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BILL BLOG

Monday March 11, 2024

 

And a good Monday morning to you from the Great Smoky Mountains. I lost an hour moving the clock forward late Saturday night, and then lost a 2nd hour making the trip over to Gatlinburg. Geez. It's just 30 degrees in east Tennessee this morning with a high of 58 on tap. Little cool in the mountains.

 

THE WEEKEND

Friday morning Steve Dean, Victoria Venier and myself jumped into our rental car at 6 AM and drove back to Nashville after having a terrific show Thursday night in Hot Springs Village Arkansas at the Woodland Auditorium.


 



 I got home at little after 2 pm, unpacked and then repacked for the trip Sunday morning over here to Gatlinburg where I have 3 shows today at Dollywood with “Hits & Grins” for the Dolly Songwriter Series here…our second year to get to do this great festival inside Dolly’s park.



 

So it was a busy weekend in that respect. Right after the last show at 4 pm today I’ll drive back to Nashville…about 3 hours and then unpack and repack again for Gulf Shores and Mobile. I have a show Wednesday night with Brent Burns at Mile Marker 165 in Orange Beach at “The Wharf” at 6 pm. Check out more details in this article just printed in the Gulf Shores local newspaper “The Mullet Wrapper."

 

Bill Whyte and Brent Burns March 13 at Mile Marker 58
Bill Whyte will join local Trop Rock royalty Brent Burns for a special March 13 concert on the Mile Marker 58 back deck at The Wharf in Orange Beach. The waterfront show will include a 5 p.m. meet ‘n greet before the 6-8 p.m. show. Cover charge is $10.
 
“Bill will be in the area for a show in Mobile and he is going to come down early so we can work on a few songs,’’ Burns said about his longtime musical collaborator. “We go back and forth with songs all the time over the internet, including three or four we have in the works right now.’’
Burns first included co-writes with Whyte on his third album, Tropical Nuts, and he estimates that they have written around 50 songs together since then, including eight songs on Burns’ latest release, Lots of Beaches to Go.
 
“We are like brothers from the same mother, and we love to cut up,’’ Burns said. “We get after each other when we talk on the phone just like we do when we are on stage. The guy cracks me up and I think I crack him up, too.’’
 
The tongue-in-cheek tone of two Burns/Whyte co-writes from Burns’ recent release are evident by the titles: “Dead People’s Clothes,” and “Things You Shouldn’t Do When Drinking.”
Whyte has been writing songs and performing at corporate events, casinos, fairs and comedy clubs since he was a teen.
 
He has a song on the album that won the Grammy in 2017 for Best Contemporary Christian Album and wrote the title track on the Joe Nichols CD “Crickets.” His songs have been recorded by Ray Stevens and Cledus T. Judd among many others. In 2016, he landed a #1 Gospel Bluegrass song for “He’s A Coming” recorded by Darin and Brooke Aldridge.
 
Whyte is also an accomplished radio broadcaster and has hosted morning shows in Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Nashville. He has been nominated three times for the CMA Air Personality of the Year and is in the Nashville Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
 
Burns has released 12 additonal CDs since 1999’s Livin’ The Life (Jimmy Buffett Only Wrote About) put him among the Trop Rock luminar. His Trop Rock awards have reached double digits. They include Song and CD of the Year for 2012’s “Don’t Come Knockin’ If The Tiki Hut’s Rockin.” In 2021, Burns was presented the TropRock Music Association Lifetime Achievement award.
 
At least a part-time resident since he took a summer residency at the Gulf Shores Holiday Inn in 1972, Burns was named Pleasure Island’s official music ambassador by the Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2006.
 
He also has a box full of plaques that thank him for the philanthropy that has continued to be his hallmark for 50 years. A longtime supporter of Habitat For Humanity ($1 donation for each CD sold), Burns reaches out to many other charities, both local and national. He received a special WAVE award for his humanitarian work through his Brent Burns Charitable Foundation.
 
Burns’ first taste of national attention came when he released Cheaper Crude or No More Food in 1980 in response to the previous year’s OPEC oil price hike. Brent spent $1,800 that he didn’t really have to record the single with a DJ friend from Phoenix, and it ended up selling 200,000 copies the first day and 500,000 copies the first month.
 

 

 

 

And then an 8 pm show on Friday night over in Mobile with comedian Juanita Smith at the People’s Room. It’s been a really busy year and getting busier for sure.


 

 

SUNDAY

It too a little longer to get to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee than normal yesterday. One wreck and then lots of slow creeping tourist traffic into Pigeon Forge before I finally got to my hotel where I bedded down last night. I’m somewhere between Hillbilly Golf and the Knife Museum if you’re looking for me. You can’t swing a guitar though without hitting a taffy shop, a moonshine store, or a putt-putt golf course. And then just 10 minutes away is Smoky National Park where you can still find a quiet spot with unreal scenery. I always enjoy being over here, and I’m certainly looking forward to playing at Dollywood today.


 

 

 

HEALTH NOTES

A study is showing that sweetened drinks are linked to atrial fibrillation risk.

 

Wegovy, the weight-loss medication, gets FDA approval for use as heart disease prevention drug.

 

Of all things…New Jersey is investigating a mumps breakout.

 

AIN’T THIS THE TRUTH IN WRITING NOW?



 

RETIRE TO A CHEAP STATE

I read an article over the weekend where the author and writers listed the top places to retire on a budget. Here’s the Top 5. Number 1… Iowa. Followed by New Mexico, TENNESSEE, Oklahoma and then South Dakota.

 

Most EXPENSIVE states to retire in?  You can probably guess most of these.

 

At #1 is California followed by New York, Massachusetts, DC, and Connecticut.

 

THE OSCARS

Those were on last night. Didn’t watch the show but I’m scanning through the highlights online. The Oppenheimer was the big winner last night. This is the first year I can remember where I have not seen even one of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture.

 

Former wrestler now actor John Cena grabbed a lot of attention as he walked out naked to present an award. Uh huh. The Academy Awards had a streaker many years ago but he did not present an award. The Academy Awards show ratings have been in a nose dive for years. If the numbers go up this year we may see more of John Cena next year…literally.

 

Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue seems to be getting mixed reviews. The line he delivered that’s getting the most press was his response to a “mean tweet” Donald Trump posted about the show. Kimmel’s response was, “Isn’t it past your jail time”? 

In case you missed it…those two are not friendly.



 

And the standout moment seems to be actor Ryan Gosling singing his song from “The Barbie” movie as Ken.

 

BALLPARKS

It’s baseball season again…my favorite time of the year. And with each baseball season comes a list of what baseball folks consider to be the best ballparks in the country. This list came from the Miami Herald. Here’s their top 5 choices for ballyards

 

Pittsburgh's PNC is #1.


 

 

Followed by the Giants ballpark, then Wrigley Field, Chicago, Fenway Park, Boston, and Camden Yards in Baltimore.

 

I’ve been to four of them and I have no problem with their choices. I haven’t seen the new Giants stadium in Frisco yet except on TV.

 

I still love the old parks the best so Wrigley and Fenway would be my top 2. But of the newer parks they are dead on. Pittsburgh’s park is a treat to sit in as is Camden Yards in Baltimore.

 

I have yet to see the Giants new ballpark, the new Yankee Stadium, the Mets, Minnesota, Detroit, Seattle, and the new Texas ballpark in Arlington. Hoping to cross a couple more off my list this year.

 

HOKEY POKEY JOKE

This one from comedian Felipe Esparza who asked, “Did you hear what happened when the guy who wrote the “Hokey Pokey’ died”?

 

They couldn’t close his coffin. Every time they put a right foot in, he put his left foot out”.

 

TODAY

First show coming up at Noon today at Dollywood with “Hits & Grins” followed by a 2 and 4 pm show before heading back home.

 

Have a great Monday!



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