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A Golden Guitar Award...Cowboy Jazz 2...Great Impersonation

Jan 25 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Hard to believe it’s not only Monday morning but it’s also the start of the last week already of the first month of the New Year. Raining here this morning with actual snow in our forecast for this Wednesday.



Well first, I’m thrilled that a song I wrote with Kristy Cox and Jerry Salley “Finger Pickin’ Good” that Kristy recorded with her fellow Aussie Tommy Emmanuel did win the Golden Guitar Award in Australia early Saturday morning for “Best Bluegrass Song of the Year”!  How bout that?  The Golden Guitars are the US equivalent of a CMA Award and I could not be happier to be part of this collaboration. Another Aussie friend sent me an e-mail early Saturday morning after I was up saying “congrats” as he himself announced the winner at about 3:30 my time over in Australia at the awards show held in Tamworth.


The story behind the song?


Kristy was working on a new album to be titled “No Headlights” that I wound up having four songs on including “Train” that was a single for her that I wrote with Steve Dean and Daisy Mallory. But Jerry Salley told me they needed one more up-tempo song for the project so the three of scheduled a write together after I suggested a title I’d had in my books for a while “Finger Pickin’ Good”. Kristy was very pregnant the day we wrote it and it took a while to get it just write. Jerry did an awesome job of pulling the thoughts together about a singer who grew up with picking on the front porch and admitting that she loved her music “Finger Pickin’ Good” as in Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Doc Watson and many others.


After we finished writing the song, I asked Kristy how well she knew Tommy Emmanuel? And suggested if we could somehow get this great Aussie guitar player to play on this song, we might have a real event song. Turns out they were great friends. Jerry reached out and one night shortly after that writing session all of us were in studio to watch that magic happen. Truly one of the most special evenings I’ve had in a long time…just to sit and talk to Tommy and hear him play on our song. When that session was over Jerry went into the studio where Tommy was recording and asked, “what do we owe ya”?  Without missing a beat Tommy looked up and in his Australian accent said, “Mate, you can’t afford me”.  Made all of us laugh as he was probably right.  He did it as a favor for his friend Kristy.


Fast forward a few months and the song gets nominated AND we filmed a video of the song that was played on the awards show that was half “live” and half “virtual”. Kristy was here in Nashville and had to miss being there “live” because of Covid.


And then the dang song won!  Congrats to Jerry and Kristy and Tommy and all of us. From an idea to a song to the award.  Quite the journey.


If you'd like to watch that Golden Guitar Awards moment in about 36 minutes into this VIDEO of the show where you'll see the video of our song and then the awards show announcement.



Friday morning was “tweaking” session with Darin and Brooke Aldridge as we looked over songs we’ve written, made a few changes, tightened a few up as they turn their attention to the studio preparing a new album, their first for Billy Blue Records. With any luck I’m going to have 3 or four co-writes on this project with this wonderful husband and wife bluegrass team…songs we’ve been putting together for several months now. Can’t wait to hear the finished product in a few months.



The song “All That Cowboy Jazz” that I’m a part of with Paul Bogart and Zach Runquist that Paul recorded and made a great video of will be released a second time!  This time it’s a female version of this big western swing song from Ali Dee who’s a Dallas native and does on camera work for the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks to name a few. KPLX radio, the big country station in Dallas just started playing it early and that’s a really good sign. I’ve not met Ali yet but thank you for loving our song and releasing it as your new single in March. And thank you Zach Runquist who made this happen. It will be fun to see what happens with this version.



Although I was disappointed that my Packers got beat yesterday it’s hard not to enjoy watching what Tom Brady is doing with a new team the Tampa Bay Bucs. New team, new coaches, new division, new offense…doesn’t matter. Back to the Superbowl that numbers 10 now for him with six wins. Incredible. Vegas has the Chiefs as a 3-and-a-half-point favorite but…it is Tom Brady on the other side. We’ll see. I would think it’s up to the Tampa defense to somehow find a way to stop that high-powered KC offense to have a chance.


One of the best parts of every Super Bowl is the new creative commercials we get to see. But this year some big boys who spend a lot of money are sitting out including Pepsi, Coke, Hyundai and now Budweiser. Bud has run adds for the last 37 years during the game, many of them finishing as favorites. But they’ve decided this year to reallocate that money towards raising awareness about getting a Covid-19 vaccine shot. Hard to be upset at that.



New Zealand just reported its first Covid case in months. One of the few, maybe the only country that’s been Covid free for an extended period of time.


The Olympic committee is indeed moving forward with holding the games in Tokyo after rumors (that were wrong) suggested they would not happen. How to keep all those athletes safe is the challenge. But it looks like every athlete who participates will get the vaccine before they start running, swimming and shot putting.


Those supposedly in the know say by mid-summer the young and healthy will be able to get their vaccine shots.



After 55 years news veteran Tom Brokaw is hanging it up. 55 years! Besides being a voice a lot of Americans felt they could trust I have a radio story to share about Mr. Brokaw. My friend Dave Sposito who’s been on air in Spokane forever does the BEST Tom Brokaw impersonation ever. In fact, it’s one of the best impersonations ever of any celebrity. Once in a while on my morning shows Tom would call my show (AKA…Dave Sposito) I’d write a script, send it today to Dave and he would be kind enough to call and we’d lay the fake phone call down then play it on air…more than once each time. So happy retirement to Tom…and Dave my friend I miss hearing your fake voice. If you don’t believe me on how good my friend is playing Tom? Listen to this call where he fooled anchor Tom Jennings one morning. Peter totally thought it was Tom…when it was my friend here. Still funny today.



I was sorry to hear that Larry King passed at the age of 87 after being hospitalized with Covid. Iconic in the TV talk show world. He made suspenders hip again somehow. Larry knew how to “cut and move” an interview as good as anyone I’ve seen do an interview. Masterful really. He wouldn’t let a caller ramble. Right to the point…short answer from his guest so he could get more stuff in the interview. Cut and move.


I interviewed him a couple times. Most notably during a CMA broadcast in New York City one year when I was working radio and covering the event for WUBE in Cincinnati. He and his 7th ex-wife now were going from one country station to another in a big room trying to promote his wife’s country record she had put out. It went nowhere…but it was more than worth giving her a few minutes of airtime just to get to talk to Larry some. He was great and very accommodating. Truly a pro. RIP



And we also lost one of the greatest baseball players ever in Henry Hank Aaron. I grew up listening to baseball on the radio. And every time Hank stepped up to the plate playing the Cardinals, I’d turn the volume up on the transistor a little more. Not only the real home run king, but a heck of a human being having to endure racial slurs that he somehow managed to do with dignity. Yes…we lost a great ball player…but an even better person. We need more of his kind.



The Guinness World Records Museum in Niagara is shutting down and selling everything inside. So you can buy the world’s smallest bike or the world’s largest pinball machine. Longest fingernails, shrunken heads, world’s largest pair of pants. Now that’s one auction that would be worth attending!


And you need THIS too.


The Lumina Fat Iron supposedly irons off fat, saggy skin, stretch marks and more. Your fat may vary.  Kind of cool but guys if I were you, I would not gift this for the girl you love for Valentine’s Day. Just saying.


Next time I get to Disney World I’m going to have to try their grilled cheese made with a doughnut bun. Yep. They make that. Krispy Kreme are you listening?



I’m back at the writing table with my hit gospel songwriter friend Lee Black. I have not seen Lee since Alabama won the national tide so I may have to wait until he’s done shouting “Roll Tide” before we can start rhyming anything.


Have a great Monday!





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