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A Day Off...Willie's Three Hits...the "Retired" song

Nov 6 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Headed for the first full Fall weekend and man it the weather awesome. Sunny and 74 here today.



My full day of writing and rehearsing got cancelled early yesterday so it did give me a chance to put on a pair of shorts again as the temps have warmed up enough to do so and get in a little hike around one of our local lakes.  Peaceful for sure and there was no election anxiety to be found anywhere. Just the water, the turning of the leaves, some wildlife and the peace and quiet.  Amazing how peaceful and calm it can get when one turns off the TV. If I were a therapist that would be my advice when you lay down on my couch. “Turn off your dang bad news TV channel and go for a walk.  Your times up…that will be $300…and you’re welcome.



My daughter sent me a “dead on” comedic text yesterday that read, “who knew that the Bachelorette Clare Crawley would be less dramatic than the US election?  Those that follow the new Bachelorette knows what we’re talking about. 


If you don’t watch the Bachelorette?  She got engaged to a dude last night after only three episodes. I’m looking for the other bachelor’s she dumped to sue for a recount later today.



Congrats to us.  Tennessee is now in the virus red zone. 5th in new deaths from Covid 19. Yesterday for the first time the US reported over 120,000 case in one day.


In Missouri and election official worked on election day knowing she had Covid. She went home, got sick and then died. 


And here’s the ups and downs of it.  Papa John’s pizza sales are soaring.  Up 17% because of folks staying home more.  Meanwhile that seems to be reflected in Vegas as some hotels are only booking weekend stays now because business is so bad. And there are probably some that paid for a room and then ordered in Papa John’s.


Some stores are now limiting sales of toilet paper per customer…again. File that under things I will never understand.



Sometimes I think I know a lot about country music and then sometimes not so much. Scrolling through Facebook last night a clip of the Howard Stern Show (of all things) came on and Willie Nelson was his guest. Howard correctly pointed out that Willie wrote “Crazy”, “Funny How Time Slips Away” and “Night Life” on ONE road trip. That was when Willie decided to move to Nashville from Texas. Before he got to Music City, he had those three monster hits in his bag to sell…and he did.


One other great side story to this. Willie had a little recording of “Crazy” that he had made. When he got to Nashville he went to Tootsie’s because that was the bar next to the Ryman Auditorium where a lot of country stars and movers and shakers would go for a cold one now and again. Especially between shows of the Opry at the Ryman back in the day.  One day Patsy Cline’s husband Charlie Dick walked in, talked with Willie and Willie told him he had some great songs,” let me play you one”. The owner of Tootsie’s had allowed Willie to put his record of “Crazy” on his jukebox…so Willie dropped in a quarter and played it for Patsy’s husband.


Charlie said, “Patsy needs to hear this”.  It was midnight and Willie said, “let’s not wake her we can play it for her tomorrow”. Charlie Dick was hearing none of it and they drove to the house…woke Patsy up…and the rest is country music history. Who knew?



Yellowstone National Park just banned a guy for life because they caught him trying to fry a chicken over one of the geysers.  What goes on in a guy’s mind exactly when he wakes up one morning and thinks, “I know what I’ll do today”!



It truly is a digital world now and here’s more proof. The New York Times now says that digital only subscriptions are now their biggest business.  Less and less folks actually pick up a real newspaper anymore.


Also changing is the Sports world. ESPN just laid off 300 employees. And, they have 200 openings they’ve decided not to fill. NBC and Fox Sports are also laying folks off. Add to that the second round of layoffs at iHeart Radio and it shows you how the pandemic has changed those businesses. Makes me kind of glad I’m not trying to start a radio career in today’s climate.



A sports enthusiast bought up 32 Patrick Mahomes cards with a 1/1 serial number. That means he bought up all of them when the now Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Champ QB entered the NFL. He’s putting them up to sell on E-Bay. He’s asking 7.5 MILLION dollars. Since they are the only cards of its kind?  He’s likely to get that figure. An I thought my pet rock collection was a good investment.



And now there’s this low-cost Yamaha Vespa ELECTRIC scooter you can buy someone for Christmas if you’d like. Talk about a trend that’s hot…. electric bikes, motorcycles, cars and now even Vespa type scooters.


Every time I heard the word “Vespa” I smile and think about the songs Brent Burns and I wrote “Retired that Ray Stevens recorded. Brent and I were in Gulf Shores and I had this idea to write something about all the folks that retire down on the beach. At one point I had a line, “Saw a gorgeous widow cougar, riding on a Vespa scooter”.  It was funny because Brent had not heard of Vespa and thought I was lying when I explained to him that a “Cougar” was an older woman interested in younger men. I finally convinced him, and the line stayed in it was legit and the line stayed in.


There’s also another section of this funny song that goes,

“I’m still at attention, no Cialis intervention required”.


I had suggested “no Viagra intervention required” but Brent was right when he said “Cialis” sounds funnier. It does indeed. 


And now you know some of the back story of how that song was written.



Incidentally, I do a show at 5 pm at the Woodside Restaurant located in the Gulf State Park this coming Thursday with Brent at the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. If you’re near, don’t miss it…we’re dangerous when we get together. And the weather?  Right now they’re calling 79 and sunny for that show which will be great because we’re outdoors. Bring your face masks, social distance and join us if you can.



“Texas Dog Accidentally Shoots Owner in the Leg”. The dog raised up to hug the owner, his paw got stuck on the trigger and “blam”. I think it was just payback for what they did to Ole Yeller myself.



I’m writing with the talented husband and wife bluegrass duo Darin and Brooke Aldridge today down in North Carolina.  Always a pleasure to do that and also a pleasure to hear the three year in a row Female Bluegrass Artist of the Year sing. Looking forward to that.



It’s Black Friday at Walmart, Kohl’s and other places if you’re a shopper. Then there’s college football, we’ve got a drive by baby shower for a friend to do, and Sunday our “Hits & Grins” trio is rehearsing for Frank Brown Festival and our three shows together there.


Have yourself a great weekend too!




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