BILL BLOG Monday (sort of) February 27, 2017 As you read this...I should be on the air....that is if you're up in the morning. I'm on 650 AM WSM doing the morning show with Charlie Mattos as the regular host of the show...Bill Cody...gets a day off. Always happy to do this. You can tune in at wsmonline.com worldwide if you'd like. TRUTH I'm actually doing this blog Sunday morning as I realize I will not have time Monday morning to do this as the alarm goes off at 4 am and I make my way to the Opryland Hotel and the WSM Studio to prep the show. So now ya know! THE WEEKEND Well the Oscars are over...so is the Daytona 500. Congrats to the winner on all counts. I'm sure I'll be talking about these two different events on the radio...maybe right now. SATURDAY NIGHT Man...we had an over-sold-OUT crowd for our "Hits & Grins" show at Puckett's Grocery on 4th Avenue in beautiful downtown Franklin, Tennessee. It's one of my favorite places to play. Food is great...and the crowds lean in and listen. They were really into it Saturday night and the trio got an unreal Standing O at the end of the evening which of course makes me and my trio pals Steve Dean and Victoria Venier feel so good. Thank you...and thank you for taking home some of our CD's too. My thanks also Alan who did a superb job of running our sound and making us sound so good on stage. We saw lots of familiar faces...and made lots of new fans too...a great evening. FRIDAY Backing up a bit further in the weekend...I had a very fun writing session with my friends Wil Nance and Lauren Mascitti on Wil's little 10 acre place full of chickens, and dogs and cats and a fishing pond we promised ourselves we would dip a line into in the near future. And somewhere between the laptops and the guitars and coffee...we got into something we're going to be proud of when completed. One more session oughta do it. I'll share a fun story Wil shared with me about his very young maybe 3 year old adopted daughter who's already got his sense of humor. She's comes out of her bathroom and announces, "Dad, I've got four words! (And then pronounces to count what she thinks is four words on her four tiny fingers.) She proclaimed loudly, "I have constipation"! I'm still chuckling.
CMT I don't watch a lot of CMT. But...I did record the series "Sun Records" which just started. The story of Sam Phillips opening his studio in Memphis and then producing Elvis, Cash, Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and others. The first episode got me hooked.
FUNNY LINE At our show this past Saturday night someone came up to me while we were packing gear and told me how funny he thought my line was about co-writing with myself one day. He told me he was once in a one man band that broke up. I am so stealing that.
TODAY On air...right now. Later today I'm writing with my cowboy pal Paul Bogart so a very full Monday. Have yourself a great one!
BILL BLOG Friday February 24, 2017 Woke up this morning before the sun was up...pulled the car out of the garage...headed down our hill and my headlights hit five pair of deer eyes as the family was hunkered down on our front lawn as they often too. Like a zoo here sometimes. They've become so used to my routine that they don't even get up...even though my car goes very close by them. The least they could do is nod their little deer heads as if to say, "good morning" Bill. AMEN On Friday's at my Starbucks...a group of men get together from a local church and talk about their Church...and God...and they pray over their Grande Pike. Good guys...and because I'm so close by...even though I'm not trying to listen in...it's impossible not to hear some Bible verses being quoted. I'm not a big church goer these days...so it makes me feel better about myself. I do think they went a little too far today when they passed me an offering plate. THE WEEKEND Hard to believe we are looking at the end of February approaching. Wow. This weekend I'm playing with "Hits & Grins" at Puckett's Grocery in downtown Franklin, TN. Great venue...great food...and it's always a great time. It's one of the better LISTENING rooms in the Nashville area. 8:30 pm show Saturday night if you're in town and interested. The Oscars are this weekend. I think I've seen maybe three of the nominated films for Best Picture for 2017. Arrival, Lala Land, Hidden Figures and Hell or High Water. The others are very serious...very somber with the only one that I still want to see is "Hacksaw Ridge" the true World War II story about the soldier who refused to kill but saved countless lives. I look for Lala Land to win...but my favorite of those I've seen? "Hell or High Water". And the Oscar goes to... BOOGITY And...I will watch the Daytona 500 on Sunday for sure. Earnhardt and Elliott are on the front row. Iconic racing names. Drop the flag boys...let's go racing. TODAY I'm off for a songwriting session with Wil Nance and Lauren Mascitti...she sings like a bird. I'm in great company tod
BILL BLOG Thursday February 23, 2017 Woke up with just a sliver of a moon hanging in the sky. That gives away to a little sun and 70 degree weather later today. I was going out to buy a yacht but just checked my Powerball ticket. I've down-scaled to a dinghy now. One winner of over 400 million. Guess who it wasn't? YESTERDAY My big contribution to the creative world was writing a parody song for the Daytona 500 that runs with the dropping of the flag this Sunday afternoon. Another sure harbinger that Spring be very very close now. No complaints about that from yours truly. I'm okay looking at winter from a window with a fire on. But it's most surely not my thing. Living in Milwaukee for six years I learned that folks who love it...embrace it somehow. I tried. But...I found out that I was never going to love it enough to buy a shanty and drag it out on a frozen lake to fish. Uh...no. They have fish on the Gulf Coast...fresh...and...the weather is warm. So c'mon Spring. RADIO I found out a few minutes ago that I'll be back on WSM this coming Monday morning from 5:30-AM to 10 AM working with my friend Charlie Mattos who is the producer and co-host of that show with Bill Cody. It's still my favorite slot on the radio...early mornings. The show is wide open fun...and I look forward to being part of that again this Monday. You can listen from anywhere at wsmonline.com SPEAKING OF RADIO The Country Radio Seminar is going strong right now here in town. Radio folks mixed with music folks mixed with musical artists. Yesterday Lady Antebellum announced who was going into the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame this year. Two are good friends. Congrats to Tim Closson who I worked for not once...but twice at WUBE in Cincinnati as it's Program Director....and long time morning buddy Jim Mantel who was doing mornings in Cleveland while I was doing mornings in Cincinnati. We shared a lot of radio morning seminars together in Dallas through the years...and I recently saw him out front at a Hits & Grins concert I was part of in North Carolina. Jim is doing mornings in that state right now. Happy for both them. Congrats guys! GOOD NEWS I also found out yesterday that our "Hits & Grins" trio will play the prestigious Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival this year. The date is Friday March 31 and we'll be joined by two other GREAT writers-performers Reggie Hamm and Janelle Arthur. They've not give us our time and venue yet...but I'll pass that along when I get it. It's always a pleasure to be included in the kind of company that plays this three day event every year here in Twang Town for sure.
TODAY Little comedy writing for New York...some catch up stuff...and then if the weather holds..I'm seeing the Vandy baseball team is playing a game at 4 pm. And they have a new video scoreboard I'm told. I may be forced to go sit in the bleachers today. Have a great Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday February 22, 2017 Rain this morning. But giving way to sunshine and temps in the 70's. Hello Spring. YESTERDAY My writing session was with my Hits and Grins trio of Steve Dean and Victoria Venier and we welcomed a mutual friend from Missouri....Becky Blackaby. She's from Paris, Missouri...up north a bit in the Boot Heel state...but makes regular trip to Nashville to chase her music thing. Becky teaches and has a young daughter...so it's not easy doing what she's doing....but I certainly admire her effort. She's working towards new music..maybe an album....and the song we wrote yesterday together might be something that will fit that...we'll see. Pretty fun day in Steve Dean's little home studio. COMEDY SONG I also was assigned to write a comedy parody song yesterday for New York about the Powerball which is worth way over 400 million tonight. Happy to do that. And this morning I bought a couple of tickets...again...because the odds are impossible and somehow that makes sense to me. With that said, this may be the best song ever about those of us who are not rich that grew up in small towns rooted in their church and only dreaming of hitting the jackpot. It's by one of my favorite songwriter-performers...Brandy Clark called "Pray To Jesus". Worth sitting through the danged commercial to see and hear. Brandy's first CD "12 Stories" that put her on the map was produced by my talented friend Dave Brainerd who I've had the pleasure of writing with this past year. I can't describe how talented a writer-producer Dave is...but suffice it to say I always feel very blessed...like I hit the lotto every time I get to be in a creative situation with him. And this album "12 Stories" is still my personal favorite CD that I've bought over the last 4 or 5 years for sure. HOUSE CONCERT April 8 I'll be part of a house concert with "Hits & Grins" which is open to the public. Dave Brainerd and one of his new acts...Jenny Tolman are going to do a set of songs right before we play that evening at this beautiful home in Franklin, TN. The owners...Wanda and Terry Seay are so passionate about songwriters that they host one every month with some of Nashville's most talented folks. They've been doing this for awhile....and when they built their beautiful new home...they built a room dedicated to these kinds of songwriter shows. Who does that? Details of this April 8 show are in the calendar section of my website. If you're anywhere near on that date...do yourself a favor and come. You'll have a blast. WEDGIE CITY I mentioned awhile back that Gaylord Entertainment wants to build a MAMMOTH size water park at the Opryland Hotel where I work at sometimes when I'm on air for WSM Radio. The paper today mentioned that the city looks to be in favor and will help finance this. Tourism dollars. The park is described by the Gaylord CEO as a "waterpark on steroids". We're getting ready to give you country music and wedgies now every time you come to Music City.
TODAY I have someone new I'm writing with for the first time this morning...Chadley Bradley. No...that's his name. He's and his brother and Emily Reeves play in a cool trio named "Brassfield Aly". Great harmony group...and I'm looking forward to creating something with them in mind later this morning. Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday February 21, 2017 Back to work! YESTERDAY Lots of stuff closed yesterday with the extra day off for many for the President Day weekend. I had to chance to catch up with my long time Indiana friend Brent Lee and his girlfriend over breakfast at a place I had not been too in Nashville. Long line...a good sign...and the food was good. However, I did not notice until I saw an envelope tucked under my windshield that I had parked in a PAID lot...which took my breakfast bill to $34! Sigh. FYI...if you come to Nashville...and park anywhere near anything...it's gotten really really expensive. Save up. Despite that...it was fun catching up with my old radio producer from WFMS in Indianapolis where he still works part time. His bigger thing is...he now OWNS two small market radio stations which is very cool. It's great seeing young kids (at the time) that you worked with grow up and be so successful. SPEAKING OF DOWNTOWN There's some resistance to Walmart putting up a store near Lower Broadway...our entertainment district full of those honky-tonks and restaurants. The tourism folks don't think it fits in with everything else. I dunno. Midnight to 3 AM when tourists come stumbling out of those honky tonks and need some pain relief? Might be nice to have a Walgreens nearby. I'm betting if they do put one up...there will be a country band playing in aisle 5.
MEANWHILE In New York City...Central Park...the ponds are frozen. Or that's what a few teenagers THOUGHT when they walked out on the ponds to take a SELFIE. While they were posing and clicking their phones....they found out the ponds were not that frozen. In they went. Rescuers pulled them out....off to the hospital for hypothermia. Selfies should come with a warning sticker. If you ever come see me in concert...request my song, "Get Over Your Selfie". I'll be happy to play it for you. FITBITS Those wrist devices folks wear now that remind them they haven't gotten off their butt and done enough steps today? They are everywhere. Folks now sit at tables and not only stare at their phones....they stare at their Fitbits too. I'd feel guilty all the time. This is why I give my Fitbit to an intern and have him walk my daily allotment of steps. Must be working...I feel great. MUSIC I read where Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are in studio together recording. That can only be a good thing. And I also read that actor Ryan Gosling learned to play piano well enough in 3 months....to do all of the playing we see in the Oscar nominated "Lala Land". If you like musicals...pretty good stuff here folks. TODAY I'm off to write write with my "Hits & Grins" trio and...we add our friend Becky Blackaby who's in town from Paris, Missouri to our little circle of rhymers. Should be fun.
Have a great Tuesday!
BILL BLOG Monday February 20, 2017 President's Day...and once again I feel no need to rush out and buy a mattress on sale. UP EARLY Already been to the airport to drop my daughter off for her flights with American this time...jacked up on coffee...dodged three deer in the road...and now flying to enter today' blog before joining an old radio producer friend of mine who's in town with his wife for a couple of day from Indianapolis. This is the week of the Country Radio Seminar where radio folk come in and mix with record folks and run up high bar bills as the record folks try and introduce radio folks to their latest artists and music. I like to call it the weekend of deep voices in Nashville. THE WEEKEND A busy one. First I had a great house concert Friday night out in the beautiful countryside near Dickson, TN...about an hour and 15 away. My thanks to a new friend David Pyles who had seen me play a set with my pal Steve Dean at the Country Music Hall of Fame one time...and suggested to his neighbors Danny & Marcee Williams to bring me out for their house party...which they did. Beautiful home on 40 acres...food...and about 30 of their closest friends. I sat in front of the fireplace and played my songs for them....lots of laughs over the funny songs. Some great folks...and I truly enjoyed getting to know them. David it turns out is a big Reds fan as I am. I told him before my show about Tom Browning...the pitcher for the Reds who once pitched a perfect game. Tom told me on air once that the game ball was lost...because his kids took it off the mantel and played with it in the backyard whacking it out in the trees and LOSING it. True story. So after hearing that...my new friend David, who's house was right next door...walked over and grabbed a book he has titled "Perfect" which is all about perfect games that have been pitched and gave it to me. How cool is that? Thank you David...it's on my desk ready to tear into. And my thanks to all who turned out for such a wonderful evening. I'm hoping to do more and more of these kinds of house concerts in the future. LAST NIGHT My wife and I went to a great party hosted by some of our greatest friends. A mutual friend of all of ours just completed massage school...got his certificate and everything. Great guy. So our friend threw a little surprise celebration party at their house. He knew nothing about it. When we walked in he found all of us....in our bathrobes-massage robes which made him howl in laughter....and cry. Just a really really cool moment. There were two other massage therapists in our group of friends...so they had a massage contest where random folks got on the massage chair and each masseuse got one minute with all three and then voted for the the best massage...not knowing who's hands were on them. Guess who won? Our guest of honor! Too funny What a great evening of kindness and warmth with a big house full of great folks wishing one of their own..."congratulations". Happy to have been part of that for sure. WARMER Days are getting longer. Hooray for that. Grass in greening up. So...there will be a lot of sore backs for my massage therapist friend to rub in the near future. A booming business on the way me thinks. ANOTHER SIGN OF SPRING? The Daytona 500 is this weekend...and...on the front row...racing royalty. Elliott and Earnhardt. That won't hurt the ratings. "Boogity boogity boogity boys...lets go racing"! HEALTH NEWS They say eating a couple of grapes a day is good for staving off memory loss. My problem? I can never remember to eat the danged things. GOTTA RUN Off to that breakfast meeting this morning. I'm ordering grapes...but will not wear a snuggie. Have a great President's Day!
BILL BLOG Friday February 17, 2017 Bring on the weekend. YESTERDAY I spent a few hours on Music Row with Zach Runquist finishing up a song...and starting another with a cowboy flavor. (Zach is the one sporting the Cowboy hat in the video) Zach is multi-talented...plays every string instrument....writes...sings...been out the road playing for a lot of artists including Lee Ann Womack....does leather work. Speaking of which...he just finished making a bunch of "Reba" leather key chains that Reba sold for the first time at her concert at the Ryman this past weekend. So again...multi-talented and it's always fun to create something new with him Zach and I co-wrote a song with our friend Paul Bogart that will be on his new album titled "All That Cowboy Jazz." It's a western swing song....think George Strait and it turned out great. So much so...that Paul's producer Trent Willmon has already told Paul they need to submit it for Grammy consideration next year in the right genre. How bout that? It's interesting. Seems like every time I write with someone more than once...I always learn new things about their lives. I had no idea until yesterday that his Dad promoted rodeos all over the country...Madison Square Garden even. And he once promoted rodeos for Loretta Lynn and her ranch. Who knew? His Mom and Dad celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend...so congrats to them. Very fun day with Zach. PRESENT IN THE MAIL When I got home I had a nice present in the mailbox...a CD from my Chicago friend Jacky Dustin...that has a song titled "The Devil Don't Honk His Horn" that I wrote with her and Brady Seals. Can't tell you how much I love what she did with this. Brady and I went in and did some background vocals for this...I sang a little "bass" part...Brady did a high soul part...and one of Jacky's friends who sings in a black choir came in and wailed on it too. It sounds like one of those old revival songs where people throw their hands up in the air and jump on the church pew hollering "hallelujah"! Just a great great cut. Thank you Jacky! The album is titled "Howla" and is out right now. COMEDY SONG Yesterday's comedy song was a parody of "Little White Church" by Little Big Town that I turned into "Crazy White House". You can imagine what that's all about. I have decided that we could decrease our deficit a bunch if they would just sell tickets to the general public for a Trump press conference these days. I need to send Mr. Trump a thank you note for creating so much work for me these days.
THE WEEKEND I play a house concert tomorrow evening in Dickson, TN...looking very forward to that. And then a little party Sunday evening to help celebrate a friend who just got his massage license. That could be fun!
Have a great weekend yourself.
BILL BLOG Thursday February 16, 2017 Little chilly still this morning...warming up....and the weather guys are telling us that February is on track to be the warmest February ever. No complaints from me. YESTERDAY A day of working ahead and catching up. I have a house concert this weekend in Dickson, TN....just me and the guitar. Finalized all of that and we're good to go. Should be fun. I'm not even taking a PA system with me...it's that intimate for the host and hostess and their neighbors and friends. I don't do ton of these...but they're always fun and I always meet some great new friends who love music. Looking forward to it. CHEATING MUSIC I did have an interesting subject to write about for New York yesterday. It was about a new form of cheating. Folks who watch Netflix shows without telling their partners and watching it along. Streaming cheating if you will. Lots of cheating songs in country music so it wasn't hard to find something that fit for that. The moral of the song is...don't go watching "House Of Cards" or "Walking Dead" alone or your partner might do the same...."Who's Cheatin' Who"? POST VALENTINE I saw some folks gave their sweeties heart shaped pizza for Valentine Day. The good thing is...if you give one to your girl...and she's a gluten free health nut and hates that gift and tells you about it...you get to eat your mistake. Just make sure you choose toppings you like.
REMEMBER WHEN? CMT played country music videos? Or when the Travel Channel actually took us places? Me neither. Betting that the Food Channel will start offering comedy sitcoms soon. TURKEY Big Turkey and Sports Convention Show going on all weekend at the Opryland Hotel here. I've been on air a few times at WSM which is located in one of the lobbies of this massive hotel when it was going on and no one would have to tell me it was happening. A lot of folks in camo would walk by. This year one of the highlights will be the replica of the largest deer rack. A hunter bagged a massive 47 point buck this past year in Tennessee so that replica will be drawing a crowd I'm sure. If I had a 47 point buck rack...there would be 47 baseball caps dangling off of it. TODAY I'm off to write with my friend Zach Runquist to finish up a song we started a few weeks ago. Zach is beaming right now because a song he co-wrote titled "Jealous Of The Angels" has racked up over 80 million views on You Tube now for an Irish female vocalist named Donna Taggart. Happy for my friend Zach for sure. That's a new way of finding a big career. If you can get something to go viral on You Tube...you can get very popular and book a tour and do TV shows and radio shows which is exactly what's happened to this young Irish artist. All it take is one great song that connects and is relatable as this song is about the loss of a loved one. Maybe we'll get lucky and write one of those! Have a great Thursday.
BILL BLOG Wednesday February 15, 2016 Little chilly in Music City this "Hump Day" with a high of 44. Back into the mid-70's though in a few days. A few more bites of winter before we break into the good stuff. Just sitting down here after dropping my daughter at the airport once again. She's off to the Dominican Republic and San Juan as part of her job with American the next few days. Lot of wedding planning going on right now with one coming up sometime next year. Me? Dad is trying to stay out of it. Well actually I've been asked to bow out after my idea of holding it at Chuck E. Cheese. Brides can be so narrow minded. YESTERDAY It was indeed a day of catch up stuff. I wrote a funny parody song for New York about Playboy deciding to put nude pictures back in their magazine. And added a couple of radio jingles for them too for a radio station that uses them in Colorado Springs. It's always amazing to me how much stuff their is to do even when your gone just 2 or 3 days. And this is why we take our computers and smart phones and keep our heads in them...even when we TRY to get away from it all. We do live in a "head up our apps" world these days. I did get through most of the GRAMMY awards show that my daughter taped for me while my wife and I were on our Miami trip. Pretty entertaining so far. Found out by watching that Beyonce is pregnant...very pregnant. Loved Bruno Mars....Adele...the Keith Urban-Carrie Underwood duet and young Maren Morris proved once again she can really sing. I'll watch the rest later today. SPEAKING OF GRAMMY'S I laughed out loud reading a handwritten note that my friend Linda Davis sent me yesterday. Hillary Scott & The Scott Family were part of two Grammy's that I mentioned yesterday. Rylee Jean is the youngest....just turned 16 and has a natural funny wit...love her. The note was to her teacher back here in Tennessee explaining why she was missing two or three days of school while hanging in LA. "I'm picking up two Grammy awards. Thank you!" Can't imagine what a grin that must have put on the teacher's face. SAFE HAVEN That again is the title of the song I wrote with Hillary Scott, Jimmy Fortune and Sydni Perry that's about Hillary's grandfather who passed. I'm never ceased to be amazed at how people relate to a song...even this one which is just a cut on the album. This morning Lang Scott (the song of course written about his Dad) shared a note with me that went out on Facebook who lost her Grandfather and posted this..."I'll miss ya Pop but I'll see you again when it's time...thank you for being my Safe Haven". I pretty much teared up knowing our song is what she thought of at this moment. Can't tell you how that makes a songwriter feel.
CHRISTIAN MUSIC Their Grammy was for "Best Contemporary Christian Album" and best "Single" in that Genre too for "Thy Will". And interesting side note. Lang Scott and Linda Davis both worked in Reba's band for years. And now Reba has put out a Christian album which has already shot to the top of the COUNTRY charts. Linda has a song she helped write on this great album "Songs of Faith & Hope". So...I would not be surprised in the least to see Reba pick up the same Grammy the Scott's just brought home with them at next year's Grammy Awards. Christian music is on a roll right now. FYI...you know your a big star when someone can just "blog" your first name only and every one knows who you be talking about.
TODAY More writing funny stuff for New York it looks like...tweaking a couple of songs in my catalog that need it...then it's a treadmill at the Y with my headphones plugged into a TV tuned to ESPN. Pitchers and catcher are in Spring Training Camps...and I'm sure they'll show some of that. So ready for a little baseball. Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday February 14, 2017. Happy Valentine Day to all you sweethearts! WHAT A WEEKEND My wife Kathy and myself had quite the Valentine weekend to say the least. Where to start.
A GRAMMY AWARD! And then Sunday happened. Wow. We were watching the pre-awards Grammy presentations in our hotel room on our computer while getting ready for the Bocelli concert in Miami....having arrived early Sunday afternoon. This was right after we went to a Cuban Cafe and had the coffee and Cuban food which was another great suggestion from our daughter who had lived in Miami and still flies out of there for American. I do recommend it highly if you're in Miami. So...there we are getting dressed....and the moment happens. They announce the nominees for "Best Contemporary Christian" Album of the Year....and it goes to...."Hillary Scott & The Scott Family" for their album "Love Remains" which has a song of mine on it! Yes...there was a loud "whoop" in the room...and I won't lie...a few tears of joy for their family...and for ours. Hillary also won for best "Single Of The Year" with "Thy Will" also off this album. My friend Lang Scott gave a wonderful acceptance speech...and I got some extremely nice texts later from both Lang and Linda Davis. I can't dream that big to tell ya the truth. You write and write songs...not knowing what will happen with them...and then comes along this song that we wrote about Lang's late Father and Hillary's Grandfather "Safe Haven" that lands on a Grammy winner. His death...and fight with cancer inspired the whole project....on this song that I wrote with Jimmy Fortune and Sydni Perry became THE song about the grandfather that's touching other lives...those who remember their loved ones through our song...and the Scott's album. What a blessing. And thanks to so many of you who have reached out to me after hearing the album won. I'll be floating on cloud 9 for a very long time. And if for some reason you have not heard this CD...for goodness sake...get yourself a copy.
BOCELLI And we saw Andrea Bocelli in concert that night in Miami. Something my wife can kick off her bucket list...making for a great Valentine weekend. He was magnificent...as advertised. How does he hit those notes? 100 piece orchestra....stage in Valentine red...two amazing sopranos...a guest violinist who brought the house down. But his VOICE? I'll be hearing those notes for a long time in my head and my wife and I have some kind of memories to keep with us forever. Perfection in music. So glad we got to hear him "live".
HAPPY VALENTINE DAY To my sweetheart..and here's to you and yours today too.