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Hockey & Music...Mexico Sports...Amazing Grace

Apr 6 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Tuesday is on us…sun’s coming up over Old Hickory Lake this morning outside my window.



I wrote with my east coast pal Rob Bellamy out in Boston who’s been busy these days as he’s now part of a new media content company that works with athletes like his Olympic Gold Medal hockey playing sister Kacey Bellamy. He's filming, editing and more in this new venture (like the film linked here that he did for his sister)  and it's prettys exciting stuff.  He's also keeping pretty darned busy as an entertainer and songwriter-singer. His calendar is starting to fill up again for shows and concerts with a lot of those being outdoor affairs that work well and seem safer during the Covid times we’re enduring. Yesterday Rob brought an interesting melody idea and we created something out of nothing by finding some words that made sense over that melody.


Rob also shared that he knew of one club out there that started playing “live” music as long as it was instrumental only…no singing because of spreading the virus concerns. So Massachusetts is a bit more stringent than a lot of states right now. I’d be in big trouble if the only gigs available were to those playing instrumental music only.


I was afraid that after that semi-final NCAA basketball game between Gonzaga and UCLA that the final game would not be able to live up to that kind of excitement. Boy was I right. But I had no idea the unbeaten Gonzaga Bulldogs would look so bad against a talented Baylor team. Not even close…ever. A butt-whuppin’ and a half. It’s hard to run the table. Ask the New England Patriots. Indiana was the last team in college basketball to do it with Bobby Knight some 40 years ago. Ya kinda feel bad for Gonzaga as they won every single game except for the one that counted.



33 states are now offering vaccine shots to adults 19 and older and New York just went to 16 and older.


Fauci is now saying that the US will not go to vaccine passports. Hopefully that’s true Doc.


Meanwhile in Arlington, Texas the Rangers baseball team played their Opening Day game in their new stadium to a packed house. I'd almost forgot what that looked like.  No covid worries or concerns there. It will be interesting to see how that turns out. Hopefully someone did toss out the celebrity first pitch and did not throw the first virus case of the night.



There are a lot of odd sporting competitions around the world. The Olympics has a few. Curling, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Synchronized Swimming and more that folks get medals for.


I’ve seen a couple of odd ones. Jai Lai being one. My wife and I walked over into Tijuana one night during a vacation to San Diego. I’m not sure I’d WALK into and back from Mexico at night again as that did not seem safe…especially walking back in that night where a lot of guys were hanging in dark shadows. Nope. But, we did walk into a pretty part of town where they had a beautiful Jai Lai Arena. We made a few bets, watched them toss that ball around with those wooden wickets and generally wondered how that got to be a big sport in Mexico.


Another weird or different sport I witnessed for the first time was also in Mexico…Juarez. While playing a two-week gig in El Paso one summer with my band I called a cab to drive me over into Juarez to check out the dog racing track they had. Nobody in the band wanted to go so I went solo. My cab driver was great and asked if I had ever bet on the dogs, I told him “no…first time to see a dog race”. So he made me an offer I could not refuse. I paid him a flat fee, he parked the cab at the track and went in with me teaching me about how to bet the dogs and how to drink Mexican beer the right way. Lime and salt on the can. Who knew? I had the best time.  Later in my radio career when I took a job in Milwaukee, I saw quite a bit of dog racing as the state had several beautiful tracks up there. And every time I went to a track up there, I thought of my Mexican friend.



I write songs for Billy Blue Publishing here in Nashville and they are part of Daywind Music which is a big gospel music operation. I found out how big it was this morning when I saw a headline that says Daywind received 67 gospel nominations for “Absolutely Gospel Music Awards” coming up. When you walk in the building you can’t help but be amazed at all the plaques and gospel trophies hanging on the walls everywhere. I do write with some of their great gospel songwriters so I’m really happy for all those folks who got good news this morning.



In Tennessee the House just passed a bill that would have Dolly Parton’s version of “Amazing Grace” become the state song. As much love as Dolly gets here, I could see them renaming the state to Dollysee someday.



This makes sense. So many of us are ordering online these days that Amazon can’t hire enough folks or have enough fulfillment centers to get those orders to us overnight. So they’ve started buying up disused shopping centers that they probably put out of business and are using them as new fulfillment centers.  And I’m sure that some of those who lost jobs working at malls are now working on packing boxes for Amazon.



“You need glasses,” the eye doctor said.

“I’m already wearing glasses,” replied the patient.

“In that case,” the doctor said, “I need glasses”.



I’ll be co-writing with my northern Missouri pal Becky Denton this morning and catching up on her life and music career. Becky is one who is ALWAYS smiling which makes writing with her a pleasure every time.


Have a great Tuesday






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