte Panther QB Cam Newton who was in a wreck that most of you know about where his truck flipped over 5 times. News camera showed him laying down and smiling at the scene. He had good reason to smile...he was still alive. He addressed that at a news conference in an eloquent way yesterday after a reporter asked him how many football games he thought he would miss? His reply was awesome. "Who cares when I'm coming back? I'm just thankful to have breath in my lungs." Can I get an Amen? Every day breathing is precious. I take none of them for granted anymore. None of us should. TODAY I'm meeting up with my "Hits and Grins" pals at about 2:30 pm and then all three of us head south of I-65 for a private show tonight in Huntsville, Alabama. Our friend Jim Parker from Huntsville set up this show...and he will join our circle tonight too. Should be great fun! Thanks to Jim for having us. Then this weekend...gotta start thinking bout adding ornaments to our bare tree...as well as sending my daughter Heather back to her base in Miami tomorrow morning. We've had for a couple more days this week...and that never gets old. Have yourself a great weekend.
BILL BLOG Thursday December 11, 2014 Everybody is seemingly getting fatter according to health reports. I'm greasing our chimney today to make sure Santa can get down with the goodies. YESTERDAY Our daughter Heather flew back into town for a few days. Her mother picked her up at the airport about the time I had to leave for my Christmas songwriters round last night at Douglas Corner so I have not set eyes on her yet. Sound asleep upstairs in her bedroom. It always feels good knowing she's under our roof again...even if it's for a short while. She just got back from Brazil again...a country she seems to love...and will have a busy December flying around the world for American Airlines...including a flight on Christmas itself. I see packages opening Christmas Eve here at the Whyte House. THE SHOW I had a great time last night at Douglas Corner as a guest of my friend Linda Davis who co-hosted an original Christmas music songwriter round. Linda and her husband Lang were terrific as always...and they called me up to do a couple of tunes. I chose "Blue Light Christmas" that I co-wrote with Jim McBride. The song was Jim's idea about a family that's always missing someone at the Christmas dinner because they were arrested. The chorus starts out..."It was ho ho ho from the po po pokey"....so that gives you an idea. The co-host of the show last night was a former cop...so you can imagine that the song went over pretty well. The other song was "I'm Getting Scrooged For Christmas"...a song I wrote with Steve Dean and Daisy Mallory. It was fun hearing a little Christmas laughter from the audience who gathered to raise money for a good cause. I heard some other great writers...meeting all of them for the first time so that was good too. The event organizers got lucky because Linda had a hole in her Christmas tour schedule with Kenny Rogers allowing her to help out...and thus invite me. Kenny's tour manager of 31 years was in the house last night...nice guy...and Linda texted me later that she was back on the bus for the next tour stop... (busy huh?) and told me that he was telling all the tour members about the funny songs. We call that getting paid in other ways than in dollars. So now I've got my hopes that Kenny Rogers will sing "I'm Getting Scrooged For Christmas." Hey...a guy can dream. STREAMING MUSIC And here's another example of why so many publishers, record labels, artists etc are imploring congress to do something about the payouts on streaming music. Pharrell Williams...on "The Voice" this year....had 43 MILLION plays on Pandora. Guess what his payout was on 43 MILLION? $2,700. Over 80% or more of all songwriters in this town now supplement their income with other revenue streams. Did I pick a great time to be a songwriter or what? TODAY Off to do that Skype songwriting session this morning with Steve Dean here in Nashville...and my friend Brent Burns down in Gulf Shores. We're gonna need make up before we look at each other on computer screens me thinks. Three technically challenged dudes trying to Skype this morning. This might be interesting. Then...a little time with my daughter if I'm lucky. Ahead? A private show in Huntsville tomorrow night with "Hits and Grins"...on the air from 5:30 AM to 10 AM next Thursday and Friday on 650 AM WSM A "Hits and Grins" show at Puckett's in downtown Nashville next Friday night December 18. And next Saturday December 20...a songwriter show at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum...inside the Ford Theater with Steve Dean at 11:30 that morning. Hope to see some of you out front at some of those. Have a great Thursday!