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Mac Davis...Helen Reddy...Dirty Parrots

Sep 30 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Wednesday morning in Music City.



I cancelled my entire week of songwriting sessions with the news of a great friend passing that I wrote about yesterday Dean Raymer.  We’re making plans to head to Missouri for a funeral to honor her. That means that this will be the only half-way normal blog for the rest of this week.


On top of losing such a wonderful person two great artists also passed away yesterday Mac Davis and Helen Reddy.



Man, I was a big Mac Davis fan like anyone else I would imagine who’s ever written or tried to write a song. “In the Ghetto” alone is genius stuff that he wrote over a little melody line he had started on his guitar. I saw Mac play a set just last year at the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival.  He was at the Flora-Bama with another great writer and guitar player Mike Loudermilk (who’s Dad was John D Loudermilk who wrote a ton of gigantic hits).  Just to hear Mac tell the stories of his career and songs was worth standing for. The stories of Sinatra and Vegas and movies and writing THOSE songs was so entertaining. I loved Mac's role in the football movie "North Dallas 40". And his sense of humor always always came through.  Just a pleasure.


He told a really funny true story about writing his hit “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me”. Mac was with a big publishing company and his publisher told him that they loved his song but said “we need a song with a hook” Mac that we can sell!  (The hook being the title).  So, Mac went home and wrote this chorus as a joke.


Baby baby don’t get hooked on me

Baby baby don’t get hooked on me

Cause I’ll just use you then I’ll set you free

Baby baby don’t get hooked on me


He then takes the chorus into his publisher and plays this chorus trying to make a point and of course his publisher shouts, “that’s IT”!  Mac was incredulous and tells him, “It’s a JOKE”. Get it?  You wanted a “hook”…baby baby don’t get hooked on me…it’s a joke”! The publisher assures him that thought is a hit and reluctantly Mac finishes the song…records it…and it’s a number one song for THREE WEEKS. 


Hard to pick a favorite Mac song but if I were forced?  I might choose “Lubbock Texas in the Rearview Mirror”. 



It’s interesting.  They are about to roll out this movie on Helen Reddy and she too passes. I played some of her early records on country radio actually.  And “I Am Woman” was controversial as the movie points out but Helen Reddy was right about the timing of the song but had to fight to get the song out.  It turned her into a major star.


Both Mac and Helen were 78 years old.  RIP and thanks for the great music.



I watched the baseball playoffs.  What did you guys watch?  Oh…that.  The Rumble in the Jungle.  I don’t think I missed anything from what I’m reading this morning. Lord, how would you like to try and moderate that mess?  I’m a hater of all things politics but that does allow me to see the humor in things like this.  And I can imagine what a field day Saturday Night Live will have with it.


I’d bet you’re going to see the meme “Will you shut up man” pop up in a lot of places too. 



Then there’s this news this morning that during the Mud Wrestling event last night Google exploded with searched for “moving to Canada” …how to?



Apparently, we are indeed drinking more during the pandemic. At least 14% more than last year and heavy drinking for WOMEN is more than that.  They’re stuck indoors with men.  Could be why.


Disney is laying off 28,000 employees at their theme parks with attendance being limited. Wonder if all those dolls in the “It’s A Small World” ride are wearing masks?


Folks continue to be creative in order to save trick or treating this year at Halloween.  Like this guy who rigged up a candy shooting cannon for social distancing. That makes me remember a joke my friend Roger Naylor the Hall of Fame writer out in Arizona used to tell when he did stand-up comedy back in the day.  He’d talk about how he and his wife would try and do a healthy thing by dropping a potato in the trick or treaters sack.  He admitted that got some dirty looks from 4- and 5-year old’s.



The IBMA Awards are coming up…the “International Bluegrass Awards” normally held “live” in Raleigh, North Carolina. Like most awards show this one will be done virtually.  I did get notice that Kristy Cox will be singing a song I wrote with Steve Dean and Daisy (Mallory) Reid titled “Train”, so I’ll look forward to seeing and hearing our song virtually the night they pass out those bluegrass awards. 



And the cast of the spectacular Broadway musical “Hamilton” that I’ve seen a couple of times re-worked one of the songs to encourage folks to get out and vote this year.  If you’re curious how that turned out from the creative mind of Lin-Manue Marandal?  Here ya go.


Maybe the cast of “The Lion King” can do the same since a Lion King 2 is in production? Hakuna Da Vota maybe.



Researchers now say they’ve found three buried lakes up on Mars. One can only hope they’re stocked with large-mouth bass.  Bass Pro should be selling tickets on the space shuttle soon.



Amazon now will allow some folks to pay for their groceries by just waving their hand. Imaging. Some machine will be able to read the curves of your hand and with a swipe some money is gone from your bank account as you grab your bag of cumquats and Fritos and head for the truck.


And apparently we are trying to get healthier as Walmart has tripled their distribution of “Beyond Meat”.  Meat that’s plant based…now cow involved.  We now have Rice, Almond, Soy, Coconut you name it kinds of milk so no cow’s under is being yanked for a carton. And now “fake meat” is surging in popularity. I see cows sitting on a front porch in a retirement community in the near future.



How about the group of dirty talking parrots in England at a Zoo that was forced to remove them because they were cursing at tourists and visitors who stopped to see them?  Some of the kids learned some new words. Proof that you can’t let your parrot watch the Presidential Debates.


So yes…(wait for it) there was fowl language. 



Packing bags for that trip I mentioned but I’ll find time to watch my Reds play their first game in the playoffs against the Braves who are loaded this year. Go Reds!


Next blog will be next Monday morning. Have a great Wednesday!


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