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First Song of 2019...Careful What Ya Quit...Leno In Town

Jan 4 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Rain this morning…but going up near 60 later today as we start the first weekend of the New Year.



I wrote my first song of the New Year with Irene Kelley who’s about to release her new CD in a couple of months with two songs we wrote together.  Yesterday we tackled an up-tempo bluegrass song to pitch to our mutual friends Darin and Brooke Aldridge who are also preparing to go in studio again and start working on their next album.  So that was fun.  Irene has been in town a lot of years…kind of done it all.  An MCA artist for years Irene also had long-time publishing deals and many of the songs she’s written have been recorded by other artists including this DUET from Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White.


Every time I have the pleasure of sitting down with talented folks like Irene…I learn something new.  Yesterday I found out how she got to Nashville from Pennsylvania where she was working as a waitress and writing songs not having a clue what to do with them.  She wrote a song about her home state of PA that got so much attention that the state ALMOST adopted it as their state song.  It got Irene’s attention too as she was smart enough to find a studio and record it as a 45 (remember those?) and then mailed it anyone she could in Nashville…taking addresses out of an old phone book (remember those?) that someone had given her.


One day she waiting tables and her boss tells her she’s got a phone call.  On the other end of the line was a major publisher from Music City who tells her how much he likes her writing and wants to sign her to a publishing deal.  Irene had no idea what that meant and told the publisher she couldn’t stay on the phone…she was working.  Made me laugh.


They talked the next day and the next thing ya know…Irene moves to town.  Love those kind of stories…especially the one’s like Irene’s that ends with so much success. 


Fun day of songwriting yesterday for sure.



Remember the first season of American Idol?  Been a lot of years ago now.  The first season Ryan Seacrest had a co-host.  His name is Ryan Dunkelman who decided to QUIT the show because at the time he claimed he did not like the way the show treated the contestants.  (Simon could be pretty blunt if you remember)  So he quits.  And Ryan Seacrest builds an empire off his Idol success and can’t ever spend a tenth of the money he’s making.


What happened to Ryan?  He’s driving for Uber to help pay his bills.  I’m sure there’s a lesson in this…just not sure exactly what that is.  He quit on principal but now has trouble paying the principle.  Sometimes life is not always balanced or fair.



Stocks were down more than 600 points again yesterday.  Blame Apple…or China…or the psychic who told you to invest…I guess.  How much does Uber pay per hour?



Folks here in Nashville are seeing Jay Leno.  He’s driving around town filming for his TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage”.  Believe it or not I saw Jay Leno driving around town.  Just…not this one.


I was in LA to cover the ACM Awards one year and me and my radio partner were driving around in an LA neighborhood and here comes this ancient classic car down the road…open air…and behind the wheel was Leno.  We waved…he smiled and waved back. 


He loves his car collection and driving.  James Corden does a segment called Carpool Karaoke.  I’m sure you’ve seen some of those.  The one with Paul McCartney is legendary.


If I were Leno…I’d drive for Uber and surprise folks when he pulls up to get them.  Filming all of it for the show for sure.



That I STILL have not watched a single second of “Dr. Pimple Poppper” on TV.  Yes…I’ll watch the “Bachelor” but I won’t watch a pimple being popped on the tube.  I have my scruples ya know.



China found out the far side of the moon is not the dark side of the moon like Pink Floyd insinuated…it’s just far…that’s all.  I’m not NASA dude…but if you had asked me…I could have guessed it was far.



Sort of a diet plan I guess.  This guy decides to stop gaming.  Threw away his joystick.  He’s lost 129 pounds so far.  That means of course he’s skinnier than John Madden who’s on the cover of one of more popular games folks get into. 


I don’t know why I just never got into video games.  Pac Man…Frogger…Donkey Kong if there were any of those in a club where I played music back in the day.  That would be a big part of our band’s break.  Quarters in the slot.  But no Grand Theft Auto or Madden football.  I can’t figure out how to hook those up are turn those games on…so I should be skinnier.



I’m off to polish up a song with Gerald Smith today.  Gerald is known as the “Georgia Quacker” so I will try very hard not to point out how badly his Bulldogs played in the Sugar Bowl against Texas.  Gonna try hard.


And this weekend the NFC Wild Card games are on TV.  Hey…that’s real “gaming”!


Have a great weekend!



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