BILL BLOG Friday March 3, 2017 First weekend of March. Bring it on. YESTERDAY Started with a writing appointment with Paul Bogart and Dan Wilson. Dan being from the trio "Mama Dear" and Paul being from...well...Paul. Mama Dear has a completed EP that they are now hoping helps attract attention from some record labels...and Paul is getting close to having his new album ready for market too. He and I have a couple of songs together on this project that I can't wait to hear. Both good writers...great singers...and they play well too. Makes my job of sitting in the writing room with them and holding up my end of the bargain by just trying to look pretty. This was a pretty remarkable write as we sat down and talked a long time...and Paul played a little uptempo head bobbing kind of song that he liked...and we thought we would just go down that kind of road...when out of nowhere words started spilling out that took us in another very fun direction and that ended with all of use smiling when it was completed. It's a "different" kind of thought and song I think...and those are always my favorites. Truly enjoyed being in their talented company again on Music Row. SHOW LAST NIGHT I got back to the house in time to pack a guitar case and change before heading back downtown for a 6 pm show at the Listening Room Cafe with "Hits & Grins". We had a great turnout with tourist who were from all over the country and the world for that matter. Australia, Canada, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, Milwaukee Wisconsin where I lived for awhile. Just a great group of folks to entertain last night. Thanks for coming an filling up the room with applause and laughter...and thanks for buying our CD's too! The next "Hits & Grins" show will be a little three city run. March 16 in Hot Springs, Arkansas at the Five Star Dinner Theater. March 17....St. Patty's Day...we'll be playing in an Irish Pub in Little Rock...Steve Dean's hometown. Khalil's Pub and Grill. And March 18 we play at Nelson's Music City Theater just outside Farmington, Missouri. Details and ticket info is available on all these dates in my calendar at billwhytecomedy.com
LOOKING AHEAD I just found out a few minutes ago that I'll be doing the morning show at WSM Radio for the entire week of March 20. 5:30-10 AM each morning working with Charlie Mattos from the "Coffee Country & Cody" show as regular host Bill Cody takes some vacation time. This should be a hoot. And we'll have some special guests all that week to "live" in studio. So make plans to listen in some if you can from anywhere at wsmonline.com. And don't forget...you can download the WSM radio app for free on your smart device and then just hit the app and listen from anywhere. TODAY Well...my wife and I were making plans to be gone about half an hour from now
BILL BLOG Thursday March 2, 2017 Nice to wake up and see the sun over Old Hickory Lake this morning after tornado watches, lighting and more yesterday morning. We'll take the calm! WSM It's a habit...giving the weather. Years of doing that on the radio and I did a lot it last night as I was on WSM filling in for Eddie Stubbs last night from 7-Midnight. I had fun. Besides being blessed to work every now and then at the radio station I dreamed of working at as a kid growing up in Missouri...I'm also blessed that they allow me to go in and just create a real show with no restrictions. And I did just that last night. I played a lot of album cuts, some personal favorites...some real oldies...played music by friends I work with and featured the new Alison Krauss CD "Windy City" which is chock full of country classics. Folks do listen from all over the world. And they holler at me on Facebook or e-mail or call. Long time talented friends...like Linda Davis texted me....Lisa Shaffer up in Kentucky was putting her babies to sleep so I played a great song of hers that's on the new Darin & Brooke Aldridge CD "Fear of Flying". What a pleasure to get to do that. My old boss Tim Closson at WUBE who just got word he's being inducted into the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame was listening as well as the guy who brought me on board at WSM ...Joe Limardi who's now running a cluster of stations out east. A writer friend in France was listening across the pond...and on and on. Even though I was in the studio all alone...it did not feel that way. Thanks to all of you who tuned in some last night. WRITING Earlier yesterday my writing appointment was with Ayla Brown and her friend Adam Ezra who was in town from out east to play some guitar on a John Oates recording session. Yes...of Hall & Oates. So...there was not need really for me to have brought a guitar. I know pretty quickly when I'm out of my league in the 6 strings department. Adam crafted a gorgeous melody around a brainstorm of an idea that started with Ayla...and combined my thoughts of writing something for her that would fall into that "classic" sound of girl "torch" singers as they used to call them. I'm so happy with the way this tune turned out. I had to bust out before them because I had a luncheon meeting...but by the time I got home...they had sent me an acoustic-studio version of our song which knocked my socks off. Adam had Pro-Tools...the standard for recording digitally these days...and it sounded almost like a record. For a first time get together...it went more than well. And I certainly hope the three of us will be able to get together again the next time he swings through Music City. Adam has his own group (check them out at the link I posted) and stays busy with tour dates...but once in awhile he's in town. Just glad I got to part of that creative circle yesterday.
TODAY I'm off to write with Paul Bogart and Dan Wilson today which is always fun...and then tonight I have a "Hits & Grins" show to do at 6 pm at the Listening Room Cafe here in town. C'mon if you can.
Have a great Thursday!
BILL BLOG Wednesday March 1, 2017 And hello March. Coming in warm and blustery here today in Music City USA. And now heavy rain is pounding the roof. Think I'll hunker down. Tornado watch for the next 3 hours...lightning strikes. Yikes. YESTERDAY A day to catch up and get braced for a very busy rest of the week including another shift of being on WSM later tonight...a show tomorrow night with "Hits & Grin" in town...and a trip to Knoxville to see Kenny Rogers and Linda Davis in concert Friday night. My country parody song assignment that I did have to take care of yesterday was a song bout Elon Musk selling a couple of expensive tickets on his rocket that will carry a couple of folks around the moon and back...he says. I was also happy to hear that my great friend and second Mom got to go home yesterday after having to deal with a health issue. Nothing like being home! Got a sister up in Minnesota running a high fever apparently...and a brother and his wife dealing with a loss...so I've got a little list of close folks and family I love that I've been thinking about lately. It does seem like if one happens...other's follow. I have no idea why that's true. LINE OF THE NIGHT "Git er done" dude Larry The Cable Guy tweeted during the President's speech last night and said, "Interupted 94 times by applause. Reminds me of my wedding night".
ALIENS A new survey tells us UFO sightings are at an all time high. Coincidentally...marijuana is now legal in several states. TODAY A very full one. My writing appointment is with Ayla Brown the former American Idol contestant who's such a great singer. And she's bringing a talented guitar-player-writer I have not me so I'm looking forward to collaborating with both of them. Then I have a meeting with a Missouri songwriter over lunch that was suggested by a mutual friend back home. I think he wants to pick my brain...so this should be very very short meeting. And then TONIGHT I'm up late on WSM from 7pm to Midnight filling in for Eddie Stubbs. Tune in at wsmonline.com Heck of a first day of March. Have a great Wednesday!
BILL BLOG Tuesday February 28, 2017 Don't look now but February be gone. And it's leaving with rain here in Nashville. The good news is we're back up in the 70's today.
YESTERDAY Up at 4 AM...Waffle House...coffee...lots of it...and then onto WSM where I hung out on air yesterday morning with Charlie Mattos as the regular host of the show...Hall of Famer Bill Cody had the morning off. It's always a pleasure to work with Charlie who's such a pro. Our special in guest studio was Wade Hayes who was by to promote a concert to raise money for cancer research at Vanderbilt University Hospital here in town. Wade is a stage 4 cancer survivor...which can be a killer for lots of folks...but Wade was extremely lucky. And now he's doing what he can to help others. He has a concert with Randy Owen (of Alabama) and Tracy Lawrence tonight and I hope they sell out. Wade was a young kind from Oklahoma....good guitar player...and wound up with a record deal and a number one song right away with "Old Enough To Know Better". I interviewed him several times back in those days when he sported a cowboy hat and a mullet. Can't beat that look...and we laughed about that. Really good guy and enjoyed visiting with him again yesterday. MORE RADIO I'll be back on WSM tomorrow night late (Wednesday night) filling in for Eddie Stubbs...another radio Hall of Famer from 7-Midnight. As always...listen in from anywhere to the radio home of the Grand Ole Opry at wsmonline.com LONG NECK SONG The minute our radio show ended I grabbed some wi-fi and a late breakfast and sat down a wrote a country comedy parody song for New York about all the folks who are watching a "live" cam viewing of a giraffe about to give birth at any time in the New York Zoo. Pretty much proved to myself that one can write a song about ANYTHING after getting that assignment. COWBOY UP And then it was on to Sony on Music Row to write with my Okie Cowboy buddy Paul Bogart. We tweaked a bit on a "cowboy" song that we both love...and finished up another little uptempo bluegrass type of number. Paul is getting close to finishing his new album that I have two songs on that I helped write. This song that I've blogged about before is on it it....and there's one other "swing" tune that I'm really excited about. A release date should be coming soon. Stay tuned. Paul was at a great cutting horse contest in Dallas hosted by Top 40 Country Countdown host Bob Kingsley who's into that "horse" thing. It's a celebrity contest Bob throws every year. I know this because I used to go out to Weatherford, Texas and fill in for Bob's nationally syndicated radio countdown while he was taking that week off for his celebrity event. So Paul and I found out we had that connection by accident yesterday. So all in all...a buys fruitful day to kick off this week. NEW GIG And...I found out when I woke up this morning that our "Hits & Grins" trio with Steve Dean & Victoria Venier have been selected to play at Tin Pan South...the great Nashville Songwriters Festival on March 31 at the Commodore Lounge. The date is March 31 and our show time is 9:30 pm. Our special guests are Reggie Hamm and Janelle Arthur who are both awesome songwriters AND vocalists. I'll be putting up more detail on my calendar and how you can get tickets later today. If you're in town...make plans to join us for what should be a very special evening.
NASHVILLE On the TV show "Nashville"....they let one of the main characters die. Connie Britton's character Rayna...the singer...and big focal point for that show shot here in Music City. Now I read where the actress has says she may be open to being revived from dead...as only Hollywood and TV can do. Will there be an evil twin sister show up somewhere down the road? Don't be surprised.
TODAY It's Fat Tuesday...so I think I'll eat something.
Have a great Tuesday!
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!