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Bill Whyte / Blog

Celebrity Singers and a Showcase Night

BILL BLOG Wednesday October 4, 2017

Yep...pretty much on fumes this morning...but so worth it.

YESTERDAY It truly was one of those kind of days that made me glad again to be part of this great music community that is Nashville. It started early when I joined a bunch of celebrities that included the likes of Linda Davis, Ray Stevens, LeRoy Parnell, Leslie Satcher, Janelle Arthur, Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys, my songwriter buddy Bobby Tomberlin and countless others. We sang on the chorus of a song that BJ Thomas recorded who of course was there that was written by Sandy Knox (who also penned "Does He Love You") for Reba and Linda that is about Houston. They are going to use this song-video to help raise money for Houston that was hit with that huge hurricane. So there I was...up on a riser of talented folks way above my pay grade singing that chorus over and over until they got what they needed. What a complete pleasure and honor to do this...and to be a small part of trying to do something good. Thank you BJ, Sandy Knox and Bobby Tomberlin for allowing me to participate yesterday. Memorable for sure.

ALBUM SHOWCASE Early yesterday evening I went to a studio-performance area that was once and old church that was converted into a new musical life. Think wooden pews....those remain. My friend Paul Bogart and a rockin' 5 piece band played songs off Paul's new project "Leather" to a "live" audience and he was just great. It was a chance to expose the music a bit to an industry crowd and friends and co-writers like me. I got to hear him do two of the three songs we wrote for this album..."All That Cowboy Jazz" which is the single...and then he did an encore that danged near made me cry. He got back up with just his guitar player and fiddle player and closed the night singing this little "Buckaroo Lullabye" which was a last last second idea that made the producers stop and add this little song about Paul and his wife singing to their young buckaroo named Jett...who was there last night...wearing his own cowboy hat like he owned it. So imagine that scene when you click on the link and listen to this little lullabye. So proud of this song...and of Paul. Great great job last night cowboy.

LATE NIGHT And then...I went straight from that to meeting my "Hits & Grins" partners in musical crime as we played a late night corporate show on the third floor of ACME Feed & Supply which overlooks the Cumberland River on Lower Broadway. This company was represented with employees from all over the world...and we did our best to entertain them last night. Our thanks to FPA...Financial Planning Association for having us for their big party...we had a blast. And thanks to those folks who bought our CD's to take back home with them. Enjoy.

So...now you know why I'm on fumes and lots of coffee this morning.

TODAY I got an "off" day of appointments...and I'm not complaining. The next two days however I'll be behind the WSM Radio microphone again as I'm on air from 10-3 both Thursday and Friday. If you want to listen in...you'll find the radio home of the Grand Ole Opry worldwide at wsmonline.com

Have a great Wednesday!

Music Crazy Tuesday

Gearing up for a very fun Music City kind of day.

YESTERDAY

Got a great Fall walk in after my writing appointment cancelled...turned in a "where is OJ"? parody song for my New York folks...and then last night my wife and I went to see the Timejumpers play at 3rd and Lindsley...one of the "Must Do" things one must do when you come to Nashville. Vince Gill and that All Star Band were incredible like always...and I made sure to pick up their new CD "Kid Sister" that was named after former member Dawn Sears...and incredible female country vocalist who died of a cancer a couple of years ago. Her husband Kenny is one of three fiddle players in this highly awarded ensemble of musicians and he is still front and center.

But our real reason to go last night was to show support for my Okie pal pictured here...Paul Bogart who I write a lot with. Vince Gill is an Okie too...so Paul and he have that tie that Vince mentioned before introducing Paul who got up with the band and sang a Roger Miller classic "King Of The Road". Pretty big deal if you're a true country singer like Paul...and I'm happy to say he looked right at home. Congrats Paul!

VEGAS

Vince was dressed in black when he hit the stage and that's because he had just come from a Music Vigil that he and his wife Amy Grant sang at along with Keith Urban and others before a gathering of folks who gathered to bow their heads at the insanity of what happened in Vegas. The number of dead and injured seem to keep growing.

I've said it before...you can't put a wall around the world...and no one can stop a person who wants to go crazy. You have to continue you life...you have to live. I told a friend half jokingly yesterday that I plan on dying before someone can kill me. And in the process...I'll live a full life. What are the other choices?

One man...one crazy man. But that guy does not represent all the good folks. Those folks lined up for hours yesterday in Vegas to give blood as well as around the country. Those folks in Vegas gave 2 million dollars in a very short time for the victims...and for healing. Those folks took a knee and said a prayer...and shed a few tears. Those folks covered other folks under a hail of fire...and at least one husband died that way...saving his wife. You can not stop insanity.

THE MUSIC COMMUNITY

Of course our music community was rocked by this. A lot of country stars were there...many ducking for cover. And almost every person who plays music at "live" events must have thought..."that could have been me". There are lots and lots of conversations going on today about the future of performing "live". That won't stop. But I'm guessing if you bought stock in security companies and bodyguard companies...your stock just soared.

TODAY Huge busy day. This morning I'm singing with Ray Stevens, Brenda Lee, Jan Howard, Duane Allen and about 43 other folks on a song BJ Thomas has recorded to raise money for his hometown of Houston that was hit with the massive hurricane. This will be a pleasure and an honor for sure.

At 6 pm Paul Bogart is having an album party for his new CD "Leather" that I have three songs on...so that will be fun.

And then a 9:30-11:30 pm corporate show with my "Hits and Grins" trio at Acme Feed & Supply on Lower Broadway. Whew...busy Tuesday.

Have a great Tuesday yourself.

Vegas...and Full Music Day

BILL BLOG Monday October 2, 2017

I can tell the Fall season is on us because my walks have gotten noisier from the sound of leafs crunching under my walking shoes.

THE WEEKEND Pretty quiet around here which is probably a good thing as I look at how busy this week is going to be. Three writing appointments, two shifts on WSM, a corporate show tomorrow with my "Hits & Grins" trio as well as some studio time tomorrow morning singing in an All Star Choir behind BJ Thomas on a song designed to help raise money for those affected in Houston and tonight my wife and I are staying up late to see our friend Paul Bogart get up and sing with the world famous Timejumpers at 3rd & Lindsley. And add to that an upcoming show this Saturday night at Puckett's in Franklin, TN with songwriter friends Brady Seals and Bobby Tomberlin and you can understand why I was glad to get in a couple of walks this weekend and sit back lazily an watch some football.

VEGAS Certainly...like everyone else waking up on this second day of October my thoughts are with those affected in Las Vegas. Insanity. Country starts Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and others who were singing are okay...but you can only imagine how they...and those affected with the loss of loved one's must feel this morning trying to make sense of senselessness that has become a way of life it seems. Much debate will follow. Gun control arguments will pop up again...more security discussions about concerts...but in the end...the truth is no one can control this kind of insanity. One man...one gun...one senseless moment and one very sad day.

AMERICAN IDOL The judge’s panel is now set for the re-boot of this show. Lionel Ritchie joins Luke Bryan and Katy Perry. I dunno. I hate to say it...but I think they could use another Simon Cowell type personality to put a little spark in what's going here. What about using Jeff Dunham's character "Walter"? That...I would watch.

RETIRING? Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville retirement communities might be the spot you wanna land. Shorts, flip flops, sunscreen, beach music, palm trees and cereal bowls are filled with rum. Or they should be. One great iconic song "Margaritaville" has launched an empire for everyone's favorite son of the beach. I'm pretty sure that my song "Goin' Ugly Early" will not be used as a theme for retirement homes and communities...but one never knows.

GUITARS AND AIRPORTS When you fly out of Nashville Airport...which is on the way to a big expansion that will include huge entrance in the shape of a guitar...you do see lots of folks with guitars strapped to their backs headed to shows all across the country and world. We will have a non-stop to London very soon...and it looks like 3 or 4 more international one stop flights are on the way. With that...our airport will undergo a 1.2 BILLION dollar expansion with a hotel nearby. Man is this city growing. I'm hoping

TODAY A very full Monday. I'll try and write a funny parody song this morning for my New York folks...and Lord knows the world could use a smile this morning. Then I'm off to write with Jenny Tolman who just played a big concert in New Orleans...the "Big Easy". I'm sure she was thoughtful enough to bring home some beignets to share with me while we rhyme today. Right?

Then tonight my wife and I will get to hear our friend Paul Bogart get up and sing with the Timejumpers tonight which will really be a treat. I'm extremely happy for the success Paul is having with his great new CD "Leather" featuring the single we wrote together with Zach Runquist "All That Cowboy Jazz". It's fun being along for this musical ride.

Have a great Monday!

Bluegrass Awards To Friends

BILL BLOG Friday September 29, 2017

Cooler still this morning in Nashville. In fact...I see a couple of deer out in our front yard wearing leg warmers already.

YESTERDAY Well...I got to spend time with a couple of great songwriters on Music Row...Wynn Varble and Gerald Smith. Both of those guys have had a lot of songs recorded...and some number one's along the way. So I'm in that room hoping some of that will rub off on me. Both of those guys are gifted at being funny...and both can also write very funny songs. Gerald co-wrote "Where There's A Will There's A Relative" And Wynn has to own up to writing this "Jackass" song. So if ya need a laugh this morning...click on the links.

We got a start on a song yesterday...leaving a lot of work to be done. But...the time we spent together talking and laughing was priceless as always. We've got a couple more dates on the book...and I'm looking forward to moving the little idea we have along to completion.

CONGRATS I do wanna congratulate some bluegrass friends this morning. Darin & Brooke Aldridge who have been kind enough to record 4 of my songs through the years had a big day at the IBMA (big bluegrass convention). Darin won the award for "Mentor Of The Year"....helping a lot of young bluegrass musicians improve their licks...and Brooke won Female Vocalist Of The Year! So awesome. I'm thinking this will draw more attention to these two who are extremely nice folks...and talented. Here's one EXAMPLE of Brooke's beautiful voice singing a tune that Lisa Shaffer and I wrote one day. So happy for you two!

And Shawn Camp won Male Vocalist of the year and that too is deserving. I write a lot with his girlfriend Lauren Mascitti who is also talented...and I'm sure she was beaming when Shawn picked up the trophy.

And congrats once again to my young friend Caroline Gallagher who got some exposure at the convention singing some of our songs on the big stage...her first time to get to do that and I know she's excited.

I'm not sure how I wound up getting circled by so many talented bluegrass folks...but I like it...and the music a lot.

CHANGE OF SEASON That will bring about a lot of Octoberfests. I've got my thumbs ready to stick under my armpits to go "chicken dancing". Hard to hold a big stein of beer while you have two thumbs under pits. I'm practicing. Speaking of which...scientists have confirmed what we've kind of known all along by officially telling us that yes...beer makes us happy. And with Octoberfest on us...look for a lot of happy happy folks. And yes...it will take several steins of beer to convince me that I have the legs to wear lederhosen. Uh...no.

SURVEY SAYS 58% of Americans think the world is going to hell in a handbasket. I'm going out and buying stock in handbaskets later today. I covered that thought in this song "Can I Get An Amen" several years ago...so I guess that means I'm ahead of my time?

TODAY Off to write with Wes Loper...one of those guys who plays a lot on the beaches...wherever sand is found. He's from Mobile...wears a cowboy hat and is pretty danged good. So we'll see what we can come up with today that might make sense and rhyme...hopefully.

THE WEEKEND And it's the weekend! And I have nothing on my calendar which means...my "honey do" list is probably going to have to be addressed. Sigh. I have got to start booking more shows on the weekends.

Have a great one yourself.

Song Explosion On The Row

BILL BLOG Thursday September 28, 2017

Just 77 for a high today...no complaints...not one.

YESTERDAY A song that got started in Arizona a few weeks ago with a friend John Carpino...got finished yesterday in the "Hank" writing room at Sony Publishing with my friends Paul Bogart and Gerald Smith. John had a great song title pop out of his mouth while we were both working one day on the Grand Canyon Railway. He didn't hear it...but I did and drew his attention to it mentioning it could be a song. I took a couple of stabs at it...so did John...but my instincts proved to be right yesterday when I shared our idea with Paul and Gerald. They too loved the idea and we wrote it to completion. A stone country cool song if I do say so. And the best part was getting a note back from John out in AZ telling me how much he loved the finished product. So we have a writers from Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia and Missouri all on this one little country song. Pretty cool day at the office.

A SCARE We did have weird moment while we were writing this tune 3 floors up off of Music Row. It sounded like a BOMB went off right under us...followed by a girls scream. What the...? Turns out that right across the street Richard Branson is building on of his Virgin Hotels and the crew set off a dynamite blast. The girl was writing in another room just down from us. Wow. Folks in building all the time knew they were doing that...but the word did not get passed to the songwriters obviously. So a little excitement was added to the rhyming for sure.

PAUL BOGART My friends song "All That Cowboy Jazz" that we wrote with Zach Runquist is getting a little attention. GAC just started playing the video yesterday...so keep your eyes open. There are some nice reviews and articles coming out on it too...and Paul will sing with the world famous Time Jumpers this coming Monday night....Vince Gill included in this All Star Band at 3rd and Lindsley that wow country music lovers every Monday night. This is a perfect fit for Paul who sings the kinds of songs the Time Jumpers play. Certainly I'll be there to root my friend on. He has a big showcase Tuesday evening for the new album "Leather" that I will have to miss because I'm playing at Alan Jackson's place on Lower Broadway at that same time for a corporate gig. Yes...I'm pretty sick about having to miss that but I'll certainly be there in spirit.

And...one more piece of good news for my friend. He shared a picture of a new baby on the way! He and his wife Tonya's second Buckaroo. It makes our song "Buckaroo Lullabye" that's also on his CD even more special. Click on the link and listen...you'll understand why. So congrats to them!

TODAY Back at a writing table today with Gerald Smith and Wyn Varble. Wyn many many hit songs to his credit including "Waiting On A Woman" by Brad Paisley but is also one funny funny guy with a cowboy hat. He also wrote "Have You Forgotten" so I'm sure he'll have some pointed opinions today if we talk about all the "kneeling" going on. The last time we wrote a classic..."That's How Country Music Gets A Bad Rap". So...this is bound to be a good day.

Have a great Thursday yourself.

Cavalia Show

BILL BLOG Wednesday September 27, 2017

Last "Hump Day" of September...and the last day of real heat for awhile. I love love the cooler days of Fall...but really hate that the days are starting to get shorter as the leaves turn and drop.

LAST NIGHT My wife, daughter, a fried of ours and myself went to see the big Cirque show called "Cavalia" which took place under this elaborate tent you see here. We've seen maybe three "Cirque" shows through the years...loved everyone of them. For this one which was near the Opryland Hotel...all we really knew was there was going to be horses involved. And there were...lots and lots of beautiful stallions and riders and trainers. Along with that went aerial artists, gymnasts, drummers, tumbling folks, acrobats, incredible "live" music and backdrops and sceneries. Certainly there were a lot of "did you see what I saw? moments" during the show. I think this is the 4th Cirque show I've been too...all very unique to themselves...always entertaining. And I appreciate how their production team chooses to use "live" music with incredible vocalists and musicians as opposed to using track. It just adds another degree of "special" to these shows.

HELPING HOUSTON I mentioned here yesterday that I will be part of an All Star Choir backing up artist B. J. Thomas (yes..."Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head") recording a song in studio October 3 that will be used to help those who suffered from Hurricane Harvey in Houston which is B.J's hometown. So certainly this will be an honor to help in a small way. My thanks again to my friend Bobby Tomberlin for making this happen and to songwriter Sandy Knox who is pulling this together. Sandy has written hits for Reba, Dionne Warwick, Neil Diamond and wrote the Grammy winning duet my friend Linda Davis sang with Reba "Does He Love You". CHECK THIS APP

Now we have an app that will let you hire someone to stand in line for you. Trying to get tickets to a popular "Cirque" show? There ya go. Wonder if that app will let me get someone to stand all day in the DMV line? I'm sure their picture on my license has got to be better looking than mine.

TODAY I'm off to write with my friend Paul Bogart and Gerald Smith today. I've written with both separately many times...but this is our first time writing as a trio. Gerald used to write for George Strait's publishing company back in the day...and Paul is a George Strait type of artist who's proving it with his new album and this single we wrote together "All That Cowboy Jazz". I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes today.

Have a great Wednesday!

Songs And Horses

It's taking it's sweet time but Fall temps are on the way. A high of just 74 predicted this Sunday.

YESTERDAY I wrote a couple of songs yesterday...one being a parody about Luke Bryan being named one of the judges this year for American Idol. I posted yesterday that he will join Kelly Clarkson...that was wrong. Katy Perry is the other judge with one more to be named. Kelly Clarkson who of course was the first American Idol winner ever will be a judge on "The Voice". You figure that out. Either way...I think I've for the most part been oversaturated with talent shows period on TV. There's just more important quality things I want to watch these days like "The Bachelor".

A TRUCK My second song was one that I completed with my Georgia co-writer young Matt Rogers. We wrote at Matt's house yesterday and he showed me around. Matt's a pretty good guitar player and has all the latest toys and gadgets to prove it. Toys for Boys as we like to call it...and it was cool seeing some of the new gadgetry...although those kind of electronics are a bit above my pay scale. I still struggle with a four slice toaster and getting it to work right.

We did finish the tune...but the best part of the day was hearing how Matt drove is Dodge pickup truck somewhere...got out and a lady approached him and asked about his truck. Her son wanted one and she wanted to buy his. Matt laughed and said he wasn't interested but the lady kept insisting and finally said, "come on...what's your price"? The truck had well over 150,000 miles on it so Matt thought wha the heck...and gave her a very high price for it. She didn't blink...wrote him a check. Her son got a used truck...Matt took the money and brought a brand new one that was sitting in the drive when I pulled up. Lady...if you are reading this...I have an old Toyota RAV with 160,000 miles I'll be happy to sell ya.

SPEAKING OF STORIES My friend and co-writer Bobby Tomberlin went to Gatlinburg last weekend to that A-Frame cabin I've blogged about before that Audrey Williams (Hank's ex) once owned where she and Hank Jr. spent a lot of time. Bobby opens the door and notices stuff scattered...calls the owners who call the police and sure enough they find some dude they arrest naked in the place...wanted in Florida. Yikes. The window had been smashed out...and black bears were nosing around. Yikes. That will make for a good story when we play together at Puckett's coming up October 7 in Franklin, TN where our mutual friend Brady Seals of Little Texas fame will also join us on stage. It's an 8:30 pm show that night.

AN HONOR And my friend Bobby has invited me to join a choir of celebs to sing in part of an All Star Chorus for a worthy cause that I'll talk about soon that B.J. Thomas is going to sing the lead on. I'll be in a choir with Bobby, Duane Allen of the Oaks, maybe LIttle Richard (wow), the group Take Six, Jan Howard and others. Just an honor to be invited...so thank you Bobby for teeing this one up. We will be in studio October 3 to do this.

TODAY Well...my writing appointment was cancelled so I have the day to catch up on some things...and then tonight I'm taking my daughter and wife to see what is surely an amazing show called "Cavallia" that has a run under a mammoth white tent near the Opryland Hotel. Think horses in a Cirque De Soleil kind of show. I'm waiting for Cirque to train cats to do this. I'd buy tickets for that.

Have a great Tuesday!

Great Music Weekend

BILL BLOG Monday September 25, 2017

Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, a shooting in a church in Nashville, the President saying "SOB" and folks kneeling while the National Anthem plays. If you've ever wondered why this blog is mostly an attempt to be humorous...well...there ya go. We could use some relief from the real news. Or as my great writer friend out in Arizona Roger Naylor said on his Facebook page over the weekend, "Desperate times calls for bouts of hooky".

THE WEEKEND I got a little this weekend starting Friday night to see a young co-writer friend of mine Caroline Gallagher do a set with an acoustic guitar player. She's getting ready to release an album soon that I found out will be titled after a song I wrote with Lisa Shaffer and Amy Lewis that's titled "Old Soul In New Boots". So there's some good news. Caroline is from North Carolina and has bluegrass-American roots planted deep in her soul. It was a treat for me to hear her do 5 or six songs we wrote together...many of which will be on this album. And...this week she will be back in her home state to perform at the International Bluegrass gathering that will give her and our songs some bigger exposure. Got my fingers crossed for her.

MR. CAMP Then Saturday night my wife and I went to the world famous Station Inn that was sold out as Shawn Camp had put together an all star bluegrass band to perform. Another co-writer of mine Lauren Mascitti invited us to sneak in so we did...and STOOD for the entire set. Not a seat to be had. But...it was worth it as Shawn just tore it up. Shawn's one of my favorite writer-performers in this town who's written a lot of songs that have been recorded including "Two Pina Colada's" for Garth. And his girlfriend Lauren? She's the real deal too. She's going in studio soon to record 4 or 5 songs and there will be one that the two of us wrote with Wil Nance that will make this project...so...more good news. I need to get out more often.

NEW DATES I've added a new date coming up October 7 at Puckett's in Franklin, TN. It's a great listening room with great food...a Saturday night show that will start at 8:30 pm. My talented songwriter friends Wil Nance and Bobby Tomberlin will join me on stage. Do call for a reservation as they routinely sell out on Saturday nights. And for more info go to my calendar here on my website.

EVENING IN THE ROUND And...we're close to announcing a new date or two for our "Evening In The Round" trio with Linda Davis, Lang Scott and me. Yes..it's been awhile but for good reason. Linda is still on the Kenny Rogers farewell tour and she and her husband Lang, daughter HIllary and Riley Jean are still promoting their Grammy award winning album "Love Remains" that I was blessed to have a song on. So for those of you who have been asking me? Hang on...hopefully we'll have some new opportunities next year for you to come out and see this show that I'm proud to be a part of.

LUKE Luke Bryan is going to be a judge on the newly rebooted version of "American Idol". He'll join Kelly Clarkson and one other judge to be named. I can only hope it will make this little parody song I helped write with Cledus T. Judd and Colt Ford and Chris Clark “Luke Bryan” that’s on You Tube...even more popular.

TODAY Off to write with my Georgia friend Matt Rogers as we're trying to finish up a tune we started on a couple months ago.

Have a great Monday!

Hello Fall

BILL BLOG Friday September 22, 2017

Summer is gone...so why is it 90 degrees today in Nashville?

YESTERDAY I got a little tour of Huntsville, Alabama and it's history yesterday with my friend Jim McBride who was part of the quartet of guys who made the trip to see the new Braves Stadium the night before...which was great fun. Jim grew up driving a mail truck there before Conway Twitty recorded a song of his which made him think he might could be a songwriter. His induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame next month will verify his suspicions were correct. It's always great to see how someone grew up...and what route they took to become successful. Again...my thanks to him and his two baseball buddies Mark and Benny for showing me such a good time.

HEATHER My daughter is up early this morning headed for coffee and just shared some photos she took of a Mother-Daughter duo here in town that look very cool in the smoke background my daughter came up with to give them some "different" looks. She's big time into her photography and is actually getting some work...including this session she just completed. But...it was not those pictures that caught my attention this morning it's the T-shirt Heather was wearing that says on the front, "My Head Says Gym But My Heart Says Taco". The apple don't fall far from the tree folks.

DOTARD Anyone else have to look up what that meant? For the past several days the lead story for most papers and online publications has been about hurricanes. Today Kim Jong Dumb and his "dotard" line and latest threats got the lead...hurricanes were the second lead. I'm not sure which is more scary right now. Which is why I flipped quickly to the comic section of my newspaper this morning.

ONLY IN NASHVILLE Songwriter Trey Bruce...who I know a little has come up with a cool tourist idea for Nashville. A songwriter bus. They built a stage on it...elevated it so everyone can see and lit it...and riders seats are turned to face it...and you get a two hour ride with songwriters performing while you tour Music City. You can't turn around in this town without bumping into someone who's singing and wearing a guitar...so there's lots of writers Trey can choose from. There are all sorts of tours in this town on wheels...this is the latest. Something to add to your list of things to experience next time you come to town.

TODAY Off to write with Jenny Tolman and her producer boyfriend Dave Brainard this morning. Jenny's album is finished and the first single is just starting to roll out on iTunes and getting some play on XM..."Stripper For A Week". Clever song...designed by title to get her some attention before they roll out a more mainstream second song. I have a small part on her album "Jennyville" where I play a weather man that they seem to love and that's good to hear. So...it will be fun to catch up and hear their excitement as what's going on with her career today...and star work on a new song for her growing catalog. Got my fingers crossed for this extremely nice young lady for sure.

THE WEEKEND Nothing big...football games an catching up on the PBS Vietnam series by Ken Burns which so far is terrific, informative, educational and entertaining all at the same time. Hard to watch sometimes...but I'm all in.

Have a great weekend!

Atlanta Trip

BILL BLOG Thursday September 21, 2017

Goodbye Summer.

YESTERDAY On the next to last day of Summer I took a baseball trip to see the new stadium of the Braves. And yesterday was VERY summer like with temps in the mid to upper 80's.

My friend Jim McBride who is entering the Songwriters Hall Of Fame next month invited me to join him and a couple of buddies on this little overnight. One of his friends is Benny Hale who is a retired electrician and the other is Sports Writer Mark McCarter...both from Jim's home area of Huntville. So I joined Jim at his house and then went to meet two other baseball addicts much like me. Great guys. Our entire trip to Atlanta was filled with baseball and sports talk and all had great stories to tell and memories of their favorite players, teams, stadiums and more. Mark has covered every sporting event in his lifetime including the Olympics in Bejing. Amazing stories from te press box and he recently wrote a book I'm going to nab this morning when we return to his house...before I leave for Nashville.

We got a hotel close enough to walk to the new park which is surrounded with condos, restaurants, entertainment places and more...sort of like it's own city. It reminded me a bit of what Cincinnati has done around it's ballpark with it's "Banks" project. Very cool.

We grabbed some seats at a place just outside the gates to have cold one's and chicken wings that had peanut butter for a dipping sauce. That's a new on. BBQ sauce mixed with peanut butter. The guys told me it was "interesting"...I went plain as always. No self respecting chicken would allow it's wing to be dipped into Peanut Butter...I think.

Thumbs up for the park. We circled most of it inside...saw their World Series trophies, some historical pictures and a great statue of Hammerin' Hank Aaron.

And my favorite place to eat? Just on name sake itself...this "Intentional Wok" was hard to beat. Mark actually had to point it out to me to make sure I didn't miss the joke. Funny for sure. I found out just because it has that name it is not okay to "steal" the food. I would have gotten way with it but I didn't take a big enough lead.

Our seats were down the right field line...so we kept our eyes open for screaming line drives. I'll do that even more after seeing the story of the young lady that got hit with a 105 mph shot last night at Yankee Stadium. I'm hoping she will be okay...and I'm thinking MLB may want to extend their protective screens.

Overall...a really really nice stadium. Comfortable...great sight lines...and I'd come back again for sure someday with it being only 5 ours from home.

After last nights game between the Braves and Nationals...the Nats won in the late innings...I have six Major League Parks left to go. Both NY stadiums, Minnesota, Detroit, Frisco and Seattle. I'm getting there. I'm going to have to add something new on my bucket list soon. My thanks to Jim for making this happen. We're grabbin breakfast in a few...then I head back home with some more baseball memories tucked in my bag.

DOLLY I got some unexpected good news yesterday when my friend and artist Becky Blackaby from Missouri told me our little tribute to Dolly Parton song "I Love Dolly" just entered the Australian charts at 35! What a nice surprise. I do love this little song...and I'm happy that Becky is getting a little international atttention with this tune we wrote. Congrats!

TODAY Back to Nashville this morning. It is the last day of summer...soak it up.

Have a great Thursday!