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Songwriters on the Beach...A Wonderful Military Honor...Thelma Lou

Oct 18 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Back home from the beach where it’s only 43 degrees in Nashville as I begin this blog early this early Monday morning. Feels like Fall fell.



I was in beautiful Port St. Joe, Florida Friday, and Saturday right next to Mexico Beach. It was, sunny and hot in that part of Florida as our “Hits & Grin” trio with Steve Dean and Victoria Venier did 3 shows at the “Blast on the Bay” songwriters festival.


Our first show was Friday night at The Lookout Lounge which is a wonderful listening room. The owners became fans when we played there a couple of years ago and requested our trio for their room this year. AND…they gave each of us a bottle of champagne and some goodies as a way of saying “thank you”. Great couple, and we appreciate them treating us “above and beyond”.


Saturday we were up early and played at 11 AM at a place right on the water called the “View on 98” which is in a little planned community. Our stage was set up under a tent, on the sand, and from our stools we were sitting on, all we had to do was gaze to our left and we could see the water. Good work folks if you can get it!


Then later Saturday we played a 5 pm show at Tap Root. This was a brand-new venue, and they had a stage outdoors set up and when we began playing, it was in the 90’s and by the time we stopped playing, the temperature had dropped considerably, and the last 30 minutes of our set was postcard perfect with the sun starting to drop. In fact, right after our show ended, we walked over and took some amazing pictures of the sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico.


The crowds were great, sound was awesome, and the volunteers and staff of this boutique songwriter festival were just incredible to work with as always.


We saw some old friends and made lots of new ones down on the Gulf and we can’t wait until next October when we get to do it again.



We’ll be at the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival in Gulf Shores November 11, 12 and 13 where our “Hits & Grins” trio will play 4 shows, and I’ll do a 5th one with my friend Brent Burns. Details are on my calendar here on my website.



I mentioned here a few blogs ago how I had an idea for a song called “Lonely in the Lone Star Tonight” that I wound up writing with my talented friends Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard. The finished song wound up being about a widow missing her soldier who got killed in Afghanistan. Jenny recorded a You Tube video of her singing the song. Just her and the guitar. Someone found the song out in Wyoming, and it got to the widow of Marine Corporal Rylee McCollum who was one of 13 soldiers killed in the Kabul bombing in Afghanistan. His widow had a baby 3 weeks after he died.


The family is holding a celebration of his life next Saturday October 23, and Jenny is going to fly to Jackson Hole and sing our song at that celebration. ALSO…she will be “live” on Fox and Friends that morning, just before the ceremony and you’ll be able to watch and hear our song.


Jenny and Dave recorded the song and will release it. All proceeds of the sales of this song will go to the family. To say I’m honored would be a huge understatement.



A reminder of how deadly Covid is with the news that Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State passed from Covid complications. He was 84. He was fully vaccinated.


CDC data says the J&J vaccine is the worst of the three being given but that being unvaccinated is far more dangerous.


Meanwhile, Fauci is now saying anyone who got the J&J jab should have gotten poked twice.



Only 72 shopping days left until Christmas! I’m envious of those who shop early. Some shop WAY too early like the one in this joke.


A woman is taken to court where the judge asks, “What were you charged for?” The woman replies, “Doing my Christmas shopping too early”. When the judge asks her how early, she said, “Before the store opened”.



In Nashville, someone bought a single wide trailer for 1.5 MILLION dollars. Yes, real estate is hot in Music City. This trailer sat in great location. Back in 2007 it sold for $135,000. The mobile home is only 528 square feet. It sits on 1.5 acres, and that’s big enough to build 40-50 townhomes for the development company that bought it. So somebody just won the trailer lotto big time



Yep…there is such a thing as eye yoga. For real. Hey, if you can goat yoga you can eye yoga. Designed to relieve eye strain. If you’re interested, here’s a little video of 5 different eye yoga exercises you can wear out if you’d like. Wonder if folks sit on a mat in yoga pants when they jump into this?



Tim and Faith put their little farm up for sale that they don’t use anymore located south of Nashville.  If you’re interested, you can purchase it for just 9.9 million bucks. The perfect purchase for those of you who who’ve been looking for a nice little second home.



In Nashville, a woman got so upset waiting on her French fries that she went behind the counter and hit an employee with a French fry scooper. Police are looking for her now. I’m going to write an article titled, “Only in The South”.



If you’re old enough, you know who Thelma Lou is. That was Barney Fife’s girlfriend in Andy of Mayberry. The actress who played her, Betty Lynn passed away at the age of 95. By all accounts she was a sweetheart of a person. She lived the last several years of her life out at a nursing home in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, the home of the TV series that still runs on TV today. And the show is still wholesome AND funny all at the same time.



The great drummer passes at age 83. He played for a ton of big stars, but most will remember him as the drummer who kicked butt behind Elvis. I saw Elvis “live” in St. Louis when I was young. The jumpsuit years. The noise was deafening when Ronnie Tutt made that signature drum roll that kicked of the Space Odyssey theme that meant Elvis was about to walk on stage. Iconic and memorable. RIP.


In Atlanta, police are investigating a story that a Waffle House waitress pulled a gun on a customer after he complained about his food order. He ordered cheese eggs, she brought normal eggs, and out came a guy…reportedly. This is why Brent Burns and I wrote “Midnight at Waffle House”.



I deliberately left a hole in my calendar knowing I’d have a stack of “catch up” after being on the road to Texas and then Florida. So I’ll be working on that, and working ahead as I have a show with Steve Dean this Thursday over near Crossville, TN. And then next Tuesday I leave on a long road run with stops in Mobile, Orange Beach, Key West, and Gulf Shores. Looks like I’ll be adding a couple more shows to my calendar for the big Parrot Head gathering in Key West that I’ll be part of for the first time November 3,4 and 5.  I should have those details here tomorrow.  


Have a great Monday!






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