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The "Quacker"...Dollywood Again...Road Songs


Monday September 25, 2023


Monday morning and we’re into the last week of September. And we are officially into Fall now. Although the temperatures don’t agree with that as we have a high of 87 expected here today in Nashville.


Out east where my sister Vickie lives they’re getting drenched with water from Ophelia. And in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, Montana, Oregon, and Washington state?  Snow already. Then add another tropical storm named Phillipe forming out in the Atlantic and you can see the weather is all over the map right now. Literally.



Friday morning jump started my weekend with a songwriting session with the “Georgia Quacker” Gerald Smith. It was great seeing Gerald as it’s the first time I’ve sat with him since he’s been sick, and he had quite the battle to say the least. So to see him up and running and more importantly “rhyming” words with music again felt great. And our mutual friend and former American Idol Janelle Arthur also sat in with us when we wrote a catchy tune about friends with “boats”.


In his long career Gerald has been on Hee Haw, recorded several albums, was a song plugger for George Strait’s publishing company and has had several big hits he helped write including “What Part of No” by Lori Morgan and funny songs the “Lone Ranger” for George Jones. Janelle and I both reminded him that he’s not done yet.


One of the good guys in this town. 




Saturday night I caught my last baseball game of the year live watching our Nashville Sounds. Hard to believe the season is gone. This picture you see made me smile. I thought, “Well…I’m in Nashville” when the team handed out end of the year trophies and look what the trophies are. Only in Music City folks.




Happy to announce I’ll be going back to Dollywood to play next year with my “Hits & Grins” songwriter trio that includes Victoria Venier and Steve Dean. We’ll be there one day only on March 3rd for three shows…a Sunday afternoon. 



Last year Dollywood celebrated a six week celebration for the 50th Anniversary of Dolly’s mega-hit “I Will Always Love You” and we had a blast. So it’s great to get invited back for a second year. Details to be posted on my calendar here on the website soon.




My friend Jenny Tolman is doing something cool right now. She’s re-releasing some of her songs in a stripped-back version. And Friday she re-released this song we wrote with her husband Dave Brainard, “The World’s ASmall Town”. A song most definitely about the digital times we live in now.



How big a deal is Taylor Swift? I watched a lot of football over the weekend. It was harder than heck to find scores because the top story in every sports page I hit was about Taylor Swift being at the KC Chiefs game. And she wasn’t even playing!



The CDC released figures of states with the highest obesity rates. Louisiana, Oklahoma, and West Virginia topped the list. All three fall under 40% more carrying too much weight. 19 states had a rate of 35 & 40% and one of those states is us…Tennessee. (Well…we do have a Cracker Barrel at every exit)


A Journal of Medicine study claims that 80% of patients diagnosed with COVID were vitamin D deficient.


And over the weekend President Biden rolled up his Presidential sleeve and got the flu and new COVID booster shots at the same time.


This thought from actor-producer Woody Allen. “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens”.



We’re not through with September quite yet but I’ve already seen ads about Halloween costumes and pumpkin patches. Another article listed some prayers we can say for Thanksgiving. While yet another article listed new Christmas movies to check out. Tis the danged pre-season I guess.



For those who like to get out and hike during the cooler Fall temperatures those in the know say to keep your eyes open for baby Copperhead snakes. It’s that time of season for them too. I think I might stay on a treadmill for another couple of months.



Proof that people collect almost everything. A dentist in Georgia owns the Guinness Record for largest toothpaste tube collection. Val Kolpakov has 2,037 toothpaste tubes he’s collected from around the globe. One is whiskey flavored…another bacon flavored. The collection is valued at around $30,000. It’s also proof that Guinness has a record for everything!


 They have a record for “Heaviest train pulled with a beard” for crying out loud.



The online publication The Boot that I wrote a country-humor column for once upon a time just listed their Top 25 Country Roads Songs of all time.


Here’s their Top 10.


10        East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed

9          Blazer by Dierks Bentley. (Yea…not heard it myself)

8          18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses by Kathy Mattea


7          Amarillo By Morning from George Strait

6          Traveler by Chris Stapleton

5          Life Is A Highway from Rascal Flatts

4          Heads Carolina by Jo Dee Messina

3          Wagon Wheel from either Darius Rucker or Old Crow Medicine Show

2          Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver


And number one was a no brainer. “On The Road Again” by Willie Nelson.



Did you know they offer a master class in Finland on happiness?  I guess one starts class as a grumpy old so and so and graduates with a certificate of happiness. I guess. I would guess that one of the things the instructor tells the student’s is to unplug from the news channels. That alone might cure some unhappy problem people.


That thought inspired this song I wrote with Brent Burns & Steve Dean Unplug My Give A Rip”.  



The new season starts tonight on NBC and I’ll be checking that out as I want to see how Reba fits in. I’ll also be looking for a young friend I write with some Jordan Rainer to see how she fares. And I suspect she’ll do pretty darned well knowing how talented she is. 




Police Pursue Shirtless Man Driving Stolen Golf Cart With Dog On His Lap. Hard to make a getaway from the cops in danged golf cart there Einstein.



Back in a songwriting room with one of “The Voice” winners in the past Todd Tilghman. Our second time to write together. And yea…dude can sing. 



After that wraps up I have to make another stop to try and buy the right Powerball tickets. It’s worth 785 million bucks right now. So again, the odds are on my side right?


Have a great Monday!


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