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Chattanooga Veterans...Top Country Songs...Possums


Monday December 18, 2023

Monday morning and man…Christmas is sneaking up on us. Cool day ahead in Nashville with a high of just 477.



I spent Friday and Saturday in Chattanooga on a songwriter retreat with Freedom Sings USA.


Friday evening all of the songwriters who made the trip gathered for a little informal dinner and a meet and greet with our local sponsor and then played a songwriters round for those in attendance. In front of this beautiful patriotic Christmas tree. I want one!



Our group of songwriters all gathered with a veteran Saturday morning to write their stories into songs. The veteran I had been assigned who was on site as a Marine during that terrorist killing at two different locations in Chattanooga had something come up and he could not make our writing session. He had told me in a conversation the night before when he chose me as his writer that he had some issues he was dealing with (who wouldn’t) but also had some humorous stories about his service. And I told him I’d just write whatever he wanted that spoke to him. So somehow I was not totally surprised he missed the session, but I understand. So, one of the organizers of this event Chris Akridge asked if I would like to write his story? And that’s what I did.



Turns out Chris was a Marine…served in Fallujah as a forward observer on a tank and he loaded artillery as well. One of his battles that we wrote about was put in a military book that he showed me. They were on patrol one day when 30 enemy ran at that him. Chris called in the shots and a bunch of Marines were saved that day and a bunch of the enemy lost their lives because of Chris’s accuracy.


He also wanted to honor a Scout Assistant who taught him how to grip a gun and how to aim when he was a young Scout growing up. So the song is titled “One Good Man” that honors both his Assistant Scout Master and Chris as well.


Bobby Tomberlin, Don Goodman, Steve Dean, Wood Newton, and Irene Kelley all wrote songs with veterans that we performed in concert Saturday night.



It’s quite a moving experience for the veterans, their families, and the writers as well.



The TVA sponsored the event and a couple of their employees who served had their songs written.



My thanks again to the staff, volunteers, sponsors at the excellent sound team that made this even such a success this year. They say we’ll be coming back…and I’ll look forward to that.




It sounds like there will be more and more of these Freedom Sings retreats added to the calendar in the upcoming year. Kansas, Illinois, Roanoke VA, San Diego and possible a trip to Germany could all happen. Stay tuned.



A new study finds that American adults eat an extra meal each day in junk food.


COVID and flu levels continue to increase but the CDC director believes the US has hit the peak of RSV cases.


Poison centers see 1,500% increase in calls related to injected weight-loss drugs as people accidentally overdose.



In a little survey a group of women agreed that a red flag when dating men is them smelling bad. I get that. Guys…use what I used.



The online publication Stacker released the Top 100 Country Songs of All Time per Billboard Magazine. We’re talking sales here.


Here’s the top 5.

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

1…Cruise by Florida Georgia Line


I was happy to see my friend Steve Dean’s song “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins land at the #37 slot all time.  



The Caney Fork Restaurant here in Nashville near the Opryland Hotel will allow you to roast smores right at your table. All the ingredients are there…and they bring a little fire pit to your table for you to roast your marshmallows along with the guests at your table. Kind of different and cool.



A new Chinese electrical vehicle just ran 650 miles without charging on its 150kWh battery they’ve built. More folks might by EV’s if they thought they could go that many miles without a charge.



Texas Woman Finds A Possum Hiding In Her Christmas Tree After It Sneezes.


Two questions?  How do you not see that when you put it up?  Secondly….Possums sneeze?



I’m writing with my friend Dave Brainard and his wife Jenny Tolman today. First time in a bit. The two of them had a baby boy on New Year’s Eve last year that they named “Bear” who’s about to celebrate his first birthday. Last time I saw Bear he was crawling so it will be fun to see him walking around while we rhyme today.



Have a great Monday!