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Rainbow Music...Arizona Polar Express...Texas This Weekend

Nov 22 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Listening to a hard rain this morning as I start the Friday Blog and head for a busy weekend.



I wrote with a couple of frequent co-writers these days Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard at their place.  Jenny is working towards album #2 and we are stacking up a bunch of good songs that will be in their pile for consideration.  And yesterday Dave, who’s a great guitar player started playing a wonderful melody that made the three of us go for something that sounds “movie” like if you will.  We had conversations about “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Rainbow Connection” that we all love…they’re timeless.  So the song then turned lyrically into a life lesson that maybe a Mother or Father might sing to a child. 


If you write long enough you do start to know when you’re writing something that’s another step up and that’s the case here.  So, we’ll be revisiting this song again and maybe again to make sure that in our minds it’s right…and special.  Some things are worth taking your time over.



How bout this story of a young songwriter here in Nashville singing in the Holiday Inn lobby.  In this town a lot of the young singers-songwriters play for tips as Morgan Clark was doing.  At the end of the night she counted her tips and found a check for $10,000!  And it was legit with a note of encouragement from the donor who chose to remain anonymous.  The check cashed.  Wow.


I see a lot of young performers in the future wanting to play at that Holiday Inn.



My friend Linda Davis drew this story to my attention.  Some of you may have seen this…somehow I had not.  It’s a wonderful story of a young man with autism who’s a big Polar Express fan. He got on the Polar Express Train in Williams, Arizona with his Mom and had a fit…and they could not stop it.  Heartbroken they went back to their room.  And then the “conductor” of the train came into the hotel room and gave the young man his “Polar Express” watch.  (If you’ve seen this wonderful Christmas movie…you know what I’m talking about)  Furthermore, the staff at the Grand Canyon Railway told the family their money would be refunded and he’d be given a free trip when he was ready.  Kind of made my day reading this.


I’ve sung on that train that runs to the Grand Canyon.  Some of the other entertainers had told me about how popular the Polar Express is.  About November or so they turn one of their regular trains into the Polar Express.  And they just did something really really nice for that young man.  Here’s the STORY if you’ve not seen it yourself…keep a hanky handy.



There will be no Victoria Secret Fashion show no more…apparently.   A controversy, declining sales, lower ratings all playing into the decision I guess.  So no more models coming down a runway in lingerie and a gigantic pair of angel wings.  A perfectly natural thing to see right?


I have a song I perform often titled “The Question Song”.  There’s a line in it that asks, “What do you see exactly in a Victoria Secret Half Off Sale”?  Just because they’re ending the show doesn’t mean I’ll be dropping that line from the song.  Just wanted ya to know.



I don’t know how I missed it but I did.  November 20 was “National Botox Day”.  Anyone that looks and my face knows I missed participating.  I also kind sorta covered that topic musically in a song that Brent Burns and I wrote that many of you have heard…”Whatever Happened To Kenny Rogers Face”?  Somebody gotta do it.  If you don’t grimace easily and need a laugh…click and listen.



Hard to believe “The Kid” Ken Griffey Jr turned 50 yesterday!  One of my favorite all time baseball players.  And I got to interview him once when he was with the Cincinnati Reds in their dugout.  Pro athletes can be very tough interviews.  They give stock answers, and many don’t really want to do the interviews but it’s a requirement.  And it can be intimidating.  I know that from experience too when I tried to interview some Milwaukee Bucks basketball players in their locker room.  My arm still aches trying to reach my microphone up to their mouths.  Not a fun experience.


But for the Ken Griffey interview a friend helped me by letting me know that Griffey was a big NASCAR fan.  Knock me over with a carburetor.  Who knew?  So when we started talking I asked him who his favorite drivers were and he “lit” up and we had a very fun conversation.


So Happy Birthday “Kid”…and thanks for that memory.


And for this memory too of when he played with his Father Ken Griffey Sr. on the Seattle Mariners team.  The Father-Son team hit back-to-back home runs.  Imagine that.  What are the odds?  And watching this MOMENT never gets old.



And staying with America’s Pastime here…Major League Baseball is saying they may eliminate up to 42 minor league baseball teams across the country.  They want upgraded facilities and some of the minor league parks are wrecks and relics.  I’m a baseball purists…and I love old baseball parks even when they’re not in the best of shape.  There’s some character to them.  But, Nashville’s old ballpark was in bad shape, and we got a state of the art stadium a few years ago and I will admit that it’s a much better baseball experience for the fan.  It will be interesting to see which parks will close.



Kristy Cox who I write with is from Australia.  They’re CMA Awards are called “The Golden Guitar” Awards.  Kristy got a couple of nominations this week and I want to congratulate her.  She’s up for song of the year “Ricochet” and I’m blessed to have a song on that album titled “Blame It On God” that wrote with Jimmy Fortune and Sydni Perry.  And I have her current single that’s on the Aussie charts right now “Train” written with Daisy Mallory & Steve Dean.  So thank you for those gifts Kristy…and congrats again.



That’s because someone made Twinkies cereal.  Uh uh.  Cereal that tastes like a sponge with cream inside.  I’ll be looking for a box…and no I will not be checking ingredients or calorie content on the side of the box.



I had no idea they have an “anti-bark” device for dog.  As a neighbor who was abused for a LONG while by owners not quieting their dogs at night?  I would have bought THIS and given it to them as a Christmas present…for me!  Some kind of ultra sound thing when you hear your pup barking that alerts him to be still. 


I hope it works.  And if it does…I propose the owners have to wear a shock collar that the neighbors could engage when they don’t make any attempt to quiet their dogs. 



I’ve been looking forward to writing with the Americana Duo “Steel Blossoms” and today is the day.  Two very talented young girls who a just really “cool-different”.  Brilliant young writers already and starting to make a little noise.  It will be fun meeting and working with them for the first time later this morning.  Here’s an EXAMPLE of what they do from their "fun" side.



I'm off to see two of my young co-writers perform "live" with back to back sets tonight at a local place that's actually calld "The Local".  That would be Brittany Taylor and Jenny Tolman who I mentioned at the start of today's blog...so that should be fun. 



Tomorrow morning my wife and I are headed to the movie theater with our daughter and her husband to see “Ford vs Ferrari”.  We’re so glad our daughter’s husband Casey got back home this week from a mission overseas with the Army.  We’ll look forward to hearing whatever he can tell us about that.  He loves fast cars so at least the guys will really enjoy this movie with Matt Damon and Christian Bale I’m sure.



I’m on a plane to Dallas where I’ll pick up a rental car along with Steve Dean and drive about an hour north for a “Hits And Grins” show at the Texas Theater in St. Joe, Texas.  Victoria Venier pulled her horse out there early this week to ride…so we’ll meet our musical sister in crime in St. Joe for the show.  Then it’s back on plane to home Monday.  Should be fun.


Have a great weekend!







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