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Bill Whyte / Blog

New Writer...and Fifty Shades

BILL BLOG Friday February 6, 2015 And we made it to the weekend! Scraped a little frost off my windshield at 5:15 this morning...by Tuesday night I'll be shaking sand out of my shoes down in Gulf Shores for our little trip that includes a concert Thursday night with my friend Brent Burns. Guess which one I prefer doing more? Uh huh. YESTERDAY I was at a writing table with my friend Shay Watson who works and writes with a lot of young artists. Yesterday "Rowe"...that's her artist name joined us. She went to school at Berkely...as a vocal major...and that's a tough school to get into. So I knew she would be talented without even hearing her...although Shay had sent me a couple of her recordings ahead of time so that I could get familiar with her a bit. She left Berkeley early...Virginia native...went to LA for awhile and found that it didn't fit her...so she's here in Music City now working towards her dream...and waiting tables and doing whatever she has to...to pay the bills. The life of a creative person for sure. I write a lot...a lot. Like a lot of folks in this town. And a LOT of the stuff you write will go nowhere...ever. You get done writing it...and you just kind of know if there's any potential in it. Every now and then...you feel like you nailed one. And that was the case yesterday. I was thinking in my mind about this new artist...and her voice as I was driving over to Shay's...and a simple melody and title popped into my head. I recorded the thought into my phone...and we wrote that yesterday. The best part was...the song fell out. It didn't take long. And then it comes time to record a "work" tape into our phone...or in my case...on my Garage Band program on my Mac. Rowe laid it down...without rehearsal...one take...and her voice...and interpretation of our song was truly incredible. I don't know what will happen with this song...just like the other's I write with talented folks. But I do know that this 24 year old artist is the real deal. It was a pleasure working with her and Shay yesterday...and I'm already looking forward to the next session...and looking forward to seeing what happens with her dream. AND THEN... I had an assignment from New York to write an original jingle for a morning radio show in Florida. Hopefully those folks will like it when it arrives in their digital box in a few days. And today...I'm betting they just might want a parody song for the Brian Williams NBC story. Good Lord. And...I literally just checked my inbox and I've been assigned to write a parody song about the upcoming controversial movie "Fifty Shades of Grey". Okay. This should be fun. TODAY No I won't see "SpongeBob" the movie. I've never gotten on board with that yellow dude. Bring a "Roadrunner" cartoon to the movie screen and I'm all in. I will watch the Grammy's this weekend and root for Brandy Clark who's up for Country Album of the Year and will perform a duet with Dwight Yoakam...and if she doesn't win...it wouldn't hurt my feelings if Lee Ann Womack won because she's great...and a co-writer friend of mine Zach Runquist plays in her band and is making the trip out there for the show. Here's one more musical treat. This is Lee Ann singing the old classic "Wayfaring Stranger" with two acoustic musicians. My friend Zach is on guitar...to her right...playing and adding harmony. Just an awesome performance. Have a great weekend!

Jimmy and Sydni and Brent Burns

BILL BLOG Thursday February 5, 2015 Funny how it doesn't seem as cold when you know you're headed to the beach in a few days. More on that later in today's blog. For the record...33 for the HIGH today...but 60 on Saturday. As my friend Steve Dean would say, "what's wrong with none of that"? YESTERDAY I had the pleasure of hanging out and writing with Jimmy Fortune and Sydni Perry. I thank Sydni for pulling me into this trio. She plays fiddle for Jimmy some on the road and teed up our first co-write maybe a year or more ago. I was...like most...a fan of the Statler Brothers that Jimmy was part of...so getting to hear some of the stories about that quartet from an "insider" is always fun. And Sydni is a terrific singer herself with that wonderful Patty Loveless kind of Kentucky "tone" in her voice when she sings. Which is no coincidence...as she's played out on the road with Patty and sang harmony with her many times. Today...Jimmy and his wife are on the road to New Orleans as they host a cruise of their fans on a trip to the Caribbean. And he's working on a brand new gospel CD with the Gaither's that will be racked in Cracker Barrel Stores...so look for that. So yesterday was another reminder that I'm pretty blessed these days. VALENTINE Valentine Day approaches...you can tell by the increase in Viagra commercials. Just saying. Nothing says love like a little blue pill I suppose. McPREACH So...at McDonald's today...doing my coffee and paper and note takin' thang when a guy walks up and says he's out volunteering for the Lord and give me a three page booklet on Bible verses. He didn't try to engage me in conversation...he just gave me the pamphlet and moved on. I have zero problem with that. He just gave me an option as to whether I wanted to look at it or not. For me...I've always felt like that I don't want to be "preached" to. A conversation...or information works better for yours truly. I had enough preachers when I was young to hold me forever. At my first little radio station on Sunday mornings...a preacher would come in "live"...I would turn on his microphone and then sit out in the reception area and watch him pound the console, and scream into the microphone for a solid half hour. I'm pretty sure his blood pressure was up more than the amount of souls he saved on air. I wrote a song from that experience called "Sometimes Religion Scares The Hell Out Of Me." It's on my first album "Off The Wall." In Nashville they say, "write what you know." I know that scarred me for a few years! I rarely do the song these days...don't know why...just haven't in awhile. It makes people laugh because so many can relate to it I think. However....I did play the song once in a show with my friend Brent Burns at a little place in Orange Beach, Alabama. We had a great crowd...and I sang the song that night. My wife Kathy who was there told me that a woman got up and walked out because she was offended by the song. I had not noticed. BUT...the best part was...her husband would not leave with her because he was laughing so hard! Sometimes ya gotta be fearless if you're trying to make people laugh. AND SPEAKING OF BRENT BURNS I'll be in concert with my pal at the Glen Lakes Country Club a week from tonight in Foley, Alabama...just north of Gulf Shores. How can you not come to a show and see two guys who wrote classics like "Jim Cantore" and "Whatever Happened To Kenny Rogers Face"? TODAY Off to write with Shay Watson and new female artist he's working with named "Rowe". Always fun to write with young talented folks...and with Shay who's writing a ton of music for...of all things...soap opera's these days! And making a danged good living doing it. I've GOT to figure out a way to write a song with him that winds up on the "Bold and Beautiful." Have a great Thursday.

Hits and Grins...Great Write Coming Today

BILL BLOG Wednesday January 4, 2015 Over the hump we go... YESTERDAY It was "Hits and Grins" Tuesday so Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself gathered at Victoria's house which overlooks some beautiful Tennessee country side between her two dogs and went to work reaching out to venues about booking our trio this year. We already have a VERY busy back end of the year...and early 2016 is busy too...so we're just trying to fill some gaps on the calendar. House concerts, festivals, performance arts series...bar mitzvah's...you name it. Steve did book a private gig in Little Rock for this September...so we'll get to return to his hometown to play which is cool. If you know someone who wants a great show...just holler. We closed out the day with a little Italian food at a new place just down the road from Victoria's out in the middle of the country. Go figure. Good day at the office. SPEAKING OF THE BUS Our Metro bus line will have "poetry in motion" soon as they hang local poetry on the bus your riding to work. "There was was a guy on a bus....in traffic he surely got stuck...he got really mad...he shouted a tad...and threw up one finger and yelled.... Hopefully they will stay away from limericks. ADVICE Paul Craft...the great songwriter who wrote one of my favorite songs "Keep Me From Blowing Away" was recently inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame...and then unfortunately passed away a few short days later. Paul also wrote "Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goalposts Of Life"...so you can see why I loved his writing. They will honor his life in a few nights here in town with some wonderful writers/singers hitting the stage to sing his songs. Cool. Someone once asked Paul Craft if he had any advice for young writers. Paul's answer...witty as ever was, "start writing." TODAY I'm back with one of my favorite set of writers...Sydni Perry and Jimmy Fortune who was the high tenor singer for the Statler Brothers until they retired. These days Jimmy writes and does a ton of shows himself...and usually takes Miss Sydni to sing harmony and play fiddle. These kind of days fly...great talented company insures that...and I feel blessed to be in the middle of em for sure. Have a great Wednesday!

Airports...and Hits and Grins Tuesday

BILL BLOG Tuesday February 3, 2014 Woke up feeling wondering how Pete Carroll has slept the last couple of nights. YESTERDAY It was a catch up day...did a little comedy parody song writing yesterday sending my folks in NY a tune for the Grammy Awards coming up this Sunday. More on the Grammy's later in this blog. Also spent a little time with my daughter Heather who is off to the airport this morning again to return to Miami to work for American Airlines. Did you see the Toyota commercial for he Superbowl...where the Dad watches his daughter grow up and then drops her off at the airport as she's all grown up watching her walk away to get on a plane and lead her own life? I could have written that. I love the fact that she comes home....not so much every time I have to drop her at the airport and watch her fly away. Safe flight kiddo. PASSWORDS I also spent some time with an online mandatory tutorial session learning about phishing, hacking, and using better passwords for one of my part time jobs. Made me wonder why I don't have a part time password. I did learn a lot though. And today I will change my clever password of 12345 to something different. May happybirthday. CONGRATS To my buddy Mike Thomas back at KWRE Radio in Warrenton, Missouri...where I worked on air for a short while when I was a kid. Mike was just nominated for the Country Radio Broadcast Hall of Fame. How great for you Mike...one of the good guys...who's been in that market for a long while. I've got my fingers crossed that Mike will make it...and if not this year...one of these years down the road. PRESSURE Guys...this will make your blood pressure rise. Valentine Day is coming up. What are you getting her? I'm leaning towards giving my wife "days of the week" underwear this year. I know. I'm a hopeless romantic. NEXT GIG I'll actually be spending Valentine Day on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama as I have a show with Brent Burns on February 12 at Glen Lakes Country Club in Foley, AL. To my friends down there on the coast...get your tickets! And my wife and I will get to spend some time with my brother Gary and his wife Kay who are snow-birding down there through the end of this month...escaping the snow and the Amish buggies in Pennsylvania. Brent is one of my most frequent co-writers...and when we have the chance to perform together...it's a complete blast. You won't be sorry if you have a ticket for this one. TODAY It's "Hits and Grins" Tuesday for me, Victoria Venier and Steve Dean. Every Tuesday when possible the trio gets together to do whatever we need to do to keep things moving. Then tonight...did I tell you we taped the "Bachelor"? I may be doing a Bruce Jenner myself. Sigh. Have a great Tuesday!

To Florida and Back

BILL BLOG Monday February 2, 2014 That danged groundhog saw his shadow. As my old radio friend Darren Wilhite posted this morning...that means six more weeks of watching the Bruce Jenner transformation. Wind is HOWLING this morning outside my blogging window. Maybe that varmint do know something. WHAT A WEEKEND Well...our "Evening In The Round" trio with Linda Davis, Lang Scott...myself and my wife Kathy simply could not have had more fun as we played for 400 or so folks down in Brooksville, Florida...near Tampa. We stayed at a little hotel in Wiki Wachee...which is the home of the long running mermaid show they have down there. The entrance to our hotel actually had some topless sculpted mermaids sitting on a pole to greet us. So there's that! The concert was held in a retirement community full of pre-fab homes...all unique looking...and extremely well maintained. It's a golf cart community...with a course that winds throughout. And I don't think that I saw any residents that were not smiling and enjoying their lives. Same way at the show. There was a 101 year old woman on the front row having a ball. And a 94 or 95 year old tail gunner from World War II who I had a great conversation with. I can't thank Sheila and Clay Kirk more for basically making this show happen through their hard work...and the same hard work of our mutual friend Juanita Hotard who put Sheila and Clay onto the idea of having us come down from Nashville. Juanita...God love her...is a music lover...and has been responsible for our show playing in Florida multiple times...with more to come. In the winter! And...her two young girls both bought "I'm Goin' Ugly" t-shirts which shows you what great taste she and her young daughters have! So we have great great memories of this road run to keep in our scrap books...and can't wait to go back again. DRIVING It was about an 11 hour drive or so from Nashville to our destination. We broke the trip up on the way down over-nighting in Macon, GA...but it was a non-stop drive back as we wanted to get home in time for the Super Bowl...or at least some of it. Lang had his daughter tape the game....my daughter Heather was home so I did the same. (Remind me to remind her to tape the HD channel the next time!) An 11 hour drive goes pretty quickly when you're on the road with great friends and there was a ton of laughter this time. Me finding the story about the truck driver who caused a wreck because he pulled a tooth while driving in Alabama had us all in giggles...and you can imagine the jokes that ran back and forth on that one. The guy actually had the tooth in his shirt pocket to show police. "Please...don't text and yank". And we did see three different wrecks ourselves on the way down and back...running up on two causing us to hit the brakes big time. So...we feel lucky to have had a great show...and a SAFE run home. This trio..."Evening In The Round" has shows slated for Gatlinburg (private) and a run coming up in July that will include New Mexico and possibly El Paso and Lubbock. And we will have the pleasure of playing the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame this summer too. Look for all that info on my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com TODAY I kept the calendar open today...knowing I had a long trip back home from Florida. So...it will be good to catch up on stuff...like sending a note to Pete Carroll asking "what the ????" Have a great Monday!

Live Microphones and Super Bowl Memories

BILL BLOG Friday January 30, 2014 Once again...bags stacked in the hall. Road trip to Florida starts in a couple of hours. More on that at the end of today's blog. TURN THE MICROPHONES OFF During last night's NHL hockey game between our Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues...which was carried on Fox Sports Tennessee...someone managed to run porn audio under the play by play of the announcers...who of course knew nothing about it. How that happens? I dunno. But someone down the line...will probably lose their job. Never cuss in the studio...a lesson I learned a long time ago. You always think the microphone is off. But one little slip will have you in a meeting with a very mad boss. LESSON....Jimmy Buffett was playing Cincinnati when I was on air for WUBE there doing the morning show. Jimmy is HUGE there. It's Cincinnati where the idea of "Parrot Heads" was launched. The morning after the show I have the bright idea of sending our producer/street guy out to the campground where people were still hung over from the concert the night before and interview some of those folks. So...here's what happened. He gets a guy out of his camper...tells him he's going "live" on air...so DON'T CUSS! No problem...we thought. (It's here I should tell you that you're supposed to record every conversation and not do anything "live') I LOVE "live" radio so I blew that rule off) Okay...here we go...3 2 1.... Producer: Hey...dude...how was the concert last night? On air "Live"...dude says...."It was F'n great!!!!" SUPER Okay...Super Bowl this weekend. Who ya got? Did you know the most watched TV shows of all time that a Super Bowl does not top the list? Most watched TV show of all time still is the Mash finale followed by the Dallas episode of "Who Shot Jr"...and then the Roots finale before we get to a Super Bowl at number four. And that would be the Bengal-49'ers game in Miami that I watched from the 50 yard line! The one with Boomer, and Chris Collinsworth and Icky doing his shuffle. The game that saw Joe Montana drive the length of the field and stab out every Bengal heart that was there. Amazing game. TODAY Okay...off to Florida. Evening In The Round has a show tomorrow night in Brooksville...and word is we're going to be packed! Have a great weekend...next blog will be in February! Oh yea...I'll take Seattle.

Road Trip and a Super Bowl Memory

BILL BLOG Thursday January 29, 2014 Two more days and January of the New Year will already be gone. I've got to figure out a way to make time slow down. YESTERDAY Nothing out of the ordinary...pre-packing for the Florida show this Saturday night in Brooksville, Florida for "Evening In The Round" with Linda Davis and Lang Scott. Linda teaches a performance class...showing young artists how to work a microphone/camera...and present themselves. The class includes much more of course and students get to learn at the hands of a pro. If you have a young person who's musical...I would highly recommend that they sign up for Linda's class. You can find more info on that at lindadavis.com Linda will be teaching her class in Macon, Georgia Friday so she leaves a day ahead of the rest of us. We'll overnight in Macon tomorrow...add Linda to the merry van and truck on down to Brooksville for the show Saturday night. We've all come to learn that the road trips, which include my wife Kathy...are as much fun as the shows themselves...almost. We could write a book...but probably better not. THE BIG GAME Coming Sunday. I'll have to tape it as I'm on the road...as much for the commercials as for the game itself. I'm not rooting for either team this year...just hoping it's a good game...and that the ball is inflated. One Super Bowl story? I've got a few...but here's just one. I was in New Orleans with my show to cover the game between the Packers and Patriots. Mike Holmgren vs Bill Parcells. Our broadcast location was set up in a fancy hotel across from the Super Dome where all the players and celebs were. There were a ton of radio stations...one table after another...and guest were brought by and sat down to be interviewed. Sometimes you had to be creative and get some folks to sit down with you. Jerry Glanville the Atlanta Falcons coach walked in...and I walked over and asked he wold sit down on air with me. He said he would...but ONLY if we did not talk a lot about football. He wanted to talk about country music. And he knew his stuff. He's a big Travis Tritt fan and we talked about that. And he was FUNNY. I could not get a ticket to that game...too pricey. So I got on morning flight back to Milwaukee where I was living at the time....and got back home just in time for the game on TV. My wife and daughter surprised me with a Packers cake...and we all sat on the couch rooting for Brett Favre and Reggie White and the team..and went crazy with the rest of cheese-head nation when the Packers won. In my little trophy case...that doesn't hold a lot...there's an autographed football from Reggie with a scripture verse and chapter from the Bible that he scribbled across the Rawlings. He's gone...and missed. But every time I happen to glance at that ball....I smile at the memory of warm beignets and cajun food going down with the strains of a Zydeco band in my ears...wild and crazy Bourbon Street...the Mississippi River meandering by our trolley car ride...Jerry Glanville praising Travis Tritt...Joe Namath on an escalator ride in the hotel with me...of New Orleans...that Super Bowl...and Reggie. Have a great Thursday!

Florida Trip and Puppy Bowl

BILL BLOG Wednesday January 28, 2014 February 19...pitchers and catcher report to Spring Training. Just saying. YESTERDAY Every Tuesday when possible it's "Hits and Grins" Tuesday. So Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself got together at Victoria's to tie up some loose end business. The trio is always digging for more places to play so we sent out some feelers yesterday...and signed up for the first week of the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival in November this year down in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach. So...a productive day...and we all left the meeting thinking about the ocean. FURTHER SOUTH Our show in Florida this Saturday night for "Evening In The Round" with Linda Davis, Lang Scott and myself is almost sold out...and may be after the Tampa Bay Times was nice enough to give the show a plug too. We hit the road Friday morning...overnight in Macon where Linda is teaching a performance class on Friday...and then we'll see a bunch of you Saturday night. Get your ticket...quickly. PUPPY BOWL The Super Bowl is Sunday in Arizona. Yesterday my comedy syndication company asked me to write a parody song about...NOT the Super Bowl...but Puppy Bowl! That game that goes 24 hours where they let dogs bat a ball around that you can pull up and watch...sponsored by Animal Planet. Good grief. I got it done...and managed to include the lyrics "wiener dogs" and "that shitzu's goin' down"! They loved it...proving there's all kinds of ways to make a buck or two here and there. BIG NEWS IN NASHVILLE We are going to be one of the first cities in the country to get Google fiber. Meaning...our internet speed will be 100 times faster and will be a boom for tech jobs in the city. Think of it as Geeks meet Country. I'll sign up for sure in hopes that I'll never see that spinning rainbow wheel of death on my Mac again. HEADLINE IN TODAY'S PAPER Why do men hate church? Umm...I dunno. Could be that in those mammoth churches with the big screens...all they show is preachers and gospel singers instead of ESPN. Just saying. I'd say hire that squirrel that water ski's and turn him loose for five minutes in the baptismal. Partly blasphemic I know...but dudes would come. TODAY Had to cancel my writing appointment with Lynn Rink today...which I hate...but I'm going to see if I can get a little relief for a cranky back before we hit the road this Friday to Florida. And...spend a little time explaining who Castro is to my daughter. Have a great Wednesday!

Writing With Chili

BILL BLOG Tuesday January27, 2015 Temps are in the low 30's this morning...and the squirrels are apparently running a winter marathon across the top of my roof right now. I wonder if Uggs makes a boot for those danged critters? SPEAKING OF WEATHER All of us who are glad we don't live in the Northeast throw your thawed out hands up. Bunches of us. Just flurries in middle Tennessee...and with any luck a dusting is all we'll get all winter again...like last year. If I really wanted to make money I'd open a moving company that serviced that part of the country. The problem would be finding enough trucks to service all those folks who would want to move southward right around April. THE THRILL ESCAPES ME Never been a huge snow guy. Liked sledding when I was a kid...liked leaning to ski...but I got more than enough of it in Wisconsin when I was there. Watching it out the windows with the flood lights on and a fire going was cool...until I realized I had a foot of that stuff in my drive and had to snow-blow it out. So...no more for me...if possible. One of my happier days was giving away my snow-blower when we moved south. I'm looking forward to being even further away from that stuff this Saturday when I'm in Brooksville, Florida for a show with "Evening In The Round" with Grammy winner Linda Davis and Lang Scott. Over 350 tickets sold so we are close to being sold out. Then February 12 I'll be in warm weather to do a show with Brent Burns down in Gulf Shores, Alabama...or more specifically at Glen Lakes Country Club in Foley, Alabama...just north of Gulf Shores. Foley is home to a place called Lambert's. Home food....lots of it...and you need to wear a helmet during your meal because they toss hot rolls at you. Seriously. And we'll spend a little time with my brother Gary and his wife Kay who escape Pennsylvania for two months every year and are now official snowbirds down there. And then in March...it's off to Spring Training in Arizona to see my Reds for a week somewhere between the sun and the cactus. By the time that's all done...it will be perfect in Tennessee again. So...you can see I've gone to great lengths to avoid ole man winter. Oh...and if you need a snow shovel...let me know. I think I still have my old one. FYI For details on those shows I mentioned....check out my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com YESTERDAY I wrote with my friend Linda Davis who lives around the corner from me. Tony Stampley was our third writer in the room so we wrote...and I got to hear some great stories about his Dad Joe Stampley...and the song that Tony wrote for his Dad and Moe Bandy "Where's The Dress?"...which was inspired by the Boy George thing back in the day. A little chili with cheese and fritos on top (yum) that Linda made...and we were fueled up enough to write a pretty darned good COUNTRY song yesterday. Now if we can just find a COUNTRY singer who loves it...we'll have something. And if not...well...there are worse ways to spend a day. BE A FARMER The Tennessee Agriculture Department is looking to license and approve some industrial hemp farmers. You can make stuff out of it. So they're looking for folks who can grow...but won't smoke all their profits I suppose. I don't know a ton about that stuff...but I'm guessing if I were to grow it...I'd plant it on "high" ground. Just a guess. TODAY Our "Hits and Grins" trio will gather for the first time in a long while to take care of business. Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself will gather round a table and write...or tie up loose ends and work toward future concert dates on the road. We're gonna be on airplanes a bunch at the end of the year playing theaters all over the country...but mostly out west. So it's good to get the gang back together again for "Hits and Grins" Tuesday. Have a great Tuesday yourself.