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A Broadcast Legend Buddy Retires...Chiggers...Christmas Writing

Jun 23 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Tuesday and I’m thinking Christmas.  More on that at the end of today’s blog.

 

YESTERDAY

Gosh, we had a beautiful day yesterday.  Perfect for a little walk around a nearby lake and early lunch and then catching up on stuff.  So Monday felt like Sunday and Sunday felt like Saturday and they just all run together during these days of quarantines and no stages to stand on and sing music.  My suitcase and guitar have been looking at me lately and going, “what gives”?  I’ve noticed some artists have completely pulled the plug on all dates for this year and looking to start next March. 

 

If you look at my online CALENDAR you’ll still see several date…and a lot of dates were removed from cancellation.  Next date is July 13 in Bowling Green, KY for a songwriters round there.  Then July 20 I’m scheduled to be back in Montrose, Colorado to write with veterans again with “Freedom Sings USA”.  I’m hoping…but not optimistic that either date will hold.  We’ll soon see.

 

CONGRATS

To my long time friend Duke Hamilton who is retiring from radio after 5 decades of broadcasting.  He’s on WUBE in Cincinnati but will take off the headphones for the last time on July 3.  A reporter reached out to me from Cincinnati for some quotes about my long time friend and this is what I wrote back.

 

Duke and I started our radio careers together as kids at 1000 watter...KPCR Radio in Bowling Green, Missouri.  The radio was housed in a one-bedroom trailer at the time with a cow pasture outside the broadcast windows.  We called it "Cow Pasture Country Radio" on the air.  At the time he was Duke Wilmes on the air (as I recall.)  Both of us had to be 18 or 19 years old maybe.  I remember the first time I heard him on air thinking how great his "pipes" were...big ole radio voice for a kid!

 

Duke was responsible for bringing me back into radio at WUBE.  I'd lost track of him through the years. I think he was in the Navy for a spell on Armed Forces Radio Network and was in Little Rock for a few years before landing in Cincinnati.

 

I was playing in a band at Julie's Country Showcase in Sharonville and heard Duke on the radio. Imagine my surprise. The station sponsored a night at the club and Duke came out and we reconnected.  He brought me into WUBE doing an oldies show on Sunday mornings. So that part time hire launched my major market radio career and I have Duke to thank for that.  One of the best things about coming back to WUBE for a second run for me was getting to be around Duke some more and hearing him on the radio.

 

He was such a nice kid when we first met and that never changed.  I'm betting there's no one that doesn't like Duke.  And he was just one of the "steadiest" jocks on air you'd hear.  Big laugh...kind to everyone...and that combination of talent, kindness and long term steadiness got him into the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and he surely deserved it. The fact that not one but TWO kids from a cow pasture radio station made it into that Hall of Fame is a bit amazing and I'm just proud I get to share that honor with someone as great and kind as Duke. 

 

I'm so happy for his retirement with his wife on the farm in Kentucky that he loves.  But he will be missed by so many country music fans in Cincinnati...me included.  Congrats Duke!

 

SCRATCHING

So I’ve been out in the yard the past few days bent over pulling weeds.  Have I mentioned how I’d like to asphalt the lawn and mow down every shrub?  So now I’m playing my new game I’ve invented called “Connect The Chigger Bumps”.  I’m reaching out to Hasbro right now.

 

MEANWHILE…SKEETERS

Yep…the other summer pest.  Apparently some individuals are more attractive to a mosquito than others.  If you sweat, if you wear cologne or dark clothing?  You’re more likely to be slapping yourself.  Man…Johnny Cash must have hated summer.

 

VIRUS NOTES

Florida and Arizona are really spiking with new cases.  The South in general is a hot spot right now.  And just over in Memphis they’re rolling back to a phase 1 status after trying to get back to normal.  It ain’t going to go away anytime soon apparently.

 

There are some who hate the phrase the “New Normal”.  Maybe the “New Reality” is more accurate.  You know things are bad when Rick Steves can’t travel and film.  Europe is closed…and for now so is his business. The “New Reality”.

 

The “Drive In” approach is getting more and more creative.  “Live Nation”…the company that books so many outdoor venues and concerts across the country period are now booking drive ins.  And that means they’ll put up big screens and stages on parking lots.  Brad Paisley and Darrius Rucker will team up for one on the parking lot of Nissan Stadium where the Tennessee Titans play football.  And you’ll see a lot more of that across the country.  Everything old is new again.

 

Meanwhile both the Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium are opening again for tours…and they are both worth taking.  One of my co-writers Laura Leigh Jones is in charge of the tours at the Opry House and another co-writer-radio friend conducts some of the tours at the famed Ryman Auditorium.  I’m betting both of them are happy to be returning to that kind of work. 

 

And then ya got Hot Yoga Domes.  Uh huh.  Sweat and stretch under a little plastic bubble for safety sake.  Sort of like a Lululemon Zoo.

 

PEANUT BUTTER

Ever scrape the bottom of a Jiffy Jar trying to get the last bit of peanut butter out?  Here’s a viral video showing a better way than using a knife.  There’s a fix for everything.

 

PLAY BALL?

I dunno.  They’re making noise now like there will be a 60 game season.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  It’s truly hard to imagine with both sides making so much money to play a GAME…that the players and owners and can’t make it happen. 

 

TURN ON THE BATLIGHT

It looks like Michael Keaton will come back and play Batman again.  Of all of those who have donned the suit…he may be my favorite. Make it happen.

 

DOESN’T HURT TO BE LUCKY

A Michigan man used his lucky penny to scratch off a lotto ticket.  He won 4 million dollars.  And it was the SECOND time for him winning 4 million once before using the same coin!  I have GOT to get a better coin collection.

 

TODAY

I’m co-writing today with Brent Baxter back in Missouri and Nathan Woodard here in Nashville…all three of us on the computer.  Brent knows of a country artist who’s looking for Christmas songs for an album he’ll be recording in a few months.  So, with sunny skies and the temperature gauge in the upper 80’s we’ll be thinking snow and Saint Nick thoughts.  Should be fun.

 

Have a great Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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