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Hits & Grins...Songwriter Festivals...Flintstones

Jul 12 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Hello weekend my old friend.

 

YESTERDAY

Our Hits & Grins trio with Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself got together to start building a 15 minute showcase that we’ll be performing in front of a whole bunch of buyers from all around the country come the first of August.  Over two days or so over 40 acts will get up on stage at the Performing Arts Center here in Nashville and try to entice theater buyer to book them for next year as part of their Performance Arts Series.  This will be the second time we’ve done this…the first time being about 5 years ago.  So, we’ve got a plan and a set list that we will start running over and over to get it really tight and ready for when the showcase happens.

 

We’re hoping to be booked in some of the places we played before that we loved as well as adding new cities and theaters.  We’ll see what happens soon but our hopes are that we’ll be coming to a theater near you sometime next year.

 

CATCHING UP

When you haven’t seen your musical friends in awhile, and that was the case yesterday you get the chance to catch up on each other’s busy lives.  Steve Dean told me a very cool story yesterday.  He and I and at least 4 other songwriters will be on an early flight to Colorado Monday morning with our final destination being Montrose at this beautiful Golf Resort where we will each write a song with a military veteran and we’ll also be doing a special songwriter’s round for a big group of vets who will be there for a gathering.  What an honor that will be.

 

Steve is one of the “point” guys for Operation Song, the organization that puts these retreats together.  So on his advance trip out there a few weeks ago the organizers told Steve they had a surprise for him.  He was taken to nearby Ridgeway, Colorado where he got the tour and saw some of the buildings and scenery used in the movie True Grit.  A lot of that movie with John Wayne and Glen Campbell was shot right there…so that was cool.  BUT…that was not his surprise.

 

They’re having drinks at a local watering hole when the organizer’s said “leave your beer and come with us for your surprise”.  So he did.  They went down the street and in the back door of some building where Steve walked into the company that makes the Grammy Awards.  He saw the Beatle’s Grammy mockups and hundreds of others.  Who knew they were made in Colorado?

 

It’s just one of those things that happens when you play music or write songs for a living.  I’ve often thought how lucky I was to sit down and learn three chords on a guitar when I was a kid.  Because of that…it’s taken me literally around the world and back these days.  Who would have known?  If you just marry something you love good things happen.

 

HERE’S PROOF OF THAT

Yesterday I got contacted about singing the first song I ever recorded “Mo Mo The Missouri Monster” for the official Mo Mo Festival that is apparently going to be held in Louisiana, Missouri where that Sasquatch supposedly roamed the hills. I can’t remember exactly but that song is over 40 years old now easily.  I know!  My old radio buddies Joe Lewis and Paul Salois who I worked with at KPCR Radio in Bowling Green wrote the lyrics, I tweaked it and wrote the music.  We pressed 1,000 45 rpm records (remember those) and they are long gone.  But the song just lives on.  Wow.

 

And then there was a note from a Songwriter Festival Organizer down in Tybee Island, Georgia letting me know he had found the song I helped write titled “Take Me Back To Tybee” that my friend Becky Denton recorded.  She and her hubby Will are writers on that song.  Well…they held their first official festival this year, and next year there’s a chance I’ll be going there because of that song.

 

And…there’s also a chance that I might to Ocean Springs, Mississippi for their Songwriter Festival on the Gulf after my musical friend Jerry Salley (nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year) called and asked if I wanted to go. 

 

And none of this would not be happening had I not learned three chords on an old Silvertone guitar from Sears.

 

A NEW DATE

September 25 our "Hits & Grins" trio will play the Bavarian Bier Haus that's located in the Opry Mills shopping mall directly across for the Grand Ole Opry here in Nashville.  A 7 pm show.  It's a polka place normally on the weekends but my friend Lynn Marie who was inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame last year in Cleveland is the entertainment coordinator and wants to add other type of music on some of the weeknights.  So our trio will be one of the first such groups to play the room that looks like a traditional beer garden in Germany complete with Lederhosen, big mugs of cold beer and bratwurst.

 

And chances are we'll get Lynn up to sing this song that I helped write on her new polka album. And no, I will not be wearing lederhosen. 

 

MORE MUSIC NEWS

My friend Irene Kelley the bluegrass artist got the most incredible review from “Bluegrass Today” the leading publication for bluegrass.  It reviews her new album “Benny’s TV Repair” song by song, so the two songs I helped her write get a very nice mention too.  Congrats to Irene for all the great attention she’s getting for this stellar project.  Click on the link to learn more about my talented co-writer.

 

DEER

Man we got deer…lots of em.  Last night out the kitchen window we watched a Mom and her two new spotted fawns munching on the grass forever.  Some of the boys show up from time to time too showing off their racks.  (No…I have not built a tree stand in the backyard)  It’s like having our own zoo seemingly.  And if you drive down our little dead end road?  Locals know to keep their eyes peeled for the herd that hangs here.

 

It’s been hot so sometime we see them nestled down in the shade out back trying to stay cool.  There’s at least on Moose in the news that actually laid down in front of sprinkler in someone’s front yard out west to do the same thing.

 

I’m waiting to see a picture of buffaloes going down a Slip N’ Slide.

 

BULLS

Meanwhile, another animal is in the news.  One person was gored and several injured this year from doing that “Running With The Bulls” thing in Spain.  Uh huh.  I just don’t know bout folks sometimes.  If Vegas gave odds I’d bet the SAT scores for these daredevils is not all that high.

 

YABBA DABBA

Guess what’s they’re going to remake?  The Flintstones!  Actress Elizabeth Banks is going to produce on of my favorite cartoons and make it new again for a new audience along with the old fans like me who will surely go.  To this day…the theme song for that animated series remains one of the all time greats.  Even the late John Candy loved it enough to belt it out on a bus annoying Steve Martin again in “Plains, Trains and Automobiles”.  Bring it on.  I can’t wait to see the rack of Brontosaurus ribs tip over Fred’s car.

 

SAVE YOUR MONEY

Here’s the top 5 countries where you Social Security Check would go the farthest.

 

India, Morocco, Turkey, Indonesia and Colombia. 

 

That’s great…but I don’t see me moving.

 

CARTOONS

I check just two cartoon strips when I read the paper.  Dilbert and Pearls Before Swine.  And I just read that Starbucks is going to stop racking papers in September.  Geez.  That means I may actually have to buy a danged paper now…or go online like most of you are already doing.

 

Anyway, “Pearls” made me smile this morning.  Rat  (one of the main characters) provides and Inspirational Message Of The Day when he wrote, “Reach for the stars!  But remember that if you get one, it’s a hot burning gas and you’ll die”.

 

Words to live or die by from a comic strip.

 

TODAY

I’ve actually got nothing big the next couple of days as I’m preparing for that early flight Monday morning to Colorado that will have me in the state that still has a little snow on top of the mountains for 4 days. 

 

The second half of the baseball season begins in earnest today.  I may have to sneak into our minor league ballpark and watch grown men spit and scratch this evening.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

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