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Laura...The Big Pyramid...Arizona Writing

Aug 27 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Over the hump into Thursday and we’re waiting on the rain that’s coming from Hurricane Laura. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the weather phrase “unsurvivable storm surge” before. Already this morning nearly 400,00 are without power and some are begging to be rescued. Why anyone stays put with a Cat 4 hurricane rushing in is beyond me. 



I wrote new bluegrass song with noted blue-grasser Tim Stafford who brought a great idea to the virtual writing table.  Actually, he shared the idea a couple of weeks ago and we shelved it until today but both of us had been looking at the idea without the other knowing.  I’d written a chorus with a little melody, while Tim had written a great piece of music he though might fit our idea and we managed to blend his melody with my chorus lyrics and it worked somehow. Then it was a matter of writing a couple of verses and a bridge together to get it home.  Amazing how that can work sometimes. It’s an interesting time as normally Tim’s calendar would be really busy playing individual gigs and traveling with the acclaimed Bluegrass group “Blue Highway”. But now when I ask, “do you have an open date to write again”?  He’ll laugh and say, “pick a day” because his schedule of touring has been wiped out this year too.  So the two of us have that going for us.



To my cowboy pal Paul Bogart who officially announced on his socials yesterday what I already knew.  That he and his wife Tanya are expecting their third child now! So, Paul and I wrote a song about his first boy titled “Buckaroo Lullaby”…and song about his second boy born on I-40 in their car titled “Ballad of Exit 199” to be out on his next album. So, we have work to do!  The first song Paul ever recorded that the two of wrote together is this one, “Grow” that also touches on growing a family as he and his wife are doing.  I love this song for a lot of reasons but one of the reasons I love the video so much is you get to see not only Paul…but his wife Tanya.  Watch and see for yourself.



Hawaii is seeing a big jump in virus cases all of a sudden. Hard to hula when you’re sick. Numbers are declining some, but experts are saying we are now experience rolling hot spots.  The spot just rolled over to Hawaii I guess.


Mask or no mask?  At the Phoenix airport a woman got so upset that she had to wear a mask onboard that she actually punched the gate agent.  She didn’t fly that day.


Folks are looking for ways to get out during this quarantine life we’re living and having fun safely.  Here’s one more way.  In Seattle you can rent this hot tub boat.  Yep…just like it sounds. Take it out on the water…and jump into some hot water while you’re out there floating. 



McCauley Culkin…the “Home Alone” kid just turned 40.  That may make you want to slap your own face and scream as he did in that movie.



Jeff Bezos of Amazon just became the first dude to be worth 200 BILLION dollars. I know our household is doing our part to help keep him rich with all of our Amazon Prime orders. And now he’s announced the opening of their first “Fresh” grocery store to compete against Kroger and the like.  For now, the only store or stores are in Seattle…but I’m pretty sure one will be coming to our neighborhood before we know it.  200 Billion!  Geez. Bet the taxes are killing him huh?



That big old Pyramid on the Mississippi River you see when you’re in Memphis getting ready to cross over into Arkansas became the world’s largest Bass Pro because Memphis native and world class fisherman Bill Dance suggested it would be a good idea to the guy who dropped large amounts of money to make it happen.  A fishing buddy of course.  That Pyramid that used to house conventions, and basketball games and sporting events also inspired the song “In Memphis” that I wrote with my “Hits & Grins” trio that includes Steve Dean & Victoria Venier as we got stuck in a traffic jam in Memphis.  Outside our window was guess what?  Yep…the Pyramid. Steve who was riding in the backseat grabbed a mandolin out of case, we wrote the song…and then performed it that night in Little Rock at a show. Not something you normally do…and I was actually against it thinking we needed to rehearse it some.  Nope…we sang it…and the song went over BIG.  That reaction led us to recording it on one of our CD’s and then the duo “TnT” with Victoria and Tabitha Fair (who’s done background vocals on tour with the BIGGEST of stars like John Legend, Amy Grant, Sting and more) also recorded the song complete with horns.  Love this version.  Thank you for the traffic jam that day Memphis. 


I’ll also mention that our friend Tabitha Fair is seen a couple of times in the great music documentary “20 Feet From Stardom” that’s all about some amazing female singers who stand in the back and sing behind big stars. Really great film…I highly suggest watching it sometime. 



Carrie Underwood will sing the Sunday Night Football theme one more year.  This will make 8 years in a row now that she’s done so.  Pretty cool side gig.



I read an article this morning listing some all-time favorite baseball quotes.  Like, “Juuust a bit outside” from Bob Uecker up in the booth in the film “Major League”.


And of course, there were some quotes from Yogi Berra like, “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you”. 


One not on the list I’ve always loved came from the late Harry Caray who said of an outfielder who dropped a ball…”He couldn’t catch a pop up in an elevator”!



“French Government Defends Topless Women”.  I got an interesting reaction from my wife when I asked her if it was okay for me to defend them too.


I’m writing with Jake Madlock out in Arizona this morning.  Jake is one of the entertainers who works as an entertainer on the Grand Canyon Railway some.  I met Jake when I went out there for that great experience a couple of years in a row. Jake was nice enough to record a song I sent him that I wrote with Steve Dean titled “Good Thing Going” that he sells at all his gigs out there in the Canyon state.  He e-mailed me a few weeks ago with a song idea he had and wondered if I’d look it over and maybe help him write it?  Glad to do so.  It will be fun catching up with him and finding out how the train is faring in difficult times.


Have a great Thursday!







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