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The Road Ahead...Parody Songs...Hecklers

Sep 7 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |


And how was your Labor Day? Thinking today one might be able to find some great deals on a backyard grill.



Lazy Labor Day here at the Whyte House. Caught up on a few things and did a little pre-planning for our Texas road trip of two shows coming up next week with Linda Davis and Lang Scott and our “Evening in the Round’ show. After that we go to Virginia, have a date in Tennessee then on to Georgia for a couple of dates. I don’t even put my suitcase away anymore as it’s going to be a lot of that from now until about mid-December. No complaints.



Covid hospitalizations have more than doubled since Labor Day weekend a year ago. Anyone else who thought by this time the numbers would be going down and not up? Overall there have been 40 million cases since the pandemic began. This Labor Day weekend alone caused a 300% jump.


That ne Mu variant is now in 49 states. That’s starting to become a hated word. “Variant”.


In Florida a second Doctor says he will not treat any unvaccinated persons.



In England, it looks like they may ban getting Botox for those 18 and under. Yes, some do that. How do you have a wrinkle at 18 and under?  All those worries are yet to come one would think. At my age now they won’t give them to me because they’re attitude is, “what’s the point”?



Quite a story here. A record label owner hires a plumber to fix his bathroom. He hears the guy singing in the porcelain room and then signs him to a recording deal with his label. Hopefully he’ll record the guy in the bathroom to capture that sound on record. Young kids come to Nashville all the time hoping to somehow get a record deal, and most have no idea how to even have a chance of making that happen. I see some buying a plunger and tool belt in the future.



Weird Al Yankovic has had at least 10 artists turn him down when he requested to parody a song of theirs. He’s made a great living for a lot of years being that parody guy. Paul McCartney, Prince and Michael Jackson to name a few. Although Michael’s folks did allow Weird Al to parody “Beat It” into “Eat It”.


Most folks don’t know that you need to get permission to do a parody. And the artist doing the parody gets none of the songwriter royalties. That goes to the original writers of the song in almost all cases. I knew this for a couple of different reasons.


One…I used to write for a radio content provider company in New York called United Stations. Dick Clark once owned it. I wound up being a writer for them for over 30 years. And a lot of what I wrote was parody songs that they would produce and send out to morning radio shows across the country to use “on air”. When Bruce Jenner decided to become a woman, I re-wrote the Shania hit “Man I Feel Like a Woman” to cover that story. I found out that I could NOT write a Beatles parody or a Hank Williams parody. Their folks would routinely sue if you used their material without permission.


The other way I learned that was with Cledus T. Judd who’s recorded several of my songs. Cledus also recorded parody songs for the most part, although he did record three original comedy songs of mine on different albums. He would always call the artist first to ask permission. Most of the time it was okay, but once in a great while he got a “no” and then passed on recording the idea. We did get a yes from the writers of “Girl Crush” for Little Big Town and we turned that into this funny Tiger Woods parody that Cledus recorded.


And now you know.



There are some funny dudes out there doing stand-up comedy. I dabbled in that for a while working a few comedy clubs. Watching other comedians deal with hecklers in the crowd (and they all get them) I realized they had worked on their “comeback lines’ to a heckler that were just as funny if not funnier than their act.


Here’s a couple.


I’m sorry, I can’t understand what you’re saying…I’m wearing a moron filter.


One heckler yelled to a comedian “You’re ugly”. The comic comeback was, “And yet your wife still prefers me to you”.


Another comedian told a heckler, Your bus leaves in 10 minutes. Be under it”.


Word to the wise. If you go to a comedy club, don’t sit on the front row. You’ll become part of the show if you do. The other tip is to try and look like you’re having a good time. Comedians know how to deal with that too. And this is a moment I witnessed “live” that I still laugh about today.


I was doing a comedy show with my friend Heywood Banks once who had a table on the front row all laughing like crazy except for the one young guy who looked like he was attending a funeral as opposed to a comedy show. Not once did he laugh. He just sat there with his arms folded looking glum. Finally my friend Heywood went to the back of the stage and pulled out a catcher’s mitt. He tossed it to the guy and said, “Let me know if you catch the next one”.


I also worked with Jeff Dunham for a week at a comedy club. At that time he had a card on each table where folks could ask his funny grumpy character Walter questions. They were picked up and brought backstage where Jeff sat and wrote funny answers for some of those. It was fun watching the audience react to those.


It was Walter who once said, “If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the UP button. Just sayin…”.



I didn’t know that NASCAR once held a race at Soldier Field on an infield course. Now, they want to do it again. If they get their way, they’ll be racing at LA Memorial Coliseum in 2022. Wow. Cool. In the words of Joe Nuxhall the late color guy for the Cincinnati Reds, they’ll be “rounding third and heading for home”.



With so many jobs open, and so many people still not working, one theory being floated to solve the problem is to lean more on robotic helpers. We’ve got self-driving semi-trucks ready to go already. I’m sure restaurant staff could be replaced with technology instead of people. It could surely speed things up at the DMV one would think.



“Japanese Police Arrest Man Who Allegedly Stole 700 Pieces of Women’s Underwear”. Wonder if it was a “brief” hearing?



I’m back at the writing table with Irene Kelley for the first time in a bit. She’s been buys. She just played a big bluegrass gathering in Delaware and is about to be on Larry’s Diner on RFD. So, we’ve got some catching up and writing to do today.


Have a great Tuesday!

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