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#1 Song...NY Times Best Album...Ronnie Milsap Highway

Dec 4 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

First weekend of December is on us boys and girls.



I got together with Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard and we wrote a new song together to add to the “Jennyville” catalog. It was only appropriate that since they are newly engaged that we take a shot at writing a love song…and that’s exactly what we did.  They were engaged at a lovely spot in the Tetons outside of Jackson Hole and it may be where the two return to say, “I Do”.  We’ll see. Won’t take much to convince me to go to that beautiful place again and watch two of my favorite folks get hitched in that kind of majesty for sure.


Jenny’s official video for “If I Could Invent A T-Shirt” came out yesterday morning and it’s nice to hear that some radio stations have jumped on the Jenny train early and are playing our fun song about the times we’re living in now. So thanks to all of them. 



Gerald Smith sent me this AirPlay Direct bluegrass chart showing me that our song “He’s A Coming” went to NUMBER ONE on their chart yesterday. That don’t suck. So congrats on that Gerald and to our other co-writer Lisa Shaffer. This little gospel bluegrass song was also recorded by Darin & Brooke Aldridge and their version went to number one on the Gospel-Bluegrass charts a few years ago. So, same song and it’s hit the top of some kind of chart now not once but twice.  I don’t have the Gerald version yet that I can share, but here’s the great recording of it from Darin and Brooke. 



Lauren Mascitti’s album “God Made A Woman” was just named one of the best albums of 2020 by no less than the New York Times!  So happy for this young lady who many of you saw on American Idol last year along with her now famous and sweet Nana. And also great is the fact that I wrote one of the songs on this album with Lauren and our friend Wil Nance, “Never Been in Love Like This”. Just really great news for a young artist that deserves it.


And if that’s not enough the online publication “Saving Country Music” just nominated the same album for their Album of the Year for 2020. Wow. This publication doesn’t put a spotlight on mainstream artists so much as it does just artists who make great music period that leans traditional. And Lauren certainly fits that criteria with her great voice that has a cry in it at just the right time. Way to go Lauren.



Wow…you could get $1,500 if you get a Covid-19 vaccination. It’s former congressman John Delaney’s idea trying to help the government to get 70% vaccinated hoping to save lives and the economy. How many anti vac folks would change their minds for a check?


The NHL is looking to hold more outdoor games to deal with Covid this year. Normally they do one big outdoor hockey game that’s hugely popular…so why not?  Fans like it, and it’s safer.


Observation.  My wife bought a sign as the virus started last March that we have up in our kitchen. It’s a sign you can flip over. On one side it reads, “Let’s Stay In”. On the other side it reads, “Let’s Go Out”. It does occur to me that the “Stay In” side in what I see about 95% of the time.  I’m way past ready for that sign to stay on the other side a lot more.



Apparently, a lot more people are playing chess these quarantine days and buying chess sets. I had a couple of friends in college who loved playing that game and they taught me how to play. I quit when I realized how ridiculous that is…me playing chess…since I can never beat that golf peg game at Cracker Barrel.  So no more bishop to knight for yours truly.



That’s a title of a Tom T. Hall song that was a hit. In Toronto there are a lot of “jolly good fellows”.  After reading on Facebook that a bar owner was struggling to keep her doors open folks just kept showing up to buy beer until she sold out her entire supply. Must have looked like that closing scene a bit in “Field of Dreams” where the car lights are seen for miles and miles.  Good for them. Too bad Covid can’t be cured with a beer vaccination. 



Ronnie Milsap is being honored by his hometown of Robbinsville, North Carolina as they are renaming a 6 mile stretch of road there to Ronnie Milsap Highway. Cool. And I would not be surprised if Ronnie drover those six miles himself.


I’ve interviewed Ronnie several times through his career…and mine. And I’ve been around him a few times too. Great guy. And here’s a great true story.


Ronnie was an in-studio guest of mine at WSM-FM one morning in Nashville.  My Dad who was still living at the time was blind like Ronnie. So I thought it might be interesting to hook the two of them up on the phone to talk…on air.  And it was great. Ronnie talked about some of his new high tech braille instruments to my Dad and they shared stories about being blind. At the end of the interview as I’m telling my Dad goodbye…we were going to commercials my Dad says, “Hey Ronnie…one more thing. Is it just me or are all the girls pretty now that you’ve lost your sight”?  And yea…I still laugh about that memory today. I think my Dad was auditioning to get his own dang show!



Might as well as mortgage rates dropped to an all-time low yesterday and they were already low. That should make buying one of those Tiny House’s pretty easy for everyone. Wonder why Hollywood couldn’t produce “The Tiny Housewives of Tennessee”?



Bread machines are a hot item this year. Easy to make hot warm bread from a machine. Cool. But all my memories of bread relate to the old-fashioned ways I watched my Mom make it growing up. Fleischman’s yeast in a tin pan container that sat in the window seal until you saw it rise. Into the oven…homemade bread. Funny how time changes the way you feel. Our family of seven had lots of homemade bread, rolls, cakes…you name it. I remember thinking store bought loaves was so much better but we rarely had any as it was cheaper to make your own bread. And now?  What I wouldn’t give to have a slice of what came out of that tin pan my Mom used in the day.


And with that I want to share this Christmas song I wrote with Paul Bogart that the released last Christmas that’s all about how wonderful it is that “Some Things Never Change”. That traditions are passed down from one generation to the next.



Warner Brothers made a huge deal with HBO Max to show 17 new films including the new “Wonder Woman” and “Matrix 7” in theaters AND on HBO Max. Max will cost you 17 or 18 dollars a month. But you can sit on your couch and watch those first run blockbusters instead of having to wear a mask in a cinema.  Might be worth it to be able to sit and watch in your sweats.



How come we don’t carry pocket-knives anymore?  I used to when I was young. Now, I can’t remember the last time I ever saw anyone pull one out of their jean pockets. BUT…if you’re a fan, or if you have someone on your shopping list that loves knives?  You have GOT to stop at the World’s Largest Knife Store right off I-40 as you head towards Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Oh…they got knives.



You can buy Tonya Harding’s 1997 Dodge pickup truck for ten grand and it’s got less than 5,000 miles on it. No word on if there’s a lead pipe in the bed of the truck or not.



I’m off to write with Sydni Perry and Jimmy Fortune this morning…one last co-write before the end of the year, the holidays AND Sydni delivering a BABY!  Sydni and her husband Hani are expecting their first child Christmas Day…or close to.  And when she told me and Jimmy at a writing session that she was pregnant and showed us the sonogram picture she also asked the two of us to be honorary Grandfathers. So, we have a vested interest...and some of today will be spent asking Mama how she’s doing.  So happy for her and her husband’s blessing on the way.


Have a great weekend!



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