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More Christmas Writing...A Surpise Recording...The Beach Comes To Town

Jun 25 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Thursday brings the arrival of my long time beach friend to Brent Burns to town.  More on that at the end of today’s blog.



It wasn’t snowing but it felt like Christmas because I wrote a new Christmas tune with Jessie Ritter down in Pensacola along with my buddy Steve Dean.  Jessie brought a Christmas idea and had a good portion of it written so it did not take too long to put a bow on it.  So two days in a row found me writing St. Nick kind of stuff.  Jessie is getting ready to play quite a bit this summer, and record.  She plays a lot of the beach bars and beach bar patios down in the Redneck Riviera…her husband is an author.  So a creative couple all the way…and it’s always fun to write with Jessie.



Before Jessie joined us on the computer Steve Dean gave me some news I’d been expecting.  Our return to beautiful Montrose, Colorado next month is cancelled because of Covid.  We were going out for a second year to write songs with our veterans but not many folks want to get on a plane these days.  The Vets we write with are older, so are most of our songwriters with the organization Freedom Sings USA.  And while I hate crossing off some more dates on my calendar there’s just not much choice these days.



Yesterday while I was writing online I got a text from Presley Phillips who was letting me and Zach Runquist know that she was in town recording a song the three of us wrote.  Now, here’s the funny part.  For the life of me I had no idea who Presley was.  I couldn’t recall the song even.  So I thought maybe I got texted by mistake.  So, I looked it up and sure enough I found the audio and lyric sheet for this song.  My friend Steve Dean has written songs forever and routinely he’d forget someone had recorded a song of his.  I always thought that was odd…but I get it now.


Presley is a young female country artist from Texas.  Zach had invited me to write with her and him a few years ago and then I’d never heard anything from her since.  So, this was one of those nice music surprises that happens every now and then.  Thanks for remembering our song Presley.



I live in Wilson County Tennessee and yesterday officials put out a statement saying we should all wear masks in public as we’ve had a spike over the last week.  And at the same time the new stats came in showing a record day period in the US (again) with 36,538 new cases reported.  An all time high for the country.  I know…hard to find any good news with this thing.


Perhaps the most accurate description in this headline I read this morning, “America Is Done With The Coronavirus, But It Isn’t Done With Us”. 


On that news the stock market took a hit…makes sense.  And Airline stock really took a hit…also makes sense.  When we have songwriters saying, “I ain’t getting on a plane”?  Makes sense.


Meanwhile Regal Cinemas look to open again July 10 with limited seating and mask wearing.  But, because movie houses have shut down, the Cinema will first show classic old movies and fan favorites until some new movies can be shown.  And they will only allow 50% capacity if you do go.  For now?  I’m staying off planes and watching Netflix and baseball in about 4 weeks.



A little good news.  Baseball will be returning in some shape and form.  In Nashville it looks like our Minor League Stadium will host two teams playing each other a bunch.  The teams are going to be comprised of the best players not on a Big League team and those guys will be called up to the “Bigs” for roster replacements.  I’m betting some Major Leaguer’s are going to test positive and they’ll have to quarantine.  Then the players we can see in our park will be called up to fill those spots.  In our Minor League Park they’re saying they will allow the stands to be 25% full…social distancing.  In the Major Leagues?  No crowds in the stands so we’ll only hear players in the dugouts cheering.  That will be odd.  Either way, I’ll take any kind of baseball right now as a diversion.


Even 86-year-old Bob Uecker who I got to know a bit when I was in Milwaukee is saying he’s eager to start calling baseball games again.  86…still going…and still so funny.



It’s hot there…REALLY hot.  112 degrees and hotter at the base of that beautiful hole.  Hikers have had their shoes fall apart from the heat.  And the mules that one can ride down Bright Angel Trail off the South Rim?  They’re not air-conditioned.



Steve Martin (one of my all time favorite comedians) is selling off some of his stuff to benefit a friend of his in need.  One of the items on the block is the three-piece white suit we’ve seen him in a bunch.  As in the movie “The Jerk”.  It’s like the funny version of the “Staying Alive” suit Travolta wore.


If you’re looking for a very fun read grab the Steve Martin biography that made me laugh out loud a few times.  In particular the story about a time he was trying to be a ventriloquist in a little club in LA before he was a star.  The manager came to him and told Steve he needed to get the dummy closer to the microphone because it was hard to understand what the dummy was saying.  I think I spit out my coffee when I read that passage.  The book is titled “Born Standing Up”.



There’s a new ice cream called ZoCal for the health nuts.  Only 15-20 calories in the almost no sugar pint.  Whenever I try one of these lo-cal ice creams I always think no cals-no taste.  This brand has Guar gum and Carob Bean Gum in it to help keep it creamy.  It does warn that those ingredients give some gas.  So I think I’ll stick with the real stuff.  And the real stuff is the kind that comes from churning and then fighting over who gets to lick the ladle.


In fact, I’d like to open a business called Ladle Ice Cream where you buy a ladle dripping with the homemade stuff we made back in the day.



How desperate?  The Chinese do something called “Board Shoe Racing”.  We’re so desperate for “live” sports I might watch that if it were on TV. 



Brent Burns will be here later this afternoon and we’ll be joined by Dave Frances who is Brent’s session leader will also join us to listen to the songs we’ll be recording Friday and Saturday and he’ll chart those songs for the other musicians who will be joining us in studio.  Six songs will be recorded this first go around and we have 5 co-writes for this first part of it.  Once again we have a mixture of beach songs and funny songs and it should be fun as always.


Have a great Thursday!


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