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Opry Weekend...Satin Sheets...Cheers!

Mar 25 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

How in the world can this already be the last weekend of March?  And how in the world did UCF lose that game to Duke?  I think I may have overdosed on basketball this weekend.



I had a great Music City type weekend that was filled with music and friends and extended family.  My great friends Dodge and Dean Raymer were in town to see Crystal Gayle who was on the Grand Ole Opry Friday night.  I knew they were going backstage to see Crystal and her husband Bill who are also old friends of mine after playing music with them just before she jumped into stardom.  In fact, I still remember taking a ferry across the river in Missouri to Illinois to play a place called the “Appleshed” with my band that had a young David Powelson playing guitar.


So…I managed to get my name on the backstage list Friday night at the Opry with my wife and we went to surprise my friend.  I had ZERO idea that my friend David Powelson had decided to do the same thing!  So what a surprise to be backstage with him and his lovely wife Suzanne and all our friends. 


Dave has been working on a new album of songs he’s written that I’ve been listening to that’s just great.  He’s always been a great songwriter and at one point was a writer for the famed Acuff-Rose Publishing company here in town that had Mickey Newbury on it’s staff.  Dave wrote a song once that Mickey told him was one of the best songs he’d ever heard and actually recorded the song himself.  If you know anything about Mickey Newbury (American Trilogy-She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye-San Francisco Mabel Joy) then you know what high praise that was. It’s great to see Dave enthused about his music again. It took me back to our youth and those little places we played when we were kids. And it took me back to hearing Dave the first time as a young teenager and being amazed at his young skill set.  



Backstage at the Opry is always quite the experience.  For the most part the dressing room doors are open and you can hear warm up music spilling out into the hallways. My friend Cheryl White was on the Opry Friday night so I got to say “hey” to her and Sharon and Sharon’s husband Ricky Skaggs.  “Too Slim” of the Riders In The Sky spent some time talking to me about the days when they used to come to Cincinnati when I was there on the radio and did a “Live” broadcast from the old Emery Theater with sound effects and all like those old radio shows.  And folks like Ricky Skaggs were guest stars. 


I’m don’t know why I don’t do this more often because each time it’s special and this one was most certainly special with my friends visiting. 


It was just a magical weekend in Music City at the Opry for sure.



And then Saturday morning I met my friends and we had early breakfast at a Cracker Barrel with Jeanne Pruett…she of the smash hit “Satin Sheets”.  She and her husband Eddie met us and the conversation was just great with lots of old stories.  I had no idea Marty Robbins got Jeanne her first publishing deal and was instrumental in getting her a record deal that helped elevate her into a star.  She’s written a cookbook, and an autobiography on her life is just out.  And she could not have been nicer.


We figured out over coffee and biscuits that we had both played music on top of a luxury houseboat one evening on Center Hill Lake with Linda Davis and her husband LangHillary Scott their daughter with Lady A set sail with us too and sang as did Williams and Ree and other guests.  I had totally forgotten Jeanne was there until she brought it up and then I did remember her getting up on a chair and singing “Satin Sheets” while we looked at the stars and moon shining on that beautiful lake that evening. 


And to show you how nice Jeanne is…as we were leaving Cracker Barrel we passed a table where an out of towner was celebrating a birthday.  The staff had just started singing “Happy Birthday” and Jeanne walked right into the middle of it and sang like she was on the Opry. 


What a weekend.



Did you see THIS.  Actress Jennifer Garner breaking out her saxophone to wish her friend Reese Witherspoon a Happy Birthday…in her old marching band outfit!  That’s pretty cool.  And where was Ms. Reese on her birthday?  In the Bahamas swimming with the pigs.  Yes…you can do that…with a pig.  Put your floaters on and swim with swine.  Who’d a thunk?



That would be this guy.  84 years old and he still pole vaults.  Now, I remember we had pole vaulting in High School but I just knew I had no interest in running with a long pole, trying to stick it into a box and then somehow propel myself over a bar waaaay above my head.  Nope.  I ran the 440.  I sucked.  Too skinny for shotput or discus.  In hindsight…I have no idea why they put me on the track team.



Henry Tseng was 111 years old and passed this weekend.  His key to long life?  Exercise every day.  I have no idea if he pole-vaulted during his daily routine or not.  But it does seem like the recurring tip from those who have lived long is to keep moving. 



Yep…about ready for the first mowing of the year down here.  I’d love to asphalt the lawn but my wife in not being very cooperative.  I did see they have one of those robo mowers now like they have those little robo vacuum cleaners in the house.  In fact they have one that sprays water now to help clean your floor or rug. 


I’m trying to redesign one of those gadgets with an arm that can open the fridge and bring a beer to the man cave. 



It’s now 750 MILLION or more.  And that of course means I have ZERO chance and I KNOW   I have ZERO chance but I’ll buy a ticket anyway knowing I have ZERO chance of winning.  Don’t try and stop me with a common sense argument.



Abby’s is coming to NBC and it’s being described as the next “Cheers”.  That TV show is still one of my favorites.  “Norm”!!!  During my broadcast career I had a chance to interview the actors who played Norm and Cliff my two favorite cast members played by George Wendt and John Ratzenberger.  Both guys were just down to earth and naturally funny like they were on the show.  And yes, both were happy to share their favorite “Cheers” lines with me. 


“Hows the world treating your Mr. Peterson”?  Norm: “Like a baby treats a diaper”.



I have no idea what this is…or why they trademarked something called “Comfort Crack” but Spanx did do that.  I have no idea if it’s for plumbers…but I’m checking.


Okay…I checked.  Apparently this new line of Spanx is designed to insure comfort and will show no panty line.  Comfort crack. 


I’m relieved to know it’s not something a “pusher” is trying to sell me on the streets.



I’ve been to Disney World many times…love the place.  But as big a fan as I am I had never noticed that there are not many mirrors to be found in the bathrooms.  And now I know why.  Disney made a conscious effort to not hang many of those because it helped keep people moving.  Ahh.  Without a mirror to primp and fuss over your hair and makeup…bathroom stops are much shorter.  That may also explain why so many women are staring at the Epcot Ball for so long.



This is the beginning of a busy week that starts with a co-writing session with two of my favorite folks Jimmy Fortune and Sydni Perry.  We’re squeezing in one more writing session as the busy months are approaching for Jimmy who will be touring everywhere this year as will Sydni and myself.  Sydni begins band rehearsals with her boss Carrie Underwood next week and then she’s out on tour with her.


And I have a run to Arkansas this weekend with my “Hits & Grins” trio with Steve Dean and Victoria Venier that’s just the tip of what will be a pretty busy summer for me that really cranks up in late May. 





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