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Back in the Studio...Hits & Grins Video...Olympics Ahead

Jul 23 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Seriously…how can it be the weekend already?



I had a very busy Thursday that started with my morning co-write with Brent Baxter who was looking at me on the computer from his office down in Arkansas. Brent’s a great lyricist, and a great Dad too as he and his wife have adopted several children and changed their lives in a great way. We talked, caught up, and then Brent laid out a bluegrass song idea and that’s what we wrote. The kind of stuff my publisher is always looking for since we house a bluegrass label in the building. So a productive morning write with Brent.



Then I headed for Sound Emporium Studio near Belmont University here in Nashville and poked my head in to watch and listen to Jenny Tolman’s session with her fiancé’ at the control board Dave Brainard. Gosh, the stuff sound so darned good and she’s recording 4 songs that she, Dave and I have written over the past few years. And the musicians were just lighting it up. As they always do. It was nice to see Jim "Moose" Brown on keyboards, so talented and a heck of a songwriter himself having written “ 5’Oclock Somewhere” for Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett just to name one. Moose also played on the Grammy winning Album “Love Remains” for Hillary Scott & The Scott Family that I had a song on the song” Safe Haven”. So I think Moose might be a great good luck charm. I hope so. And I truly can’t wait for Jenny and the rest of us to be able to share what I heard some of yesterday.



Then it was off to one of musical partners in the “Hits & Grins” trio house. Steve Dean and I made our way to north Nashville and Victoria Venier's home where we recorded some video and took some pictures that our booking agency “Live Arts & Attractions” will use to reach out to the buyers who cancelled a ton of shows on our trio because of Covid. Back open now, we’re sending those theater buyers the promo video we shot in hopes of picking some of those venues for shows next year. Fingers crossed.



Yesterday on my Facebook page I posted a picture of an old John Prine CD I bought on Amazon that I had not heard before titled “The Missing Years”. I mentioned how much I loved it and that I could not stop singing John’s song “Big Old Goofy World”. I get a reply from a comedian friend of mine Dick Hardwick. I met Dick through Jenny Tolman’s Dad Steve Tolman. Steve and Dick played Disneyland and Disneyworld growing up. And now Steve manages Dick who’s been on the Grand Ole Opry a few times.


Well Dick was writing to tell me that he played on one of the songs on the Prine CD. He played washboard on a song…and he got a Grammy certificate for it!  What are the odds?  I joked with Steve when I saw him at his daughter Jenny’s recording session yesterday that there are kids who spend a small fortune on their music education in colleges and Dick wins a Grammy for playing the dang washboard! Amazing.



USA Today reports that 3 states now account for 40% of the new Covid cases. Those would be Florida, Texas, and my home state of Missouri.


A Coronavirus coordinator says that they are seeing more vaccines going into arms, particularly in those regions where the Covid rates have increased dramatically. Here in the South now some hospitals are being overrun once again with patients.


The NFL is now threatening forfeited games for teams with unvaccinated players.


At least 100 Olympians have not been vaccinated. 12 cases of Covid so far in Tokyo as the games get ready to start.



Next on the list would be western North Dakota. Surprised?  Yea, I was too. My band played two weeks in North Dakota many years ago. Bismarck was the first stop, then the second week we played in Dickinson, North Dakota on the western side of the state. Just west of Dickinson is the badlands. And I thought those were only in South Dakota. So we took a day and went horseback riding in the Badlands and the views were just incredible. And if you go, also take in an outdoor show in Medora which is nearby. The shows are great, the backdrop scenery of the Badlands makes it even more memorable.



Unreal. We’ve relaxed so much in our sweatpants and shorts during the pandemic that we’ve driven the stock price of Crocs through the roof. They had yet another record-breaking quarter. The stock has jumped over 10% over that period. Someone cut up some whiffle balls, turned them into shoes, and made a fortune. Sigh.



Stacker, and online publication just listed their 50 best beach towns to live in. I’m always curious. Here’s the article if you want to see all 50. But here’s their Top 5 choices.


Santa Monica, California at 5

Newport Beach, CA number 4

Boca Raton, Florida at 3

Lahaina, Hawaii is number 2


And their number one beach town to live in goes to: Naples, Florida.


I’ve not been to any of those. If I had to put a top 5 for beach towns I’ve seen?  Maybe: Maui, Gulf Shores, Coronado, Carmel, and Key West.



Woman Comes Home to Strange Man Wearing Her Clothes and Cooking Dinner. Since he was cooking dinner, she may not have even called the cops. I’m checking.



I’ve got an open weekend although I’m making a little baseball game run this weekend with four songwriting baseball loving buddies that should be fun.


The Olympics start in Tokyo with Opening Ceremonies and now crowds today which will be weird. Every time the Olympics come on, I think that I won’t watch much of it…and then I get hooked again by the competition. I’m sure that will happen again this time.


Have yourself a great weekend.

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