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"The Sound"...Bill Murray...The Colisseum

Sep 23 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

And we’ve made it to the middle of another week. And it’s cool in Nashville.  First day of Fall hit yesterday and it do feel like it with a high of 68 here in Music City today and only 66 tomorrow.  I know I’ve got long pants somewhere.



I wrote for the first time with Rob Mills who’s the Dad in the trio “The Sound” with his two sons.  Rob grew up in North Carolina and lives in Michigan right now where his wife’s family is from. He and his boys play a lot of dates…a lot of them in churches so they’re gone a lot. And he writes in the same building I do when he comes through town. So yesterday we wrote a cool contemporary gospel tune towards his group because Rob loved it enough to not go ahead and write a bluegrass tune as my publisher had thought we might do. The good news is that I was able rearrange my schedule while Rob is in town the rest of this week and we’ll attack that bluegrass idea on Friday. No surprise that if you grow up in North Carolina that you love bluegrass.  Pretty sure it might be the law down there. 



And I felt almost “normal” yesterday when my publisher took me to lunch at a great little place that has outdoor seating on Old Hickory Lake. Gosh, the food was great, the view was awesome, and the beer was cold. A perfect trilogy and it was fun to catch up, talk the business and do something that I used to take for granted.  Here’s to more of that.



Disgusting.  Americans have lost 145 million dollars now to Covid scams. If the e-mail, the mail or the phone call sounds too good to be true?  It is.


Yesterday Wisconsin actually declared an emergency after a big virus surge in the cheese state. And the surge is not in Seniors.  In those between the ages of 18-24.  College campuses seem to be the big spreader.


Bed Bath and Beyond has been hit by the virus too and announced they will close 63 locations nationwide by years end.  I would have thought what they sell is needed during quarantine times but apparently not enough.


And yes…there is a FUNNY Bed Bath and Beyond song out there written and performed by my long-time funny friend up in Detroit Heywood Banks.  Need a laugh? Click the link and listen.



When I flipped the TV on yesterday afternoon the channel it went to had Mayberry on. It made me smile to think you can STILL find Andy and Barney and Opie and the gang every day after all these years. With all the often time nasty diatribe constantly pouring out of News Channel Talking Heads?  There might be a reason that a show like Mayberry is still watched over and over.  It makes you feel better about the world.  And for that we can all be thankful. 



During the pandemic many have been looking for jobs to help fill income loss.  One job that some can freelance would be that of a Christmas Light decorator.  For those who don’t want to light up their own house?  They hire folks to do it for them.  Apparently one can charge $1.25 to $3 per linear foot of lights strung. And if you light up trees?  The range is from $60 to $1,200 per tree depending on the size.  Wouldn’t be for me.  I can’t not stop seeing Clark Griswold trying to decorate his house. The insurance from falling off a ladder would negate anything I’d make.  Nope.



One of my favorite funny guys Bill Murray turned 70 yesterday.  He went to his son’s restaurant wearing a birthday cake hat and took a bite out of a real birthday cake going face down into it on purpose.  Talented but self-effacing and has never taken himself too seriously. There’s a great film out about Bill Murray that captures him just showing up at places and taking over and joining into parties of astonished everyday folks.  Check it out.  It will most surely put a smile or two on your face and it’s a great example showing how stars can stay real if they want to. 


Oh…and just to make me feel even older…Bruce Springsteen just turned 71.



That would be comedian Steve Martin who showed off his sense of humor wearing his Covid mask but still letting America know it’s him. 



Wife: “My husband won’t let me pick up wood at Home Depot because he doesn’t want it scratched or bent but I can take care of his children daily.



Elon Musk is saying his company will soon have a battery with 500% more power and that it will revolutionize the concept of electric cars. Hard to doubt a man who just started sending folks back up into space with a private company.



You know you’re going to need a pair of the new Gucci overalls with a grass stain effect look on them.  Not REAL grass stains mind you…fake grass stains for those who really don’t want to go outside and get sweaty or play in the yard. And these overalls will only cost you $1,400.  Buy two.  And while you’re at it pick up three pair with holes already ripped in them for another $1,500 or whatever they charge for those these days.  If the world hasn’t already gone mad?  It’s at least standing on a rim about to fall into mad.



That would be the Irish dude who visited the Coliseum in Rome. My visited a couple of years ago.  But we never thought to try and carve our initials into it.  But this guy did. That did not go over well with those in charge of protecting this historical site. One can only hope that the judge will throw him into the Coliseum floor with a lion or two to battle.


For the record?  I don’t think seeing the Roman Coliseum was on my bucket list, but man am I glad we got to see it as well as the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and other sights in Italy. My wife and I first saw the magnificent structure at night.  We were with a large group of folks on tour with me and my friend Brent Burns. We had a dinner at this wonderful Italian restaurant…7 courses with unending wine and Italian singers.  When we came out it was dark and just up the alleyway we stepped into?  The Coliseum was lit up and it looked like it was framed in a picture.  One of those moments when you turn to your wife and say, “is that for real”?  The next day we got the full tour and it did not disappoint.  Go if you can…but don’t carve your danged initials!



Those are the initials radio guys often used to introduce an Earl Thomas Conley song on the air…or at least I did. We lost him in 2019 but it turns out that Earl had recorded an album that he helped write two decades ago that was never released.  So, this Friday “Promised Land: The Lost Album” will give fans some new music from him.  I’ll want to hear some of that for sure.


Earl had a unique voice and I remember being struck by it the first time I heard his single “Fire and Smoke”.  And then he recorded what I think is a classic “Holding Her and Loving You”. 


My old guitar player Joe Engel played for Earl for several years out on the road and always said he was a nice guy. It’s going to be nice to hear some new music from him.



“Cult Leader Claiming to Be the Reincarnation of Jesus Arrested in Russia”.  Shoulda went with “Elvis” pal.



I’m writing with my Paris, Missouri pals Becky and Wil Denton today. They’ve been traveling a bit and playing some shows which is good to see.  And since they are starting to do several beach gigs?  I think we’ll be writing something with sand and flip flops in the lyrics.


Have a great Wednesday!



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