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Bill Whyte / Blog

Music vs Math

BILL BLOG Tuesday April 10, 2018

It’s good to see the sun outside my blogging window this morning. And with any luck…it looks like we’ll get into the 70’s and higher starting tomorrow. Way past ready for that.

YESTERDAY My writing appointment was with Jenny Tolman yesterday. But first I had to write a parody song for NY about the new Han Solo movie coming out in May. I have not counted but I’m guessing that over the course of writing these silly things over 27 years or more that I’ve managed to churn out 1,000 or more of these. Proof that there’s always something in the news to write funny. And often time…the news is so crazy the song writes itself. Or so it seems.

So once that was finished Jenny and I sat down and created a new song for her growing catalog. Her boyfriend Dave Brainard often joins us…but Dave had another appointment that morning. So while Jenny and I sat in their office…Dave was in their studio writing with another songwriter. Two tunes…one house.

Our song got started with a little melody I had recorded on my phone that lit Jenny up…so we worked off of that until somehow lyrics showed up to fit the melody. It turned out to be a Mama’s revenge idea…and the world just can’t have enough of Mama’s on the warpath…musically speaking.

HOORAY FOR MUSIC It’s a good thing I fell into music and radio. I certainly would be a major fail in other areas of life including anything to do with math. Thank God for calculators.

I was thinking about my lack of math skills when I read that Tennessee 4th grade math students are failing grade wise more and more. So maybe I’m in the right state.

I hated math so much when I was young that I put off a required “general” math class in college until my very last semester. I was fortunate that the professor actually said, “no one will fail this class…so relax”. Really? He actually taught us “odds” and how to gamble which made the class fun. So while I still struggle with complicated…or even easy math problems…I can tell ya when to fold your black jack hand or when to double down on the crap table. Thank you professor.

TODAY I’m rhyming with my friends Linda Davis and Sydni Perry…the first time the three of us have collaborated together. Jimmy Fortune was to join us but had something come up he could not cancel so it’s me and the talented girls this morning. It will fun catching up and working with both today.

Have a great Tuesday!

Busy Weekend...Busy Week Ahead

BILL BLOG Monday April 9, 2018

And off we got into a new week.

THE WEEKEND I had a fun busy music weekend that started Friday night at the Station Inn here in Nashville where I went to hear Paul Bogart and his invited friends at the songwriting festival that just concluded here “Tin Pan South”. Paul had Cassidy Lynn and Zach Runquist on stage with him and a last second add Jim Beavers who’s had a ton of country hits including “Watching Airplanes” by Gary Alan and “Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner to include a couple. It was the first time I’d seen Jim “live” and he was a last second addition to this show because Trent Wilmon came down sick. But what a great choice…funny…great guitar player and then one hit record after another.

Cassidy Lynn sang “spot on”, and Zach Runquist actually did a couple songs we’ve written together on stage and the same for my cowboy friend Paul Bogart who closed the show with the “Buckaroo Lullabye” that we wrote for his now oldest of two young sons.

As a songwriter…I felt like I was up on stage with them since they did four songs I’m part of. And it was a treat to sit out in the crowd and watch and listen to how those tunes were received. Gratifying to say the least.

Just a very fun night.

SATURDAY Then Saturday night I was on stage at Puckett’s in Franklin, TN with my “Hits & Grins” trio and we played to a PACKED house of attentive folks. A lot of co-writer friends of mine also showed up and sat out front including Steve Ivey who produced my first CD here in Nashville who I had not seen in awhile and Lynn Marie the “Polka Queen”. Such a nice surprise that they would surprise me and come out like that.

Young Taylon Hope who I wrote with for the first time not too long ago came with her parents…sweet as could be.

And my Irish singer-buddy Colm Kirwan was also out with a posse of folks at a big table.

Add to that my wife and a bunch of her friends and other friends of “Hits & Grins”…and it was just one of those evenings I wish could have lasted longer.

Thanks to all of you who came out…bought CD’s…listened…and said such nice things. It was great playing for you!

ROGER NAYLOR My great friend in Cottonwood, Arizona who I’ve written about…who used to be a part a radio show we did in Cincinnati and taught me a lot about comedy writing…has been commissioned to write a book…with pictures all about the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Park is turning 100 years old next year and the Canyon folks have selected my friend to be the writer of this glossy magazine that they expect to sell over a MILLION copies of. I could not be happier for my talented long time hiking buddy who fell in love with Arizona as a kid and has never gotten over it. He writes about the state like Shakespeare with a paint brush.

Do yourself a favor and follow Roger Naylor on Facebook. He posts a ton of absolutely breathtaking watercolor pictures and what he writes with it…sheer poetry. The state of Arizona simply could not have selected a better person to bring this book to life. Congrats Rog!

THE WEEK AHEAD A very full week of songwriting is ahead with lots of talented folks. Today I’m back at a writing table with Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard.

Basball season finally begins here for our minor league team and the temps are in the upper 70’s on Thursday…so you’ll know where you’ll find me on that day.

And this WEEKEND…I’m pleased to be the feature songwriter at the Storytellers Museum in Bon Aqua, Tennessee which sits on the old Johnny Cash farm. I’m going early to soak up some of the history there before I play Saturday night. Should be a treat from what I’m told.

Have a great Monday!

Parties, Festivals and Gigs...Oh My!

BILL BLOG Friday April 6, 2018

First full weekend of April straight ahead.

YESTERDAY My songwriting appointment was with my long time friend Steve Dean…part of my “Hits & Grins” trio that includes Victoria Venier. A a reminder…the three of us play at Puckett’s in Franklin, Tennessee this Saturday night at 8:30.

Sitting in Steve’s studio and talking about other folks the two of us have written with and songs we’ve written…I found out that the two of have written maybe 70 or 80 songs through the years. Sometimes just the two of us…may times with a third writer. Wow. I had no idea

And certainly there’s a reason we have done this…great chemistry being the big reason. Steve has had 9 number one songs in his lifetime…and he’s a great melody guy. So when the two of us sit down…I lean a lot on his melody ideas and then hope words that make sense and are cool pop out of my head to spill over those melodies.

Yesterday I brought an idea we both loved. The two of us exchange “beer” pictures. I know. Weird. It just became a thing. Many times Steve has a beer off the back deck at his house and sends those to me with a funny caption. Many times he reminds me he’s enjoying the end of the day with that beer while the “Rolling Stones” are blasting out of his speakers on the deck. That did not escape my “idea” book…so I took “Stones On The Deck” to his studio yesterday and we had fun tearing into that idea.

Proof once again that you have to be careful with what you say as that could turn into a song.

LAST NIGHT Then last night the two of us did rendezvous at a little party thrown by a mutual friend Sheree Spoltore who runs an organization called SBC Global…which is company she started to help songwriters. Co-writes…retreats…idea..classes…all part of what Sheree does so well. She truly is a bright light of encouragement to a lot of writers in this town.

So last night she threw a little gathering party at the CMA building off Music Row and I went with Steve and Victoria made it too. Food, music, networking…all part of the deal last night and it was fun.

To top it off…they gave away a $200 gift certificate door prize…guess who won? My friend Mr. Dean. I told him to buy a lotto ticket.

Thank you Sheree for the fun time and networking opportunity.

QUESTION? Did the Romans’ ever have a Sleep By Roman Numeral Number bed? Mine would have been XLV.

THE WEEKEND AHEAD Well…mine got just a little less busy with a cancelled writing appointment today that just came in. But tonight I’m sneaking out to hear some great friends and co-writers.

Paul Bogart is playing a Tin Pan South show tonight at the Station Inn (the Nashville songwriters festival) along with two other co-writer friends of mine and Trent Wilmon who produced Paul’s new CD “Leather” that I have three songs on including this “Buckaroo Lullabye” that Paul and his wife are apparently singing to his new little baby boy…love that.

And then tomorrow night it’s Hits & Grins at Puckett’s in Franklin, TN.

Have a great weekend!

Masters

BILL BLOG Thursday April 5, 2018

Sun is sneaking up over Old Hickory Lake this Thursday morning. I’m jacked up on Starbucks and ready to tackle the day.

YESTERDAY Wednesday had me writing a golf parody song for the Masters golf tourney which starts in earnest today. New York asked me to take the Lady A song “You Look Good” and turn it into “Tiger Looks Good” referring of course to Tiger Woods who’s making quite the comeback this year and a lot of folks would not be surprised to see him do extremely well at Augusta this go round. We’ll see. Either way I was happy to write the tune.

THE CONNECTION Hillary Scott of course is the female lead in that group Lady Antebellum. She has her own clothing line “La Bellum” which is pretty cool…and this morning her Mom Linda Davis will be subbing for her on the HSN Network down in Tampa to help promote that clothing line. So tune in my friend today at 1 pm…and keep your credit card handy.

AND… Kenny Rogers who Linda has been on tour with during Kenny’s final tour got word like the rest of us now…Kenny has cancelled all his shows at his Doctor’s orders. He’s been battling health issues for awhile now and has decided to take his Doctor’s advice and try to heal. If you were lucky to see one of those final shows with Kenny & Linda…you witnessed how the Gambler still managed to be extremely entertaining despite the fact that it’s obvious he’s not a “young” Gambler anymore.

I’m sure Mr. Rogers would agree with what I’ve felt for a long time…that music and playing in front of audiences is just too much fun to let go of unless you have to.

Here’s hoping the rest will do him good.

That news made me think of the first time a COUNTRY song by Kenny Rogers came in to a radio station I was working at. I remember thinking at the time, “Kenny Rogers is country”? But his first single that I remember, “Love Lifted Me” proved he was serious about being in that genre. These days it’s not anything remarkable to see “pop” stars want to dabble in country music. Back then? It was eye opening.

MORE SHOWS Our “Evening In The Round” trio with Linda Davis, Lang Scott and myself look to be adding a show and a couple of performance-songwriting workshops that will take place in Pennsylvania later this year. Final details are being ironed out and I’ll post where and when and how to get tickets as soon as this is completely finalized.

But…I can’t wait to do my song “I’ll Join The Amish” in the state that inspired this little musical piece of silliness.

TODAY Off to write with my buddy Steve Dean today. Steve will join me and Victoria Venier on stage this Saturday night at 8:30 pm at Puckett’s in Franklin, Tennessee for a “Hits & Grins” show. These are always very fun shows at this great venue. Make a reservation…food is awesome too.

Have a great Thursday!

Hits & Grins New Date

BILL BLOG Wednesday April 4, 2018

And…winter is back again. We had a storm blow through last night after an 81 degree day…lights flickered…temps dropped like the stock market and this morning? COLD!

YESTERDAY So…a new study comes out that tells us if we eat less calories…the odds of living longer and looking younger increase. Now they tell us! And that’s exactly what my New York folks wanted me to write a parody song about yesterday…so somewhere this morning some radio listeners are getting that message musically. If I see more skinny people in the near future…I’m going to try and take credit.

RHYMING SOME MORE After finishing up my public service message song…I headed for a songwriting appointment with my friends Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard where we finished up a song we had started a few weeks earlier. That’s always fun…to hang with those two creative folks. Jenny’s new single-video “Something To Complain About” is number 2 this week on the “newcomers” chart on CMT and we’re all hoping it might lift up to number one next week.

HITS AND GRINS And…I added another date to my performance calendar for “Hits & Grins”…a private corporate outing here in Nashville May 7…a Monday at 12:30 in the afternoon at the Opryland Hotel. Love that. Always enjoy being the entertainment at corporate functions for those who bring their business into Music City and want to entertain their clients and staff for a few days.

ENCOURAGING NEWS I saw a story that claims pasta will not make you fat. Really? Well…since I’m doing a little tour in Italy in late September-first of October…I’m going to choose to believe this big time. I’m hoping to see that gelato has been added to that little list soon.

UH…DO YOU WANT THIS? Science folks say we may be able to video tape our dreams some day. Really? I remember very little about my dreams. At least 95% of the time I wake up and couldn’t tell if I dreamed anything or not. My wife can wake up and write a movie in intricate detail about hers…she always remembers.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want my dreams…or hers recorded. If someone does record one and gets it out to the public…I’m more than prepared to claim “Fake Dreams” “Fake Dreams”!

The news is not the only thing that can be faked…he said with some slight confidence.

TODAY I have a little writing to do for New York…but then my day kind of clears up. So…I’ll have time to either get to the gym…or dust the cobwebs off my thigh-master and go crazy.

I think I did dream about using my thigh-master last night. See…nobody needs to see my dreams.

Have a great Wednesday!

Lotta Writing Going On Round Here

BILL BLOG Tuesday April 3, 2018

I stepped out of the house this morning a tad before 5 AM and it felt balmy. Tomorrow…the temp drops like 20 degrees. And so it do go.

YESTERDAY I wrote for a second time with Chadley Brassfield and his wife Jessie Pennington Brassfield. Chadley and his brother Bradley and now Jessie all play together in a trio called Brassfield Aly and the three of them stay busy writing and performing. And it looks like they’re going to be really busy this summer out on the road.

So we gathered in their condo…Jessie went out to her car and retrieved her piano and set it up…so it sounded like a small band as we wrote a new song. Chadley had been listening to the latest John Mayer CD and wanted to write something in that vein…so we tackled a thought he had for that and walked away with a cool new song.

Once again…upon leaving…I quietly thought to myself how much crazy talent…young talent is in this town. A very fun day writing with them.

THE REST OF MONDAY… Well…my Reds were on TV…so I got to watch the last few innings of their game against the Cubs…and we got our first win of the year 1-0! And then last night I watched quite a bit of the NCAA Championship game where Villanova pretty much proved why they were ranked as the best team…easily beating Michigan to claim the crown. Nope…I didn’t see Sister Jean anywhere in the crowd…how bout you?

IRELAND And…I was a listening ear for my wife and she’s doing the legwork for our upcoming trip to Ireland in late May. It’s getting closer. We’re knee deep in to figuring how how to rent a car, and drive on the other side of the narrow roads of Ireland. This…will be an adventure. We’re checking our insurance policy big time.

My daughter Heather is getting married there…but we are staying for a week to make it our first European vacation ever. We’ll check the green and the coast and the seafood that my Irish music friend tells me is off the hook good if you’re near the coastline. And we should be able to make a day trip or two to Belfast and Dublin.

My big job so far has been downloading an online book or two to read on the long flight over.

HEADLINE OF THE DAY “Mom Used Taser On Son To Wake Him Up For Church”. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition…literally.

Now…growing up…we were in church…a LOT. I’m grateful they did not have taser guns back then. Although the ole cast iron skillet over the head to get me out of bed was no bargain either.

TODAY Off to finish a song with Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard today. Jenny’s career is in overdrive right now…as her new single is getting some “love” on CMT…”Something To Complain About”. I’m happy always to write with those two creative folks…and root like crazy for Jenny’s career to blossom.

Should be a fun day at the office.

Have a great Monday!

Still Winter...and Seflie Museum

BILL BLOG Monday April 2, 2018

March is gone…hello April.

THE WEEKEND Easter Sunday and all was quiet…not a “peep” literally. And looking out my window over the newly cut grass that runs down to Old Hickory Lake…not one Easter egg to be found. Sigh. Makes me wonder if the Easter bunny has a “naughty” and “nice” list too?

And even though it’s Spring…Winter just won’t give up completely. A high of 61 here today…then 80 tomorrow but only 55 on Tuesday for a high with a low of 35. Good grief. Meanwhile back in my home state they had snow yesterday…some kind of cruel April Fools joke. And for the Yankees Opening Day ballgame in NYC? Snow. Play snowball!

SOME NICE WORDS It was nice reading this ARTICLE from a leading bluegrass publication about the song I co-wrote with Karen Taylor Good that Darin & Brooke Aldridge released over Easter weekend about a baptism. They did such a great job with the song…and it’s available digitally right now everywhere. iTunes, Spotify…you name it. As a songwriter, it’s gratifying to read the words of the artists…and how the song affected them when they first heard it. Click on the article link and check it out…and certainly seek out the song. A blessing for sure.

NOT FORGETTING HER ROOTS Taylor Swift surprised everyone and showed up the Holy Grail for songwriters…the Bluebird Café over the weekend. So even though she’s become a pop Princess…she has not forgotten her roots…or the fun of being in a small acoustic environment. Very cool…and what a treat for those who had a ticket but had no idea. I tell folks coming to town all the time to get advance tickets for the Bluebird…one of the great treats in this town.

GROWING Yep…Nashville is still growing. Proof comes from this new stat…we are now the 3rd highest in the country for job growth. And it’s not all pickers and singers. Lots of tech folks moving to town. My guess is…some of them pick and sing too.

DO WE NEED THIS? There is now a SELFIE MUSEUM in LA. Seriously. I have no idea what’s in there…can only guess. I do know that the whole selfie phenomenon is what motivated me to write “Get Over Your Selfie” that I sing out a lot…and was included on the “Hits & Grins” 2 CD that I co-wrote with Amanda Williams one day. We sat on the porch at the Nashville Songwriters Association building (which used to be the old studios Alabama and Harold Shedd owned once and literally cracked ourselves up as we wrote it.

The chorus goes: Get over you selfie Step away from that phone Get out in the real world go make some friends You won’t feel so alone Hey everybody’s sick of the way You keep click, click, clickin’ all day Get a little self-helpie And get over your selfie

They should put our song in the danged museum!

TODAY Off to write with Chadley Bradley…yep…real name. He’s part of a duo Brassfield Aly…two brothers who make great music together. Looking forward to that.

Then…my Reds who are off to an 0-3 start on are TV. I was planning on skipping the game and going to the gym after my co-writing session…but my disability won’t allow me. I’m sure you understand.

Have a great Monday!

Easter Weekend

BILL BLOG Friday March 30, 2018

And…it’s Easter weekend. The only time of year that folks walk up to a counter and ask, “do you have any Peeps”?

YESTERDAY My Thursday started with a co-write with Steve Dean and Daisy Mallory. Steve and I have a standing every other Thursday co-write session and we often invite a third person-writer-artist into the mix. We had not seen our young friend Daisy for a long while so it was really great to see her again and catch up on her life. Since I saw and wrote with her last…she got married and became a member of Lori Morgan’s band traveling all around the country now playing guitar and singing harmony for Lori. So we got to hear some great stories. Hearing how she got to play the Opry for the first time…and it was at the Ryman just made me feel great for her. Daisy is one of those talented young folks who here that you just root for so hard because not only are they very talented…they’re just great folks.

And to top it off…Daisy brought in a really cool idea that we wrote and will record the next time we all see each other in May.

GETTING’ THE IRISH ON We’re off to Ireland in a few weeks for my daughter’s wedding. So last night she, my wife and me went out to a great little Irish place in town where our friend Colm Kirwan holds court musically and joined some other friends to hear Irish-Celtic music. Colm is from Northern Ireland where we are all headed in May so we can pick his brains about all things Irish.

We’ll be just north of Belfast and after vows are exchanged we’ll have some time to see the countryside and at Colm’s suggestion…we’ll make a day trip to Dublin to see the Guinness factory and the Titanic Museum which he tells us is pretty spectacular.

It was great hearing Colm perform again and hearing the good news that he’s going to work some for Rory Feek who of course was half of Joey and Rory before Rory passed way too young from cancer.

So it was good to spend some time with Colm again and some friends of ours who shared a long table and good time. It’s almost impossible not to have a good time when Irish music is coming off the stage. Infectious to say the least.

I’M GOING UNDER The song I helped write about a baptism is being released today by Darin & Brooke Aldridge. Co-written with Karen Taylor Good (who wrote “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye”) by Patty Loveless and was inspired by Rylee Jean Scott’s personal statement of getting baptized…”I’m Going Under”!....this song I believe is going to touch a lot of lives.

On their Facebook page today Darin and Brooke detailed how you can download the song…and wrote a personal wonderful note about the message of the song…their own personal interpretation.

I’ve written songs now…a LOT of songs over the last 12 years or so in this town. If you do anything long enough…you come to know the difference in good songs and special songs. This one for me is very special and I could see it being used in churches at baptisms to move folks hearts.

You take a listen…and decide for yourself. Thank you Darin and Brooke for recording this…and to my great friend Linda Davis for her recording of it too.

THE WEEKEND Well…it is Easter weekend…I hope you have a blessed one.

Home In Twang Town

BILL BLOG Thursday March 29, 2018

Home in Nashville where the potholes have all been filled with water.

YESTERDAY I made it home from Gulf Shores…about an 8 hour drive or so with stops and the timing worked out perfectly for me to swing by the airport to pick up my daughter who was completing another round of flights for American Airlines…so that was kind of cool. And then we both unpacked our bags at home. So…all settled in back in Music City after a weeks worth of writing songs on the beach.

And this morning? Pretty good rainfall happening and apparently it will linger through Easter around here meaning the ole Easter bunny will be getting a wet tuckus when he lays his eggs on the lawns this weekend.

GOOD MUSIC NEWS I’m excited that song I wrote with Karen Taylor Good is coming out tomorrow by Darin and Brooks Aldridge who recorded a song about a baptism that Karen and I wrote inspired by something Lang Scott and Linda Davis Scott’s youngest daughter said to her older sister about her upcoming baptism a few years ago…”I’m Going Under”. As you can see…the promotional art work is very cool and tomorrow all the info will come out on how to buy/listen to the song that I do think has a chance to really move some souls and hearts. So proud to be part of this song…and thank you Darin and Brooke for loving it this much.

PLAY BALL It is a GOOD day today…Opening Day baseball! Weather is going to postpone some games I’m sure as it did for my Reds yesterday as they had too much rain in Cincinnati. So I’ll be spending some time glancing at some of those games today after my writing appointment. And before ya know it…I’ll be sitting in a ballpark somewhere. Yes…I am an admitted baseball nut…but I only go to so many ballparks because of their great health food selections. Uh uh.

CONGRATS I do want to say congrats to Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West and Johnny Gimble who are all going into the Country Music Hall of Fame…and all deserve the honor. The great fiddle player Mr. Gimble…Dottie West…long overdue…and Ricky Skaggs is a complete no brainer with his constant contributions that continue today.

Ricky produced the Hillary Scott and Scott Family album “Love Remains” last year that won a Grammy that has a song I helped write. And his amazing catalog of country hits, and bluegrass hits…his gospel influence…his musicianship…like I said…”no brainer”. Congrats to all.

HEADLINE OF THE DAY “Butt Lifting Underwear Isn’t Just For Women”. I’m pretty sure I fall in the camp of those who would rather just “plant” their butts as opposed to “lifting” them.

TODAY I’m back at the songwriting table with my friends Steve Dean and Daisy Mallory. Daisy I have not seen for a bit as she’s been out on the road with Lori Morgan a bunch…so it’s going to be great fun seeing her and catching up on her life as we rhyme something today.

Have a great Thursday!

Adios Gulf Shores

BILL BLOG Wednesday March 28, 2018

On the road home this morning. I’m just north of Montgomery, Alabama off I-65 headed back to Nashville.

GULF SHORES Well…if a cluttered office leads to a cluttered mind…my mind and that of my friend Mr. Burns were plenty cluttered over the past few days in Gulf Shores. We got a lot of songwriting done…some of which will make it onto Brent’s next album that we will start serious work on come June. Three beach tunes, and two funny songs are now added to his stack of songs.

My thanks to Brent for taking good care of me. Always great working and hanging with him and seeing old friend on the Gulf Coast.

So…short blog this morning as I’m anxious to get home to my wife and a return to my semi-normal life.

Have a great Wednesday!