Bill Whyte / Blog

Hello Gulf Shores

BILL BLOG Friday Marc 23, 2018

On the road again...I-65 South to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

YESTERDAY Fun writing day with the “Polka Queen” Lynn Marie yesterday. It had been awhile since I had seen her and much has happened and she brought some of what has happened with her to the writing table that made for a very funny write.

Lynn got engaged recently to Eddie Rodick...both of them musicians...both from Cleveland originally. They had known each other something like 25 26 years ago...both went separate ways...he married...she married...both divorced and the two found each other...and a few weeks ago Eddie proposed. She said "yes"...with her accordion I think.

Here's where it gets good. Once upon a time Eddie's Dad married Lynn's sister. So...the family tree now is pretty funny when you start thinking about her father in law being her brother in law and Eddie marrying his Aunt. So..we wrote that and it almost broke my feeble brain tracing how everyone relates on that family tree!

The two of them are forming a duo...making a record...and at the very least this song will be something that's at least a hit I'm betting during their "live" shows. So yes...we re-wrote "I'm My Own Grandpa"...sort of.

WHO KNEW? That Ray Stevens foresaw the future. I'm pretty sure his line in "The Streak" was a reference to the stock market. "Don't look Ethel"! Overe 700 points on the down side yesterday. Buy stock in Pepto Bismol? The blame? Facebook stealing our info and the Chinese countering our new tariffs. Sigh. Why no theme park has not named a roller coaster the "Stock Market Coaster'' is beyond me.

FUNNY A comedian bought the Weather Channel for 300 MILLION bucks. Byron Allen has made a lot of money doing comedy I guess. It's got to be a great thing for me because HE should be willing to start playing our Jim Cantore song now on the Weather Channel. C'mon Byron!

BEN AFFLECK Apparently the actor got a tattoo that covers his ENTIRE back. To each their own. I'm not a lay down on a table have someone ink me with a needle kind of guy. But...if I ever order the street drug instead of the ice cream or fries...I may have them stencil a "if you can read this tattoo you're too close" in really tiny letters on my back. Maybe.

THE WEEKEND I'm going to be in Gulf Shores for the next 4 or 5 days with Brent Burns writing songs for his next project....and taking a little time to soak up the ocean view. That is if I can avoid the Spring Breakers who are there right now. Sort of like the Hatfields and McCoys when you realize how many retired folks live in Gulf Shores-Orange Beach. It's the Millennials and Baby Boomer feud going down right now.

So...Monday's blog wlll come at ya from the beach!

Have a great weekend.

Song Shoes and Polka Queen

BILL BLOG Thursday March 22, 2018

Woke up glad again I don't have to dig out like the folks in the northeast this morning. I did notice though that the car in our driveway will need an ice scraper to clear the windows. I'll take that over a foot of snow. Frosted windows is why they invented credit cards I think.

YESTERDAY It was all about the "shoes" yesterday. Look at those bad boy on the feet of one of my co-writers Jenny Tolman. How could a songwriter not be inspired by those? She, and her boyfriend writer-producer-musician Dave Brainard and I sat down at their studio-house yesterday morning and tried to concentrate on writing a new song. Hard to get past shoes that look like cotton candy balls.

However...we did get into a pretty "deep" idea...especially for me. I'm a guy who's written songs like "If You're Not Careful, My Wife's Gonna Leave You". So I was wading in the tall weeds with these two on a thought that will take a few more get together days to complete. But...all three of us walked away knowing the effort will be worth it on this one. Well...one of us walked away from it in puffy shoes...the other two just walked away.

I've mentioned before how I love the process of songwriting. For me...it's always like figuring out a puzzle...especially if nobody in the room really has a title or idea. Yesterday was like that so we pulled up songs on the computer to inspire us. And the one that worked was the Simon Garfunkel song "The Boxer"...one of my faves. Dave had heard it...was vaguely familiar with it...but Jenny being all of 22 or so...had never heard the song...but loved it...and then it was "on" as we kind of sort of went down that musical feel a bit. So here's to Simon and Art for a little more inspiration yesterday.

A very fun day at the rhyming office.

CONGRATS!!!!! To another friend and frequent co-writer...Jimmy Fortune...who found out he will be inducted into the Virigina Country Music Hall Of Fame this year! Awesome. Jimmy of course was the high tenor singer for the Statler Brothers for many years before the group retired and now Jimmy stays busy as a solo artist and writer. The likes of Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, Jimmy Dean and many others are in that musical Hall of Fame in Jimmy's home state. I simply could not be happier for him.

Jimmy is one of my co-writers on "Safe Haven" that landed on the Grammy winning album for Hlllary Scott & The Scott Family...and I get sit in his house and write songs with him...AND...get to hear him play and sing up close and personal. It's like a free concert for me.

Congrats Mr. Fortune...you be a Hall of Famer!

ALL ABOUT THE STREAM Taylor Swift was the ONLY artist last year to have a CD that sold 2 million copies. They are fading away like my 1990 "Cheers TV" boxer shorts that say "Norm"! on the back.

It's all about streaming content now...Spotify...Pandora. If Kenny and Dolly released the Barry Gibbs penned hit "Islands In The Stream" folks would only buy the stream.

TODAY I'm off to write with the Polka Queen Lynn Marie who just got engaged. Her fiance' is a muscian too...plays in their polka band and will join us too. Lynn sent me a note saying..."I have an idea that has you all over it". Uh oh. Here we go. I hope the idea is half as good as her "That's What I Love About The North" song that's so much fun. Click on the link and check it out. So..this should be fun.

Then this afternoon I'm packing for a road trip back to Gulf Shores to crash and write songs with my friend down there Brent Burns who's wanting to stack up enough songs to record a new album. So...a little writing on the beach is on the way. Tough tough life huh?

Have a great Thursday!

A Day In Court

BILL BLOG Wednesday March 21, 2018

It's Spring...right? Hard to believe if you step outdoors this morning. YESTERDAY I'm pretty sure I can write a song or movie after sitting in a courthouse that led me to traffic school yesterday afternoon. I got a speeding ticket...41 in a 30 mph zone. Sigh. So...as to not have any points on my license I opted go to a four hour traffic school. Now...let me back up. The journey started with the fine and the option to sign up for traffic school by mail. So...I pay the fine...and write a second check for traffic school only to have the traffic school check return in the mail telling me I was ineligible for that and if I wanted to go...I would have to stand before a judge and ask. Seriously? And then a second refund arrived telling me I was overcharged for my ticket. Stay with me folks. So yesterday morning in rush hour traffic I have to go downtown to the courthouse and wait forever for my turn. Finally...I go before the judge who says, "you want to go to traffic school"? Yes your honor. Then he stamps my paper work and I'm done. That quick. Next...I go down to another office to apply again for traffic school where a very nice clerk tells me that they have had a major computer problem and then apologized to me saying I should not have had to go through all this. Great. He then tells me there's a slot for traffic school that afternoon and at this point...I want to put all of this behind me. Oh...and he also told me I may get another refund because of the computer screw up. Depending on the size of the check...I could wind up making money for speeding. I'm hoping. The class? Imagine having a desk in the "Welcome Back Kotter" classroom. I've had prostate exams that were more fun. 6 or 7 of the 18 of us in this room decided they needed to talk...all the time. I'm pretty sure I saw one woman yank another's thong and give her a wedgie...or I could have just been deliriously bored to tears at this point. I'll be slowing down. And I'll be bringing this story to a songwriting table or two in the near future I'm sure. BETTER NEWS I got some great new that our "Evening In The Round" trio that stars Linda Davis and features her husband Lang Scott and a traffic offender have added a couple of shows. July 6 we'll be in Crossville, TN at the Palace Theater and then the following night we'll be in Dillard, Georgia for the Rabun Country Music Fest. It's been awhile since Linda's busy schedule has allowed us to add a few more dates on the road together...and I can't wait. These shows are so much fun and the trips getting there and back may be more fun. Look for all the details on these and other shows on my CALENDAR at billwhytecomedy.com

MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH One of my favorite baseball broadcasters is Bob Uecker who I got to meet a few times when I was doing Milwaukee radio. Bob is the long long time Brewer broadcaster...beloved by everyone up there. At his home in Arizona a few weeks ago he got bit by a brown recluse spider...seriously. They had to do surgery on the 83 year old "Mr. Baseball"...and he's fine. In typical Uecker fashion he made light of it on air during a Brewer game when he said, "The spider didn’t ‘recluse’ himself from biting me. That was a good one.” Glad he's okay. TODAY Back to the writing table with young talented Jenny Tolman who's new song and video "Something To Complain About" is making a little noise for her. Watch the video and check out the talent of my extremely nice co-writer. Hopefully we'll have nothing to complain about when we finish today. Have a great Wednesday!

Miss Hazel

BILL BLOG Tuesday March 20, 2018

The house is still standing. All those storms pretty much skipped where we live...thank goodness. School was let out early because of the weather predictions but for the most part...we were lucky. It's the middle of March so I'm sure Jim Cantore will be busy with the mid-west and south for awhile longer.

YESTERDAY My songwriting appointment with Wil Nance and Lauren Mascitti was cut short because of ominous clouds rolling in. We decided being safe was better than going for another rhyme. And...it was one of those days where it was great to catch up and talk...but no great song idea popped up that moved the three of us. It happens once in awhile. When this happens...it reminds me to go for a walk and daydream in hopes that a new idea worth writing will pop up in my head. So...I'll be lacing up my walking shoes later today for sure.

I'm also headed back to Gulf Shores to crash-write with my Trop Rock buddy Brent Burns for a few days as Brent is getting serious about writing songs for his next album. And...the ocean has always been a great place to daydream.

Brent makes a living doing beach songs mixed with funny tunes. We've written a lot of funny songs that work for him and me through the years. "Going Ugly Early", "Trailer Park Sexy", "Retired", "Jim Cantore" to name a few. But Brent can also sing and write song with a beach commercial approach. Here's one of my favorites "Towel On The Beach" that we wrote that kind of sneaks under the radar in his catalog...at least in my opinion.

Either way...we'll be trying once again to add some more songs like that AND some funny songs for the new project.

HAZEL I was sorry to hear of the passing of country music journalist Hazel Smith who passed at 83 yesterday. Everyone knew Hazel. She coined "Outlaw Music" back in the Waylon days. Was married to Bill Monroe...was a songwriter...a journalist and much more. She was down homey...everyone's Mom...yet she could set ya straight in a minute with plain spoken opinion. Garth Brooks claims he would have not had the success he's enjoyed if not for her.

I got to know Hazel while I was on air for WFMS in Indianapolis. Every morning she would call in with the latest country music news. When I first became part of that morning show I didn't get her. Her voice was unusual...old timey almost if you will. I wasn't a fan initially...but had learned a valuable lesson while working in Milwaukee...right before I moved to Indy.

In Milwaukee the old radio show I was replacing had a character who was part of the "Yooper" culture in northern Wisconsin. I didn't get it. I wasn't from there...so I killed off that character. Several months later after LIVING there...I got it. So much so that we created a funny duo of "Yooper" characters "Muka and Aino" who made me laugh hard every time we aired one of their outdoor reports. If you're not familiar with "Yooper"...here's a great example of what they sound like...in "Da Thirty Point Buck".

So...I had that lesson in the back of my head when we actually talked about Hazel Smith. So I bowed to Jim & Kevin the morning hosts I joined who have been part of the Indy radio scene forever...and they are still on the air there as I sit and blog these thoughts in Nashville. We kept her on...and I'm so glad. Again...it took my "out of town" ears awhile to get used to something I had never quite heard before.

We had a big musical event there every year...and Hazel would make the trip up to be part of it. I witnessed the ADORATION our audience had for her up close and personal. They LOVED Hazel...as did the country music community in general. She knew no strangers. And I grew to love her too. RIP Miss Hazel.

Have a great Tuesday.

Stormy Creative Monday

BILL BLOG Monday March 19, 2018

All eyes on the weather here today as we begin a new week. If I see a witch fly by on a broom...I'll go hunker down.

THE WEEKEND Nope...I did not go out and party like a leprechaun. I pretty much avoided going anywhere except to my couch to watch a lot of March Madness...and there's been more madness this year than ever. How's your Sweet 16 bracket looking by now? Me too...shredder city with upset after upset which means...it was fun being on the couch and avoiding all those who wanted to be Irish on St. Patty's.

So...moving around as I have...I don't have ONE big team to root and die for. I root for my daughter's school which is a mid major college at best...the Belmont Bruins. They did not make the tourney...so I'm down to rooting for West Virginia...because I've been a Bob Huggins fan since my Cincinnati days when he coached the Bearcats. After that...I'll root for the little guys and more upsets.

OUTSIDE OF WATCHING HOOPS I smiled when I saw this great VIDEO. My friend...artist-co-writer Paul Bogart took an on air conversation we had on WSM radio last week where he described his wife Tanya delivering their second child in the car while flying down the highway and turned it into an unforgettable "awww" moment. Just watch and listen...you'll hear and see what I mean. Again...congrats to Paul and his wife Tanya for sharing their unforgettable story with me.

IS HE RICH? One Powerball winner took home 457 MILLION bucks. My brother Gary and his wife live in Pennsylvania. I'm going to be treating them "extra" nice in case it was them.

PRETTY FUNNY...AT LEAST TO ME I'm stealing this line from an editorial cartoon I saw this morning where some folks are discussing arming our teachers. One surmises that all librarians will have a "silencer" on theirs.

HEADLINE OF THE DAY "Famed Snake Whisperer Dies After Cobra Bite". Uh huh. Folks...don't whisper to a snake. Do what I do...scream at it...pee in your pants...and then run like hell. What would you whisper to a snake anyway? Buy a goldfish. Whisper all you want. Extend your life.

TODAY Most surely we have our eye on the weather here with wind, hail and tornadoes being a possibility this afternoon. The folks out in the Northeast are looking at more danged snow...but with what we have coming they can think to themselves..."I'm glad I don't live THERE"! Maybe.

I'll be off writing with my friends Lauren Mascitti and Wil Nance which should put me on the road about the time all the bad weather starts. Perfect. Gonna make sure my seatbelt is on in my car with my seat and tray returned to the upright position.

Have a great Monday!

Wear Your Green

BILL BLOG Friday March 16, 2018

Got yer green on? Bring on St. Patty's Day weekend.

YESTERDAY Steve Dean and I got together and wrote a new song yesterday that was inspired by something someone said to him in a hateful way. Steve was just sharing that conversation with me as we were looking for something to write about when the song title just popped out of is mouth talking about that experience he had the day before with a person who was obviously in a bad place and foul mood all at the same time.

The song has nothing to do with that person...but we're grateful for those few words that were uttered that went from this lady to Steve's ears to mine that helped create a pretty cool song yesterday. Proof again one has to be careful what they sound around songwriters.

And I do hope this lady finds some calm and peace in her life soon...she needs it. Thanks for the idea.

SIGNS OF SPRING It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Nashville yesterday so after wrapping up my writing session I hit a local park to go for a walk. I saw two signs of Spring. Flowers blooming alongside the water being one of those.

The second one? Boys playing pitch and catch getting ready for a High School baseball game. So I got to hear one of my favorite sounds while walking...a baseball hitting a catchers mitt...and I found time to stop and smell the flowers. Spring if officially here Tuesday...but you could not convince me it wasn't already Spring yesterday.

HOOP IT UP And...I did see some of the basketball games. As always…couple of great upsets in the early round. Today...we have first round games here in Music City and I have three teams I can root for. My home state Missouri plays today and so do two teams from Cincinnati that I followed when I was doing radio in the Queen City...Xavier and UC. Lot of Cincinnati folks in town. I hope some you guys brought some Skyline Chili with you!

One old acquaintance sent me a Facebook message letting me know he was in town rooting on UC today. During the back and forth conversation came the possibility of doing a show back in Cincinnati at one of their great festivals. I'd be all for that. Stay tuned.

SPEAKING OF RADIO iHeart Radio has officially declared they owe a lot of money to a lot of people. They are one of the biggest if not the biggest conglomerates owning hundreds of radio stations across the country. Terrestrial radio is in trouble. Streaming and on demand is taking it's toll. Especially for younger listeners who want what they want when they want it. Right now. And so too perhaps is homogenized non local conglomerate radio stations that all sound alike. Perhaps...I hope...some radio stations will be sold to individual owners again allowing them to program individually and providing distinctly unique radio for their own backyards instead of the syndicated, voice tracked, over consulted nationally programmed dribble…that we now call radio. Maybe.

HEADLINE OF THE DAY "Woman Who Really Believes In Bigfoot Sues To Prove He's Real". It should be interesting to see the evidence she submits in court.

THE WEEKEND Well...it's St. Patricks Day weekend. Between that and the NCAA Basketball games here...downtown Nashville is going to be a really fun place to be...or...avoid depending upon the person. Me? I think I'll eat a bowl of Lucky Charms on my couch and watch the games on the Big Screen.

Have a great weekend!

Off The Air Today

BILL BLOG Thursday March 15, 2018

Back to semi-normal this morning.

YESTERDAY I finished up a three day morning run on WSM radio filling in for the regular morning host Bill Cody. That meant going back in time and setting an EARLY alarm and taking naps each of those days. So...my body is asking me..."what were ya thinking"?

But...the fun of doing morning radio again outweighs the lack of sleep for sure. I had some great guests in studio this week including the Willis Clan, Shawn Camp, Lauren Mascitti, and Colm Kirwan. If those names are unfamiliar to you...click on any of the links to hear some of what heard up close and personal this week in the WSM studios. Thanks to all for dropping by...and thanks to both Charlie Mattos and Frank Seres for producing and hanging on air with me.

AND A BABY And my thanks to my co-writer cowboy pal from Oklahoma who shared his story of is wife delivering their second child in the car while flying down the highway at 100 mph last Thursday evening. Unassisted...out pops baby. The hospital was waiting on them...but by the time they got there...the second boy for the Bogart's was out in the world. Congrats to both Paul and Tanya on having a second child they can now sing this to that Paul and I wrote last year that he included on his latest CD "Leather".

SPEAKING OF CD'S A new statistic tells us that since the year 2000...CD sales have dropped 90%! Wow. It's all about on demand...and streaming these days. No longer do many of us hold a physical product in our hands. Pretty tough challenge trying to write liner notes on a stream. Thank goodness vinyl record sales continue to make a comeback.

BRAGGING ON MY WIFE Not a lot of folks know that my wife Kathy does some film-video work every now and then. Tonight...she as a part in a video being shot for this new song from Jake Owen "I Was Jack, You Were Diane". So congrats to my wife. I'll let ya know when the video is out so you can look and cheer for her.

I've always wanted to do a video on my song I wrote with Brent Burns, "She's Trailer Park Sexy To Me" but my wife refuses to participate in that video. Sometimes the woman just has no taste.

JIMMY BUFFETT I may have to actually go catch a musical on Broadway now that Jimmy Buffett's life is a musical. "Escape To Margaritaville" is getting ready to start. Look for a New York City theater to be filled with Parrot Heads wearing inflatable shark suits. It will certainly be a colorful crowd. I'm sure Jimmy is amazed at how he started singing songs in Key West that married the beach lifestyle that then launched an empire that just keeps growing. And with all his success and money...the man still plays barefoot on stage in beach shorts.

TODAY Off to write with my long time friend Steve Dean...been awhile. And then...well...I'm gonna have to check out some of the basketball which begins in earnest today...March Madness for sure.

And...mid 60's with sun here today...so hopefully I can find time to try to get a walk in and add some sun on my legs that look to be sponsored by "Elmer's Paste". Yep...a tad white...or whyte in my case.

Have a great Thursday!

Day 3 On The Radio

BILL BLOG Wednesday March 14, 2018

One last morning on WSM radio before returning to my semi-normal routine so a short blog once again from inside the studios here at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel Resort and Convention Center. (Try getting all that on a T-Shirt)

This morning my young friend Colm Kirwan will join me and Charlie Mattos and play a little Irish music. Colm is from Ireland orginally and he's playing the Music City Irish Fest this coming St. Pattty's day so that will be fun. He'll be with us a bit after 8:30 AM this morning.

And if you missed it yesterday morning...we'll repeat some of the musical moments we had with the two pictured here...Shawn Camp and Lauren Mascitti. Lauren actually sing a song "live" that she wrote with me and Wil Nance.

And...we have tickets to give away to see Mary Chapin Carpenter!

Full morning show...tune in if you can at wmsonline.com and watch us on Heartland TV at watchheartlandtv.com

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday On The Radio

BILL BLOG Tuesday March 13, 2018

Good morning from WSM radio again. I'm behind these call letters til 10 AM with Charlie Mattos this morning filling in for Hall of Famer Bill Cody once again. So...no real blog this Tuesday.

On our show today...Shawn Camp and my talented young co-writer Lauren Mascitti will join in with some "live" music. We'll have a little left over Irish music after our visit from the Willis Clan yesterday and we will repeat our interview with Chris Janson from yesterday in the 7 am hour.

And if that's not enough we have a pair of tickets to give away to see Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Hall of Fame Theater Friday, April 6.

So...tune in this morning if you can...worldwide at wsmonline.com

Have a great Tuesday!


BILL BLOG Monday March 12, 2018

Mid March and it's snowing in Nashville. Go figure.

WSM No real blog today as once again I'm on air for WSM Radio this morning as well as the next two mornings. I walked into the Opryland Hotel where the studios are with snow falling down...and discovered they've added a BIG new camera...HD. This morning radio show is also on Heartand TV...so with the new HD camera staring me down...if I have any food in my teeth...you'll see it clearly. Sigh.

The show is on 5:30-10 AM worldwide at wsmonline.com. And...around 8:20 this morning Chris Janson...our newest Opry member Chris Janson will be on with us. So tune in if you can.

Have a great Monday!