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Cowboy Song...A Del McCoury Band Cut...Nominations

Nov 22 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

And how was your weekend? Back to work, it’s Monday. And it’s Thanksgiving week.


Just 37 degrees as I start this blog this morning with a high of just 46.



Well, mine started on a very high note Friday when I wrote, and more importantly, caught up with my friend Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard. We did spend a little time whittling on a song that we had started writing a couple of years ago that Dave thought needed a re-write, and it did, but more importantly I got to catch up on what’s happening with Jenny’s career, their upcoming marriage in Jackson Hole and the new album and the current single “I Know Some Cowboys” that I’m their co-writer on.


First, I got to see the video for “Cowboys” and it’s just so creative and fun. That will be released in just a couple of weeks so hopefully you’ll see it on CMT and GAC and some other TV outlets. I’ll share it here for sure once it is released.


I also saw some background shots for “That’s How I Got Married in A Honkytonk” that I wrote with them and that will be Jenny’s next single release as well as the title track for the album. Wow. Excited for that too.


Dave also told me that the Christmas song we wrote a couple of years ago that Jenny released, “I Want a Cowboy for Christmas” now has over 400,000 streams and growing, and there may be some bigger things coming for our little cowboy Christmas song. Stay tuned.


And then we talked a long time about her amazing experience singing our song “Lonely in the Lonestar” that she and Dave performed at the memorial service for Marine Lance Corporal Ryan McCollum, one of the 13 soldiers killed in the Afghanistan bombing. Quite the emotional day as Jenny sang the national anthem, and then closed those services with our song. Again, all the proceeds from this song are going to the 13 Gold Star Families that lost their young soldiers in that bombing.


I also found out that they are going to build Ryan’s widow and young baby a house, partially funded by the sales of that song. I could not be prouder that our song, that was not written about anyone when we wrote it, has found this kind of exposure and is doing some good for folks who deserve it. Truly, truly and honor to be a part of this song.



While the three of us were catching up my phone dinged, and I got a text from another talented co-writer-singer Josh Shilling who sent me a copy of the legendary bluegrass singer Del McCoury song that the two of us wrote together “Once Again”. What he did not tell me in the text is that it’s the first single off Del’s new album!  Now, for those that may not follow bluegrass that may not seem like a big deal. But for those who do?  Well, you know how big Del McCoury is in that world. Every writer would love for Del to cut a song of theirs and we got one because Josh knew Del well enough to think that this song that was written like a bluesy-country Ronnie Milsap kind of vibe would fit this bluegrass legend. Thank you, Josh, for your great ears and for pitching it to Del. Oh, and when you listen to it, that’s Josh playing the honkytonk piano.


And then it was nice to see this article with Del saying such nice things about our song.


Man, what a good day Friday was. 



Scott Southworth let me know that his current single “Less to Break” that I wrote with him was nominated for “Song of the Year” by the Academy of Western Artists. AND my friend Bobby Mackey’s single “Looking for Audrey” that I wrote with Linda Davis and Bobby Tomberlin is up for the SAME award.


This organization puts a spotlight on independent “traditional” country artists and their awards show will take place early next year. Right now there’s a long list of nominees that will whittle down to Top 5 or so soon, but it’s certainly nice to have two songs recognized by them. Congrats to both Scott and Bobby.



These lists pop up from time to time, and the songs do tend to change. The latest one came out this weekend from the online publication Stacker and I was pleased to learn that once again my friend Steve Dean’s great song he wrote with Brian White and artist Rodney Atkins, “Watching You” landed in the #37 spot all time. Tall cotton there. Congrats Steve and Brian! You can scan through the 100 songs at your leisure, but here’s there Top 10 this go around


10 Daddy Sang Bass by Johnny Cash

9 Amazed by Lonestar

8 Somebody Like You by Keith Urban

7 Convoy by C.W. McCall (rubber duckie)

6 Love’s Gonna Live Here by Buck Owens

5 There Goes My Everything by Jack Greene

4 Take Your Time by Sam Hunt

3 Wanted by Hunter Hayes

2 Walk on By Leroy Van Dyke


And their choice for #1? Cruise by Florida Georgia Line. Like or hate that song it was hard to ignore since that 2021 single set an all-time record of 56 weeks on the country charts. 


I’m not sure that any of those would be in my personal top 10 favorites so it’s a reminder again that music is personal, and we all have our favorites.



I’m saddened by the news out of Waukesha Wisconsin as some nut in an SUV plowed into the Christmas Parade that I’ve been a part of. 5 dead several injured. Waukesha is just outside Milwaukee where I lived and worked on the radio for several years and Christmas Parades are like a thing there. I rode in several including the one in Waukesha one year. Kind of brings it home when you can visualize a bit what that looks like. My thoughts go out to all of those affected. Man the world is nuts sometimes.



Only 40% of Americans (according to one article) have the strongest immunity level leading officials to warn that waning immunity among those vaccinated is leading to a rise in hospitalizations.


The WHO issued a warning that 500,000 Europeans could die of Covid by next Spring. Pretty dire for sure. Anyone else thinking Covid could be with us the rest of our lives now?


Meanwhile Florida is pushing even harder for natural immunity being as effective as the vaccines.



If Taylor Swift ever gets HAPPILY married, what the heck is the girl going to write about? Even the latest single that’s blowing up the charts that she sings with Chris Stapleton is about a bad boyfriend relationship. Again the lesson is, if you're going to date Taylor, don't break up with her!



The Hall of Fame inducted their newest members yesterday, all so deserving. Hank Williams Jr. Marty Stuart (no better historian) and the great songwriter Dean Dillon. Their plaques will now hang in the rotunda in our Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum that I can peek at when I play there Saturday December 11 with Steve Dean inside the Ford Theater. Our show is free with your museum admission.


And if you want to see a great musical documentary, watch “Tennessee Whiskey” that’s all about Dean Dillon’s career. And yes, the title is taken after just one of his smash hits.



A Dad said this. “I ate a kid’s meal at McDonald’s this morning. The Mom was furious”.



Yea, it’s getting more and more expensive to live here in Music City. The MEDIAN price for a home has now surged to over $400,000 in Music City. Wow. There’s of course a demand for low-cost housing that needs to be met somehow. My suggestion is that IKEA should start building houses.



They always say that if you’re being interviewed for a job, you should interview or ask questions of the person hiring. Here’s a dandy exchange.


A prospective hire ask a boss, “how many employees have quit in the past 6 months”? Apparently, the person in the hiring seat got mad at the question. The prospect turned down the job, and then found out two months later that the boss quit two weeks later. Ask questions folks.



This week we’ll drive to spend time with our daughter and son in law in Alabama along with his parents who are driving up from Miami. Who knew we were in the minority as far as transportation goes? They say (whoever “they” are) that only 37% will drive this Thanksgiving because of high gas prices.


And all that says to me is that I don’t want to be near an airport over the holiday.


I have an online consultant write today with a writer in California who wants a little help with a song he’s writing. Every now and then someone will reach out through my friend Brent Baxter’s Songwriting Pro website for help from me or one of the other three writers that they can select from online. Should be fun.


Have a great Monday!










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