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Solo Rhyming...Subways...Prine Award

Jul 1 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

First day of July!  Turn the AC up.



My songwriting appointment was cancelled yesterday and on top of that it was dark and dreary outside with plenty of rain.  So, I did a solo write on a gospel song idea I had started a couple of months ago that was sitting on the desktop of my computer.  I turned that into my publisher and then started another song for a future write I have coming up with a young artist wanna-be writer.  So it turned out to be a creative day after all.


Then yesterday afternoon I sat down for lunch with a Mother and Son that I used to work with in Cincinnati when I was on the radio.  Joyce Benge was our head secretary and her son Nick was a salesman.  I had not seen them forever.  They had driven to Dallas to see Nick’s son and grandkids and their route home took them through Nashville.  I’m so glad they called.  It’s good to see both of them happy and loving their lives.  Joyce is basically retired now and Nick is a school psychologist. Imagine that job.  It was great to share some old stories.  Nick and I sat side by side and watched the Cincinnati Reds win the first two games of the World Series agains the A's screaming our butts off.  The Reds then went to Oakland and swept the A's in four games.  He's easily as a big a baseball fan as I am.  In fact, Nick has played in 5 different Reds Fantasy Camps and two Yankee camps!  I've played one fantasy camp with the Reds...and it is and unforgettable experience for any baseball nut...like the two of us.  Thanks for the rendezvous guys…so great to see ya.



In this Covid age there’s just not much good news for most musicians that make their living playing gigs.  I got a call from a good friend a couple of days ago wanting to know if I wanted to play locally at a place I’ve played with my “Hits & Grins” trio many times.  They now only seat half of the folks they used to (social distance) and the normal pay is dropped more than half.  At first I thought, man it would just be fun to play again.  But, after thinking about it and talking with my friends who would have joined me?  We passed.  As much fun as playing would be?  It’s not quite the same with a half full audience and then you’re playing indoors to boot.  So for the moment I’m erring on the safety side of things.


Next Monday night I have a scheduled show in Bowling Green, Kentucky…also indoors so I’m thinking the odds are long.  And then there was a 3-day run in beautiful Montrose Colorado to write with veterans followed by a trip that next weekend to Northern Indiana with “Evening In The Round” with Linda Davis and Lang Scott.  That too…cancelled.   And the hits keep on a coming.



Fauci now saying it’s possible to jump to 100,000 cases per day testing positive.  He also says Americans must STOP going to bars.  Well…there ya go.  I cancelled a bar-restaurant gig this weekend Mr. Fauci.  Doing my part.


RV rentals, canoes, kayaks, boats, bikes…sales are up as folks try to stay safe and close to the house.  I’m sure sales of fishing equipment are brisk too.  If this keeps up I can see myself looking for a Zebco rig again and buying some tackle.  Do they still make Lucky 13’s?


And you can’t go fishing in Europe.  They’ve locked the United States out.  They’ve seen our out of control numbers and don’t want us.  Can’t blame em’. 


In New York subways now have vending machines where you can purchase Covid protections.  Gloves, disinfectant and masks.  Used to be if you saw someone on a subway wearing a mask you’d panic.  



Speaking of the Big Apple.  I do remember the first time I rode a subway train there trying to get to Yankee Stadium to catch a baseball game. At the token machine I had taken my wallet out and was holding it when I felt some a strong pair of arms grab me.  That put my heart up in my throat until I realized it was a Cop.  He said, “keep your money in your pocket son”.  Wow…welcome to New York. 



Go Banking release a list of the Best and the Worst towns to retire in the US based on taxes, numbers of Seniors, cost of living etc.  These are not cities…but towns.


Top 5 for BEST places to retire in reverse order:

Georgetown Texas, Punta Gorda Fl, Sun City Fl, Hot Springs Village in Arkansas (played there…it’s beautiful) and #1 Best Place To Retire?  The Villages in Florida…the huge retirement community.


Top 5 WORST places to retire also in reverse order:

Minnetonka MN, Edina MN, Newport Beach CA, Cerritos CA and #1 is Roseville, MN.  High crime had a lot to do with these choices.  I could have picked California but Minnesota?



The entire 2020 Minor League Baseball season has been cancelled.  Gone.  I spend several nights every summer at our Sounds baseball stadium rooting on our Minor League team.  Not this year.  Word is we will have some kind of alternative baseball for a few weeks but certainly it won’t be the same. Never thought I’d live to see a baseball season get cancelled. Anybody got a vaccine?



Illinois did a nice thing and gave the late John Prine their first honorary poet laureate award.  So deserved. Just listen to the lyrics of almost any Prine song and you’ll understand why he deserved this.


Here’s one verse for an example in John’s great fun song “That’s The Way The World Goes Round”.


I was sittin’ in the bathtub countin’ my toes

When the radiator broke, the water all froze

I got stuck in the ice without my clothes

Naked as the eyes of a clown


If I write songs for the rest of my life I will probably never get close to the line, “naked as the eyes of a clown”.  Such a deserved award.



I’m back beach rhyming again today with Brent Burns as we start to stack up songs to complete his album he started on here in Nashville last weekend.  I got to hear the early rough mix on the first six songs and they’re going to sound great.  So we’ve got a few more to record before the album is complete.  I’m sure the two of us will talk about the virus down in Gulf Shores where he lives as the numbers there have jumped over the past few days shutting down some restaurants and bars there including the two that his son and daughter in law work for…The Oyster House and Desoto’s.  Well known places that I eat at a lot when I’m down on the Gulf.  What a crazy world we live in right now.


Have a great Wednesday!



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