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Hits & Grins Show...Kobe Gone...Grammys

Jan 27 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Rolling into another new week…hello Monday.



Mine started late Friday morning with a songwriting appointment with Jessie Ritter.  I heard Jessie when she opened a show I was part of with Seals & Crofts 2 a few months ago and I loved her songs and voice and a little conversation led to this writing appointment.  Turns out we have some things in common.  She’s from Missouri…Cape Girardeau to be specific.  She graduated from Belmont University here in Nashville where my daughter Heather graduated with a vocal degree…as did my daughter.  And she goes back and forth between Nashville and Pensacola, Florida where she and her book writer husband have a place.  I love Pensacola…almost took the morning radio job there once at Cat Country Radio.


So with all of that we made a pretty good connection.  And know she lives in Pensacola a lot…I had started a little beach song that she fell in love with and we wrote that.  Jessie worked on a Carnival Cruise ship once for six straight months and plays a lot on or near the beaches around Pensacola when she’s not on the road to Music City or other places.  Hard worker…great voice and talent and I’m looking forward to writing more with her in the future.



Our “Hits & Grins” trio returned to Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant in Franklin, Tennessee for a Saturday night show.  We had several folks in the house who drove a great distance to catch the show…some of them fans we’ve made down on the beach in Port St. Joe, Florida at the “Blast On The Bay Songwriters Festival” held in October each year.  There was also a couple from northern Michigan who went on both the Italy and Rhine River Cruise tour I took with my buddy Brent Burns.  Tonight Mike and Charlene will be sitting in front of Brent for his show at Lulu’s down in Gulf Shores.  It war really great seeing them.  And some family members of the Raymers back in Missouri came for the first time and they had a blast.  The just moved south of Nashville after being out in LA for a lot of years.  Really great having everyone.  Thanks for coming!



This morning at one gas station near us the price was below $2 a gallon.  Wow.  And to show you how location means everything, Saturday night returning home for my “Hits & Grins” show a gas station just off I-65 was charging $2.79.  Makes me glad we don’t live near one of the interstates around here.  I think I’ll fill up every vehicle we own today.



Hard to imagine someone is gone just like that.  It was really sad watching the coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death and that will certainly continue all this week for a lot of the country…NBA fans…and fans of his he made around the world.  There’s going to be a lot of heartfelt tributes this week…keep your Kleenex box handy.  And let it be a reminder to the living that life can be short…very short.  Get the most out of it while you’re here.


Someone sent me a note about how the song “If Not Now When” really is resonating in light of these kinds of reminders.  Brent Burns and I wrote this and it’s on his new album.  If you’ve not listened just click on the link and maybe it will inspire you to click more things off your personal bucket list before it’s too late.  We’ve had a few couples tell us already that this is there “mantra” in life.  In fact, the couple I mentioned that came to our Saturday night show told me how that song has motivated them to do that and gave me a sticker they made that says, “If Not Now When”. 



What a spectacle…as always.  I didn’t watch all of it but enough to see more cleavage and multiple colored hair, extremely long fingernails and face and body glitter than I will ever need to see again.  I must be dressing way too conservative on stage going by what I saw last night.


Performances were all over the yard.  I did like the new Blake Shelton-Gwen Stefani duet that some are poking fun of this morning in different media sources.  Camilla Cabello had a great performance and it was just fun watching the manic Steven Tyler break loose with Aerosmith and Run DMC.  And there was a nice tribute or two to Kobe Bryant in the show as it was performed at the Staples Center in LA where Kobe played all of his games with the Lakers.  A spectacle…always a spectacle.  Congrats to all the winners.



It’s interesting to see that there’s not much interest in sitting upstairs in the Senate to listen and watch the impeachment proceedings.  Up until now at least word is that half of the place has empty seats.  What does this mean?  It means the Senate needs to wake up and send some ballpark vendors up there selling hot dogs and beer!  Considering the amount of repetitive droning that’s been going on it would be a great place to catch a nap on your lunch hour.  Just sayin’.



A study says that we spend twice the amount of time in a Library as opposed to time spent going to the movies.  We’re smarter than they thought. 



One Travel Magazine polled their readers for the 5 Rudest Cities in America.  One could have almost guessed the top 5 that in order include New York, LA, DC, Chicago and Boston.  Although I will say I’ve been to all 5 and never witnessed any of that.  Not even in NYC.  First time I was in the big Apple I was wary of that but overwhelmingly everyone I met was very friendly.  However…the first time I rode a Subway?  I took my wallet out to feed a machine to get a ticket and felt a big hand on my arm that belonged to a NYC Cop who told me politely, “put your money away out of sight”.  Okay then…I did.  But he wasn’t rude about it.



The reason one should NOT chew gum on a plane is because you swallow more often and what you swallow is air.  And because of the pressurization in the cabin when you’re airborne you would be at a higher risk of passing gas.  Nobody want that.  Ditch the Chiclets in the terminal before boarding…please.



It will be in the low 50’s today as I head for my songwriting appointment with Dave Brainard and Jenny Tolman.  Jenny just did a show in St. Louis this past Friday night and my second set of parents Dodge & Dean Raymer went and saw the show and fell in love with Jenny as a lot of folks are doing across the country and in the “country” press right now.  It will be fun getting their take today on meeting two of my favorite folks. 


Have a great Monday!



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