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Hockey Writing...Groundhog Day...Australian Podcast

Feb 2 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Tuesday…and it’s a tad brisky in Music City. But we don’t have two feet of snow like some folks in the Northeast.



I had a full Monday that started late morning writing with Rob Bellamy out in Boston. As a former (really good) hockey player I always get the chance to learn more about the game and his career before we start rhyming words. Yesterday we talked about his one year playing in Nottingham, England that he said was a really fun experience. Turns out its where he played his very first show too. Because people knew him as a hockey player, they turned out in droves at 20 bucks a pop to see him play an acoustic show before he knew what he was even doing according to Rob. But that music bug took hold and that’s now part of a dream he’s chasing. But he also shared with me he’s getting ready to start his own “branding” company for athlete helping to build their names outside of the sport they pay. Athletes have short careers so what Rob is thinking and doing is really a smart business plan and I wish him luck with that venture too.


We got a nice surprise when his talented fiancé’ Ayla Brown got home early enough from her morning radio job at the country station in Boston to lean in and say “hey” and catch up. Ayla such a great singer too…former American Idol girl you may have seen on the show. She shared that she and Rob have set their wedding date for August so I’m happy for both of them. I did have to smile when Ayla told me that she would have to sleep in a hotel in downtown Boston so that she could make her morning radio shift. Heavy snow there. When I was on air in Cincinnati if heavy snow or bad weather was coming, I had to check into a hotel downtown so I could walk to the radio station and not miss that shift. It’s a big “on air” day when folks tune in and want to hear the traffic, and weather and in the old days the school closings that we had to read on air. Now radio shows can just say, “check our website” for school closings. So I smiled at Ayla talking about having to do just that thing last night.


I used to hate reading school closings. The list was long and you had to do it multiple times. So, to amuse myself and our listeners I used to play a game called, “Guess the Fake School Closing”. Somewhere in the list of 100 schools and events you might hear me say, “The nude beer and bingo game tonight at the VFW has been cancelled”.  The first listener who called and identified that as being the fake…won the prize.



Then yesterday afternoon I joined my buddy Wil Nance in studio to lay down a vocal on a music track of a song we wrote with another writer Brian White. Will found Landon Parker to be a good choice for singing this “Hillbilly” song and he was right. Landon did a great job and now we’ll wait for them to add a harmony line to the song, mix it…and then we’ll start pitching the song around to see if we can get someone to like it enough to record it. We’ll see.


Will he see his shadow today? How much more winter is left Punxsutawney Phil? The answer is unfortunately, six more weeks.


Speaking of which. Did you know that Bill Murray hated that movie he starred in?  For good reason. The dang hog bit him three different times and he had to get a rabies shot to make sure he wasn’t infected. The movie of course was a huge hit and made a ton of money…still is. So I’m sure Bill has gotten over hating it a bit by now.



For the first time more Americans are vaccinated for Covid-19 than infected. A step forward. 32 million now have gotten their shot.


In Nebraska they are going to allow 100% attendance now at venues. Another first.


Another first. Yosemite National Park will now require reservations for visits due to the virus.


Not so good news. Dr. Fauci now says it the new variants of the virus become dominant that there is a very high rate of reinfection. Geez.



Happy Birthday to the great bluegrass singer Del McCoury who turned 82. Yesterday. Most consider him to be the “Godfather” of bluegrass right now. Nobody has a better hard core high tenor than Del.


Del just recorded a song I helped write with Josh Shilling and we are thrilled about that. And though I’ve not yet met the legend…thank you Del for loving and recording our song.



KC vs Tampa Bay this Sunday in a Covid-19 Superbowl played in Tom’s backyard in Tampa. Looking forward to that.


I’ve had the pleasure of covering four Super Bowl games in my lifetime and I thought I’d share one radio memory from each of the four. One per day until the end of the week.  So here’s the first one.


I was doing the morning radio show at WMIL in Milwaukee and one day my boss asked if I wanted to go to Phoenix to cover the Super Bowl? Duh.  Yea. Even though the Packers were not in this one his reasoning was that it’s the Super Bowl and it would be interesting enough to our listeners to go. I didn’t argue. It was the Steelers vs the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX and the Cowboys won the game.  I didn’t go that game, but instead broadcast two or three days prior in a big hotel conference rooms with other radio shows around the country. The NFL set up guests to come by and be interviewed. One of those happened to be one of the great, if not greatest wide receiver of all time Jerry Rice who played with the 49’ers. Jerry came by because he was a rep for those nasal nose strips that were new at the time to help you breathe better. Yep…it was a flat out free commercial for the company BUT…we got to talk to Jerry Rice. He was great.


I rarely if ever would ask a celebrity for an autograph. It just wasn’t considered professional. But in his case, I made an exception to professionalism and he signed a football for me. I can see it right now in a case from where I’m blogging.


Super Bowl memory 2 will be here tomorrow.



A model and six others went up that big hill in Hollywood and changed the Hollywood sign to “Hollyboob”. They were arrested. That must have caused a few fender benders on the LA interstate as folks checked that out.


I have a “Boob” song on my first album “If I Had Boobs”. This seems like a good time to share that with you right here.



I was sorry to see Hal Holbrook passed. 95 years of age. I always enjoyed watching him act, no matter the role or show he was part of. But Hal became really famous for his one-man portrayal of Mark Twain. Hard to think about “Mark Twain” without thinking of Hal Holbrook. I really enjoyed him in the Burt Reynolds sitcom “Evening Shade” too.


My great friend and Arizona Travel Hall of Fame writer Roger Naylor out in Arizona told me it was Twain who inspired him to start writing. I’m guessing Roger was not the only one. When you write lines like, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” or “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why” …folks are going to be inspired. Makes me want to pick up a Twain book and read it again.



If you’re a Dunkin’ Donut rewards member you can now get a FREE medium cup of coffee every single Monday. Dunkin Monday if you will. Of course it will be REALLY hard to grab the coffee without also buying some donut holes.



Full Tuesday that starts with a writing session with Gerald Smith the “Georgia Quacker” along with his son-in-law Randy Finchum who also writes. Gerald has had number one songs he’s written for Colin Raye and Lori Morgan but also wrote this really fun song that the “Possum” George Jones recorded.  So we’ll have fun this morning.


Then, I’m doing a podcast at 5 pm this evening in Australia. The show is called “Songwriter Trysts” and is hosted by songwriter Rae Leigh. The invitation came after the song “Finger PIckin’ Good” that I helped write that featured Kristy Cox & Tommy Emannuel won the Golden Guitar Award in Australia this year for “Best Bluegrass Song of the Year”. The show will be found at this website once it’s loaded up so you can listen if you’d like. Looking forward to it.


Have a great Tuesday!









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