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Bill Whyte / Blog

Wrting With The Fiddler

BILL BLOG October 23, 2014 Little more than a week to Halloween. Time for me to cut two eye holes in a bed sheet for my annual ghost costume. YESTERDAY I got to hang out with friend Sydni Perry who's getting ready to hit the road for South Dakota and other states with Jimmy Fortune...who the two of us write with sometimes. Yesterday it was just the two us on Music Row trying to get something started. And that's about what we ended with...something we started. Sydni is a talented singer/fiddle player...and besides playing with Jimmy some...whenever Patty Loveless performs (which is rare these days) Sydni goes out on the road with her too. Good company to hang with yesterday for sure. We'll finish the song another time. WORLD SERIES Glad to see the Royals knot it up at one game apiece last night in KC before heading out to the coast for game 3 against the Giants. I saw some great pictures of my friend Doug Henry...the bullpen coach of the Royals with his entire family...kids and grand-kids at the ball-yard yesterday on his Facebook page. One great picture of Doug down in the bullpen sitting with his grand-daughter. Too cool. Happy for a guy that's been in the game as long as he's been to get a chance to be in the World Series. Could not happen to a nicer guy or family. WHEELCHAIRS My sister Rita works at the Mayo in Rochester, NY. She never told me they had a rash of wheel chairs disappearing. Apparently they lose 150 of those bad boys every year...and they cost about $500 or more...apiece. Some they find in other states even. Sort of like grocery carts....except more expensive. I guess they borrow them...then when they feel good enough to get out of them and start walking again...instead of returning them...they just leave them. Who knew? I'm betting the price of wheelchairs may go up a bit when someone is forced to put a GPS chip into each one to track em back down. Weird. TODAY Off to write with Steve Williams who's a heck of singer/piano player/guitar player....and more. Steve co-wrote the big hit "Redneck Yacht Club" by Craig Morgan so I hope that kind of magic happens today with us. Have a great Thursday!

Studio...and The Anthem Blueprint

BILL BLOG Wednesday October 22, 2014 Halloween...Thanksgiving...Christmas...all around the corner. Yikes. YESTERDAY It was a studio day for our "Hits and Grins" trio so we gathered at Steve Dean's home where he has an in-home studio and finished up to original songs the three of us have written together. One of the songs is one we wrote on a trip to Little Rock for a gig a few months ago that we wrote with Steve in the back seat chunking on a mandolin for a melody and Victoria and myself up front helping by spitting out some lyrics. We actually did the song that night in Little Rock...(and I thought the other two were nuts for wanting to do it) and it got a standing ovation. So...I knew we might be on to something. The song, titled "In Memphis" is in all of our shows now...and I've got to say it's one of my favorite new songs. So...now we have it on a demo to pitch to other artists...and add to a second "Hits and Grins" CD that we will record next year before we start flying all over the country late in the year for shows. If you don't have a copy of the FIRST "Hit's and Grins" CD...order one! In time for Christmas for your friends. Great stocking stuffer! It's available at CD Baby.com And...come hear the new song "In Memphis" at our gig a week from Friday...Halloween night at Puckett's Grocery downtown Nashville. Show starts at 9 pm Halloween night...and I'll be wearing the new Renee Zellwegger Halloween mask. THE JINGLE Last night I'm on the couch watching the World Series....FYI...all national anthem singers should take a note from Trisha Yearwood on how to sing the anthem! Short...to the point...beautiful tone....play ball! Don't you love when the anthem singers try to take a two minute song and turn it into a five minute long overdrawn over-the-top vocal gymnastic exhibition trying to make it all about them? Me neither. Get to it...finish the song so they can start the game for crying out loud. Anyway....what was I saying? Oh yea...phone rings. It's Victoria from our trio. She and her husband Matt were watching the local news on the ABC station here in Twang Town and see a TV commercial for R & S Wood Flooring. The jingle that Steve Dean and I wrote...was used prominently. Good grief. It's been played to death on the radio...now they've taken that little jingle and made a TV commercial with it! I've probably had more radio and TV play on this jingle than any of the hundreds and hundreds of songs I've written in this town. Amazing. I've posted it before...but it's worth sharing again since it's hit TV. Here's the JINGLE with a nice story on how it happened. I'm now singing this jingle some in our "Hits and Grins" show...especially in Nashville shows...because it's become that recognizable. Go figure. AND THE HEADLINE READS Drinking beer help men have babies. Wow. So...look for there to be more Pop A Top Pops in the future. SPEAKING OF WHICH There was a TWO page ad in the paper this morning promoting an upcoming wine festival...and the two pages listed prices for a ton of different kinds of wines. Every price level...and a lot of label names I could not pronounce. So wasted on me. I can't quite get the whole stick your nose in a glass and swish it around kind of thing. I don't particularly buy wine from a "good" year. More like a good month for me. "Umm...do you have the 58 Mogen David by chance"? TODAY Off to write with my friend Sydni Perry who's been out on the road a lot with Jimmy Fortune playing fiddle and singing harmony. She's a terrific singer herself...so it will be fun rhyming and visiting with her today on Music Row. Have a great Wednesday.

Tech and Sharks

BILL BLOG Tuesday October 21, 2014 Got a sweatshirt and portable heater on...must be Fall. YESTERDAY It was a day to catch up on stuff after being on the road. With technology...it's easier to keep the "catch up" stuff at a minimum now which is good for what I do. On the 9 hour drive home from Florida...I had to turn in 4 stories for my syndication company in New York. So...I got up early in my room with my laptop looking for stuff I think they might like and then e-mail it to the senior editor who tells me what she would like for me to write from those I've submitted. Or...she'll send a link or two herself that lead to stories about country artists she wants me to write. So...we leave...and I check my smart phone for e-mail to find my assignments. When I received those....over my shoulder I pulled out my laptop...hooked up my cell phone to power in the car...turn on the hotspot on my computer which gives me a wireless connection tooling up the road allowing me to write the stories and send them to New York. My wife Kathy is mucho better at punctuation than me...so I pre-send her what I've written to edit and pre-fix a bit...she sends that back to me and I read it one more time before sending to NYC. I'm amazed at all of that myself! We live in an amazing world for sure. Were it not for that kind of technology...I'd get home and my messages and work and catch up would be unbearable. So...you won't hear me complain a whole lot about life not being the same as it was when I was a kid with a Royal typewriter and white out. AND. It's that time of year in Tennessee. Leaves turning...cooler temps...and a time when I'll get out and take more walks on our little curvy road that skirts Old Hickory Lake. Last night as a matter of fact...I had the fireplace on at the same time watching the Monday Night Football game. For the fireplace...I hit a switch on the wall. (Have I mentioned how I love technology?) ONE MORE PIECE OF TECH Apple has launched it's own paying system with an app. You put your credit card info in there...take a picture of your card and it's ready to go. You walk up to a counter...one tap...you've just paid. No credit card/cash fuss. No credit card compromise possible either. Available now on that new iPhone 6 I'm wanting to upgrade to. Testing has gone well...and this could be the wave of a new way to pay in the future. I'll also be able to get rid of the massive wallet I carry in my front pocket with a gas station key chain attached which I use to try and make myself look cool...like those young country artists with their ball-cap backwards and holes in their jeans. HEAT WAVE The temperature numbers are in for September. Warmest EVER in the world. 4 straight months worth of that. By stock in ice. AWESOME They are actually making a "Sharknado" 3. Shark storms...bullheads dropping out of the sky eating humans. So stupid...it's become cool to watch allowing producers to make a fortune. Hey...sometimes "stupid" sells. How do you think I've made a living all these years? I have GOT to star writing movie scripts. "Gerbil-nado" anyone? TODAY It's a 'Hits and Grins" Tuesday and we're recording new songs today that the three of us...Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and I have written. That's followed by a visit to my dentist where he'll ask me a question while I have that water tube in the side of my mouth causing me to put a spit pattern motif on his wall...and the World Series starts tonight! Go KC. Pretty good Tuesday...hope yours is too!

Back Home

BILL BLOG Monday October 20, 2014 Good to be home. Beach was great...still good to be home looking at fog over Old Hickory Lake right now in middle Tennessee. THE TRIP Great time on the Gulf Coast again this year at the "Blast On The Bay" Songwriters Festival in beautiful Port St. Joe/Mexico Beach Florida with absolutely perfect weather this year. Our final gig was Saturday night outdoors at Toucan's on Mexico Beach. We played on a big deck overlooking the Gulf which was lit up with flood lights so we could see the water while we played. Amazing. John and Sharon Kendall...our great friends from Gulf Shores made the trip over with their friends and it was great to see them. I'll get to spend more time with them in Gulf Shores in a few weeks when I'm there. Our "Hits and Grins" trio could not have had a better time. My thanks to Jason Bogan the festival organizer who does a great job...for having us again this year...as well as a big thanks to all the venues, sponsors...and especially the sound guys who had us dialed in this weekend big time. Such a pleasure to play when the sound is right! We drove all day yesterday to get home...long trip...but I was in good company so all is well in my world this morning as I get ready to catch up and start a new week. Next gig for our "Hits and Grins" trio will be Halloween night at Puckett's downtown location in Nashville. This could be a little crazy to say the least. GAS I'm going to have to stop doing my "Dipstick Song" about the high price of gas I guess. I filled up for 2.65 per gallon this morning! Well...maybe not. Considering I wrote the song when gas got to $2 bucks a gallon...it might still be a song I pull out every now and then. Nice to see the pump price drop though. EBOLA Even nicer to see Nigeria got rid of Ebola. Progress is being made...calm down. I don't think the world is ending yet. Live your life folks. Of course I say that...and with my daughter flying around the world...and being in Dallas this past week for several days near THAT hospital....you do think about it some. I'm a fatalist I guess. A truck could run over me tomorrow. A comet might crash into earth..there might not be anything to watch but the Kardashian's on TV....but I'll take the odds that none of that will happen and not live my life watching talking heads drone on about one potential catastrophe after another. Be thankful for each day you do have and live it to the fullest. You will thank yourself later. GROWING The Johnny Cash Museum has not been open all that long here in Nashville (haven't gone yet) but already they're talking about adding an entire new third floor for "The Man In Black." Something to add to your itinerary when you come to Music City. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has expanded big time too...amazing place. And I'll honored to play their songwriters series there at the beautiful Ford Theater on December 20 with my friend Steve Dean. We play for 45 minutes...and then answer questions from the tourists about the craft of songwriting...or anything else they might ask. Plan a trip...come see us. TODAY Catching up...unpacking...writing stuff for my New York folks and getting set for a pretty busy week ahead. Have a great Monday.

First Day At Blast On The Bay

BILL BLOG Friday October 17, 2014 Good morning from Blast On The Bay in Port St. Joe, Florida...home bears, deer, possums, snakes...and yes...SHARKS! YESTERDAY We had a free day here on the coast gearing up for the Songwriters Festival that runs through Sunday...so we did all the exciting things you can imagine a songwriter trio doing. We had lunch...hit the CVS store and then Piggly Wiggly in a failed attempt to locate Hostess Ding Dongs for our own Steve Dean who loves to freeze and then eat them. Hey...I like eating peanut shells...so don't judge. Everybody got something weird in em'. We gave up on that...went to a wine/spirits/cigar place with a view of the water and had a $2 draft, while Victoria's husband Matt bought a fist full of cigars. He's set for the weekend...I think. LAST NIGHT We attended the annual bonfire on the beach with all the writers, sponsors, organizers, volunteers etc. I can't recall seeing so many stars over the Gulf waters as I saw last night. Just amazingly beautiful. The ran a portable power source out on the sand...and writers got up and took turns singing tunes to the gathering around the big fire they built on the sand. And then there was the shrimp boil! Lots of em mixed in with a huge tub full of sausage, corn, potatoes and more...and a beach bar with anything you could dream up to ask for. Magical night...that ended with Steve and Victoria watching a fisherman pull in a huge shark! Amazing. You can see pictures on my or their facebook page if you'd like. I'm going to stick with catching bluegill myself. Not once has one bitten me...and a bluegill does not have that ominous theme song as they approach your boat. AND THEN It was back to the hotel to catch the last three innings of the Cards-Giants game with Steve Dean and Wil Nance...both huge Card fans...and Bob Regan...another songwriter friend...but he's from California and was rooting against the three of us. Bob's sister was actually at the baseball park in Frisco shooting "in your face" texts back and forth. Giants won...Cards lose. Four grown men-songwriters on a bed watching a small TV and trash talking. Hysterical. So a good first day...with our first gig coming up at 3 pm today at a place called Coneheads. Formal wear on stage is shorts/t-shirt and flip flops. A person could get used to this. TODAY Off we go to play our first gig at Coneheads for the Blast On The Bay Songwriters Festival....a 3 pm start...outdoors under a blue sky and 80 degree weather. Tomorrow we play two gigs before returning to Nashville Sunday. Life do not suck sometimes. Have a great weekend yourself.

Songwriters Festival...and A Bear

BILL BLOG Thursday October 16, 2014 Good morning from beautiful Port St. Joe Florida. TRIP TO THE GULF Well...we made the long 9 hour trip here for the "Blast On The Bay" Songwriters Festival in Port St. Joe, Florida...and I'm up early with clear skies and an 80 degree perfect day ahead. Steve Dean, Victoria Venier, myself and Victoria's husband Matt piled instrument and suitcases into their SUV that stacked to the ceiling...and yes....we strapped Granny Clampett to the top in her rocking chair just to make rubberneckers look twice as we passed them on I-65 south. Matt drove the entire way...so all we had to do was ride...and behave if we could. We killed several hours of the trip listening to the Giants beat the Cards last night. Dang. But...also heard the news on Satellite Radio that my friend Doug Henry and the KC Royals are in the World Series! Congrats to him and his wife Monique who was there for the clinching game...and then posted pictures of Doug smoking the biggest cigar I have ever seen on his Facebook page for the celebration. Really really happy for them. Gonna be tough for the Cards to make it an I-70 Series again being down 3-1...but...who knows. Later tonight Steve Dean and I will watch some of that. AFTER THE BONFIRE Our first official piece of business down here is to go register for the festival...autograph some guitars and posters that they will auction off, get our credentials...and then wait for the bonfire on the beach tonight that features a big shrimp boil around an open fire. Very cool...and yes...life is so tough sometimes. Our first gig is tomorrow at 3 pm. For a look at all the writers (22 of them) the venues and start times...check out their WEBSITE. Happy to be on the Gulf again for sure. BEARS Very weird moment as we finally got to within 15 miles or so of our hotel. Steve Dean mentioned to Victoria and Matt (their first trip here) that the area had bears. I took a walk last year and came across the sign warning of bears and thought it was a joke. Nope...they have a bunch of them. But...Steve no more got that out of his mouth and guess what we saw lumber across the highway in front of us? Big black bear. Too funny. I'm trying to get Steve to buy a lotto ticket later today. STRINGBEAN Remember him? Grand Ole Opry...Hew Haw star with the short pants, long shirt, and banjo? Murdered over 40 years ago as these punks went to his cabin because they know Stringbean carried cash with him. Murdered him...chased his wife down and murdered her. The killer is being paroled after 40 years in prison. Folk in the music community are upset...don't blame em. The late Grandpa Jones was the one that found the bodies...they were best friends. Funny how a 200 year prison sentence can be reduced to 40. MY STRING STORY In my youth...my two brothers Gary, Gene and myself had a little folk trio. We won a local radio station contest...and first prize was we were to open for Loretta Lynn. Long story short here...the promoter...and radio guy in charge of the contest got thrown up against a wall by my Dad when he tried to get out of the deal he'd made. We did not open for Loretta. But...to make it good...we did open for Stringbean...the first real star of any kind I had ever been around. So yea...if they had left the creep in jail that murdered him and his wife forever...would not have bothered me. And now you know why. TODAY I'll have to get some writing done for New York...but other than that...we have a free day to enjoy the water and sun...before the bonfire tonight where the sponsors and songwriters gather to kick off the festival. Happy to be here again on the beautiful "Forgotten Coast". Have a great Thursday!

Road Trip To The Beach

BILL BLOG Wednesday October 15, 2014 Road trip to Port St. Joe, Florida today. Guitar, sunscreen, shorts and flip flops all packed and ready to roll to the songwriters festival on the coast with "Hits and Grins". YESTERDAY I spent a good bit of Tuesday in studio with my "Hits and Grins" trio as we recorded about a song and a half...new songs that we've written...both of which will be added to our shows and perhaps a second album on the trio. Don't forget...our first "Hits and Grins" CD is available at CD Baby that includes the tune, "I Rap Caucasianally". How could you NOT want to buy that for a stocking stuffer for Christmas this year? It was a good day in the studio...and we'll complete the session when the three of get back next week from our Florida trip to "Blast On The Bay." DEER Man...we have our own zoo in the backyard big time these days. And a lot of deer. Two does...4 or five young-uns...who have grown up...and yesterday out of nowhere a buck shows up and chases the doe into the woods with the kids wondering "what the heck" is going on. I have a feeling we may need to exercise deer birth control before too long. My wife would like to make them pets. I keep reminding her...I'm her pet. Spoil me! FIGURES In the same "Food" section of my paper there was an article listing the top 10 foods for helping to fight good ole belly fat. As I suspected...there was not ONE item on the list that I eat. Which explains why I can set my soup bowl on my belly as a TV table when watching the baseball games. I've said it before. As smart as we are...I do not know why we can't get Spinach or Kale to taste like Mac and Cheese. As soon as they do that...I'll drop 50 pounds. WELL OF COURSE CMA Voting is going on right now. I've already cast my votes...with the results being announced of course on the CMA Awards show coming up in November. To sway your vote...some of the record labels will send voting members like me...the latest music from their nominated artist. About a week ago...I actually BOUGHT the new Blake Shelton CD. I rarely buy CD's anymore...so what was I thinking? Guess what came in the mail yesterday. Uh-huh. Anyone need a free Blake Shelton CD? TODAY Packing a few more things into the bag. Long 9 hour trip starting this afternoon to Port St. Joe, Florida. Figuring we'll hit a pillow at midnight or 1 am tomorrow if lucky. So...the next blog will be originating just off the beach in Apalachicola. Have a great Wednesday.

A WSM Morning

BILL BLOG Tuesday October 14, 2014 Okay...enough rain already. SOGGY We've had a ton of rain...some pretty good wind and have to get through today too. The radar looked like Walt Disney threw up on it yesterday. And...we were having some work done on the house that required replacing double doors off our deck...and the race was on to get something up before the rain and wind moved through. We've got doors...and a black garbage bag look right now over where the top window runs...but...the house stayed dry...so there's that. Another reason I'm looking forward to a run to the beach tomorrow afternoon. Blast on the Bay starts this weekend...our "Hits and Grins" trio will be rolling down I-65 tomorrow. More on that tomorrow. YESTERDAY There was no blog yesterday because my alarm went off at 4:15. I was co-hosting the morning show with Charlie Mattos again yesterday as Bill Cody took another morning off. This is happening a little more these days...and that's fine with me. How many folks get to crack a microphone on WSM radio? Especially in morning drive? We had great fun. Linda Davis...my friend joined us for an interview and talked about her daughter singing "Islands In The Stream" with the monster trio she's part of...Lady Antebellum...on the Grand Ole Opry this past Friday night. Her answer to...."have you sung this song yourself with Kenny Rogers"? was..."yes." Linda is gearing up for a second Christmas tour with Kenny right away...and sings some of Kenny's iconic duets in the show. And...she did tell me that she's singing a song we wrote in the show again this year..."Snowed In Christmas" that we wrote one summer day with Bobby Tomberlin. I may have to go catch one of the shows to hear her perform the song for sure. Charlie was also kind enough to ask me to send him the song "Crickets"...the title track o the latest Joe Nichols album that I co-wrote with Lisa Shaffer and Brent Baxter and played the song on the air. Pretty nice moment there. I texted my co-writers to let them know it was going to happen...and it was an even bigger thrill for them I think. Any COUNTRY artist or songwriter wants to hear something they are part of on that radio station. So...several nice moments yesterday...I hope some you listened online. ANOTHER STUDIO From the WSM Studio's in the Opryland Hotel...I raced to a recording studio to lay down a song I wrote with Rick Tiger into demo form at Dave Smith's studio. Between being out on the road playing guitar for Lee Greenwood and other folks...Dave runs a recording studio from his home...and does great work. Because of being on the air...I was about 20 minutes late...and by the time I opened that studio door...they had music and vocals up and running. Sounded great. We tweaked it...I sang a harmony line on it...and received a finished copy of the demo on my computer yesterday afternoon. Something new to pitch...and I thank Rick for the great idea and including me on this tune. Just another typical day in Music City. TODAY Living in studio much of today with Steve Dean and Victoria Venier as we are tracking two songs we've written together. When that's done today...I'll get my writing done for New York...and then think about stuffing a suitcase for the trip to Port St. Joe, Florida tomorrow. Shout out to my daughter Heather. The phone just rang...Mom and daughter conversation going on between here and Sao Paulo, Brazil where my daughter is at right now. Love ya kid...safe flight home. Have a great Tuesday!

Company...and Duct Tape

BILL BLOG Friday October 10, 2014 Soggy weekend. With college football and the baseball playoffs going on...don't know that I would have stuck my head outdoors anyway. Go on and rain if ya want to. YESTERDAY I had an open day to catch up on stuff...and outside of the writing I do for my folks in New York...that's pretty much what I did. We did welcome a friend in from Cincinnati last night who was basically our neighbor when we lived there and our families have stayed close. Great having Denise Huff here for a couple of days. She's in town to go the the huge "Southern Book Festival" that takes place the next three days downtown where hundreds of authors come to talk and sell their books. We have a mutual friend who authored a book about Radnor Lake...a favorite place for Nashvillian's to hike or look out over the scenery that's there. I'm thinking the two of them will need umbrella's to keep the books from getting soggy as our author friend sells hers and autographs them. Hope they sell a bunch. Nice to see folks still want to buy books. My fear is the Southern "Book" Festival could turn into the Southern "Nook" Festival one day. Our month stay at the beach is coming up in November...one of the few times of the year I have time to kick back and read a book or three. I've got one picked out. A book that tells the back story on every Beatles song ever written...how they were written...inspiration...etc. If you've got a great book....let me know...I'm looking. JUST IN I just got a text from Charlie Mattos at WSM....he's the co-host and producer for the Bill Cody show. Bill apparently is off again Monday morning...so I'll have the pleasure of sitting in for him. 5:30-10 Monday morning on 650 AM WSM. On the internet at wsmonline.com THAT BEACH GIG The "Blast On The Bay" Songwriters Festival is next weekend in Port St. Joe/Mexico Beach Florida. I'll be there with "Hits and Grins". The website for this great festival just refreshed yesterday with all the writer bios and the schedule for the three day event. Go to blastonthebay.com if you'd like to check it out. Fun on the "Forgotten Coast"...come join us if you can. DUCT TAPE All you need in life is some WD-40 and Duct Tape to get ya through. I've not written a song about WD-40...but I've written two about duct tape. Seriously. Proof that one can attempt to write a song about most anything on any given day. I bring that up because in Wyoming they are holding a Father-Son "Duct Tape Duel". There is hardly nothing you can't do with a good roll of duct tape as you can see from the pictures on the provide link above. I wrote a song with Lorna Flowers from England...before she tragically passed that was her duct tape idea..."Silence Is Golden...Duct Tape Is Silver." It makes me smile every time I think about Lorna. The second one is actually going on a songwriter album for my co-writer Gary Cavanaugh simply titled "Duct Tape." It explores a lot of those creative things one can do with a good roll of the sticky stuff. I'll let you know when that album is available for purchase. THE WEEKEND It's here...maybe a movie...certainly baseball and football will be on the big screen...and I'll spend a little more time with our Cincinnati guest and my daughter Heather who's been here this week...leaving to go back to Miami and trip to South America with her American Airlines job. And...it just started raining hard...again. Have a great weekend.

Radio and A Hall of Fame Gig

BILL BLOG Thursday October 9, 2014 Looking out my blogging window at the trees turning orange. For now...they cover up quite a bit of my view of Old Hickory Lake. As they start to fall...the lake view opens up more and more. Not a bad time of the year. YESTERDAY My writing appointment was with Jeff Dayton and we did not get much done as far as moving a song of any kind forward. That happens. We'll try again. It was time well spent though as the conversation about his former boss Glen Campbell was more than worth my time since I'm a big fan. Jeff had just seen him at a care facility where he's being treated for Alzheimer's. He showed me a picture of the two of them...as Jeff played a little for Glen. For the most part...Glen is past ever being able to play or sing again which of course is sad...as it is for untold number of folks who suffer along with family members and friends as Jeff is with Glen. There's an amazing documentary about Glen and his life and battle that will be available everywhere soon...if it's not already at a theater near you. There is a movie trailer you can check out as camera's followed him on his last tour ever. Several of his kids played in the band. I saw them at the Ryman. It was one of the most moving concerts I have ever seen...especially knowing what was going on with him. ON A BETTER NOTE I was happy for my friend Jeff Dayton because the day before...on less than 24 hour notice....artist Sarah Darling called Jeff and asked him to play guitar for her on the Tuesday night Grand Ole Opry. Always a thrill. Even more so for my friend this time because Sarah sang a song that Jeff wrote with her. I've had the pleasure one time of hearing one of my songs performed on the Opry...and that was when my friend Linda Davis sang a song I wrote with her and Bobby Tomberlin called "Snowed In Christmas". She recorded it on her family Christmas album with her husband Lang Scott and their two daughters Rylee Jean and Hillary Scott...Hillary of course being the girl singer in Lady Antebellum these days. Quite the thrill. WSM Then after lunch...I did the 3-7 pm show on the home of the Opry...650AM WSM. Always a pleasure to do so. Had my picture taken a few times as tourists flashed their cameras outside in the Opryland Hotel lobby in front of our studios. Glad I had applied make up before I got there. Still a weird thing every time that happens. NEW GIG Our "Hits and Grins" trio with Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself got a call to play a gig in the rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in November. The rotunda is where they hang the plaques for all the members of the Hall. I've played in there one time before....pretty amazing. So...I'm really looking forward to doing this one more time. Now...the bad part of this is...I'll be in Gulf Shores, Alabama for our get away to the beach my wife and I take every year. I don't think I've been able to stay put there for the entire month one time since we've started doing this. Last year I drove to Tyler, Texas in the middle of our stay for a show with Linda Davis and Lang Scott...my "Evening In The Round" trio. This year...right in the middle of it...I'll have to drive back to Music City for the gig then turn and drive the 8 hours back to the beach again. Worth it...more than worth it. I consider myself a very very blessed person to be able to do so many things I love. What an honor...to play the Hall of Fame. TODAY The rest of the week and weekend slow down for me...sort of. We have a great friend coming to visit from Cincinnati for the next few days. I have this bad feeling I'll be put on cleaning patrol today. Sigh. I'm already thinking up excuses as to why I can't. Have a great Thursday.