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The Missouri Trip...Ice At Home...Most Played Songs


Monday January 22, 2024 

Monday morning and I’m back home in Tennessee. The snow is melting and by Wednesday we’ll hit 60 with rain so now they’re predicting floods. 46 for a high today.



I had such a great time yesterday afternoon playing for the Gateway Country Music Association in Wright City Missouri back in an area where I grew up.


The GCMA promotes great traditional country music and was founded by my longtime friends and extended family Dodge and Dean Raymer. This is a picture of me with Dodge and his daughter Stacey…my sister by another Mother. 



It was COLD but that did not stop folks from coming. I had quite a few family members who came from Montgomery City, MO where I was born and raised and many longtime friends.


Jesse Vaughn a young man from Elsberry, Missouri where I graduated High School was part of the first half of the show with a great band of guys I knew about growing up and playing in a band myself. We ran the same circles so they were just great backing up all the local talent in the first half of the show. 


After intermission I played for an hour and I got Jesse back up to sing “Old School Country” a song we wrote together…Jesse’s first time ever writing a song. Turned out pretty great and he made a great recording of it.



Heck…I even did that “Mo Mo” song that you’ve read me blog about…first record I ever made way back. And the crowd knew the words!  



It was nice being back home and helping raise some money for the Gateway Country Music Association.



I had planned on overnighting with my friend Dodge Raymer after the show yesterday but the forecast in the St. Louis area was calling for freezing rain mixed with snow starting at 4 or 5 AM in the morning. Geez. So I decided to drive home last night to beat that. I did but the interesting part was when I got to my driveway.


The road we live on has been impassable without 4-wheel drive for a week. I got out Saturday for the first time to get to Missouri and it was slick. Great once I got off that little road but our road was slick. I figured by the time I got back home some of it would have melted and I’d be okay. Wrong. I got to our driveway but stopped to see if we had any mail. Mistake. Our driveway goes straight up. And the melting snow had frozen. And I mean slick…a sheet of ice on the front half of the driveway. I tried to get up and slid back down 4 times before I finally got a good run at it and barely made it to the garage. I should have filmed it. Truly an adventure and especially after a 5 and half hour drive that put me at the house at midnight.


Somebody send a plow!



Well, at least there was something good that came out of all that snow we accumulated last week in Tennessee.

So we’ve got that going for us.



I missed all the NFL Playoff games except one. I did get to see some of the Packer game against heavily favored San Francisco. The Packers let a big upset get away as they could have easily won it…but didn’t. And I’m a Packer fan so that was disappointing. But on my drive home I managed to hear the game on KMOX Radio in St. Louis on the AM band and heard the Chiefs upset the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo so that was cool and it helped keep me awake for a big portion of the drive home to Nashville.


So we’ve got the Detroit Lions playing the 49’ers for the NFC Championship and Kansas City playing the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC crown this weekend. And then it’s the Super Bowl. If I had to pick, and I’m terrible at that…I’d say Baltimore looks pretty tough to beat right now.



There’s as much talk about the Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift romance as there is about the games themselves. I read this morning that if Kansas City loses this weekend and misses out on going back to the Super Bowl that there are folks with corporate companies that would pay him as much as million dollars just to show up at their party or parties in Vegas where this year’s Super Bowl is being played. A MILLION. And if Taylor goes with him they might have to pay more. Or maybe that’s what they’re already thinking about. Wow.



The CDC says our state of Tennessee has the highest level of illness in the country. Great.


The WHO director is calling for a world pandemic treaty to prepare for Disease X. To band together basically to get prepared for the next virus or viruses that could hit. The Director said a newly formed virus could be 20 times worse than COVID-19 has been. There’s your good morning news.


More hopeful health news is that a cancer vaccine is going into phase 3 clinical trials and they’re saying this vaccine would have minimal side effects.



Over the weekend Dolly Parton turned 78. Youngest 78 year old the world knows. And she released a rock version of her hit “Jolene”. Because…well because she can.


Who doesn’t love Dolly? My Missouri friend Becky Denton does for sure as she recorded this song we wrote the first time we met “I Love Dolly”. 



Elle King, a country singer, and the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider was part of a Dolly Parton tribute at the Ryman Auditorium on the Grand Ole Opry Friday night.  She forgot her words. She was drunk…VERY drunk. And then she started dropping F bombs like crazy admitting into the microphone basically that she was “f%#! hammered.


The Opry had to issue an apology. She has not…yet. Might be awhile if ever before she’s invited back. Stuff that makes you shake your head. There are singers that just dream of being invited to sing on that stage. She gets on it and abuses the privilege…and it is a privilege. Sad.





Cool. Today you can download an app on your iPhone that will let you stream everything on your phone on to a TV screen. So when you’re traveling and in a hotel or maybe in a cruise ship cabin…anything you have on your phone can be streamed to the TV screen. There will be a QR code you scan and that’s it. No login or password required. I’ll be downloading that bad boy.



Kanye West put in permanent teeth made of titanium. It cost him $850,000.


Makes me want to watch that James Bond movie with the villain named “Jaws” again.



There are several state in the US that will pay to relocate. Folks that work remotely can save money by moving to Morgantown WV, Tulsa OK, Owensboro KY, Marion Illinois, the entire state of Kansas. You’d get 15,000 to relocate to Kansas. (Tornado coverage and protection from flying witches is not covered in Kansas)



That Ford F-150 Lightning that we heard so much about…all electric is not selling a lot of units. So much so that Ford is cutting back on production. Might be that a lot of folks are still not excited about EV’s or it could be that the cheapest price tag for one of those bad boys is around $55,000.



Taste of Country…the online country music publication listed the top 40 most played country songs over the past 50 years. The song “WatchingYou by Rodney Atkins that Rodney wrote with my friends Steve Dean & Brian White landed at 26 on that prestigious list which is awesome. We close almost every “Hits & Grins” show that features Steve and me and Victoria Venier with that smash hit and the audience is always singing along. Congrats to my friends!


Here’s the TOP 5 most played according to the publication.


5  “It’s 5’0clock Somewhere” with Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. The ONLY number one country song for Jimmy Buffett.


4 “The Good Stuff” by Kenny Chesney that Bill Anderson helped write with Dean Dillon.


3 “Amazed” by the group Lonestar.


2 “I Love This Bar” by Toby Keith.


And the MOST PLAYED song on country radio over the past 50 years is:


“Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw.



Many years ago I was on air up in Cincinnati when my friend Linda Davis asked if I wanted to drive down to Nashville and play a little house concert near where I live now. Did I! It was an honor to get to do so. It was on a Sunday so I drove the 5 hours with my wife to be part of it. Beautiful home…nice folks who owned it. And they had won this concert with Linda after offering up the highest bid at a charity event. So Linda invited me and writer Tim Nichols to join her. Tim co-wrote the song “Live Like You Were Dying” for Tim McGraw and the song was just out at the time. So there we are in that living room with no PA no microphones and Tim sings what is now the most played country song on the radio. It was a bit surreal.



The backend of that story goes like this. I did that Sunday concert but I had to be back on the radio Monday morning in Cincinnati at 5 AM. So my wife and I were driving through the night to get back in time for that when a new-used car we had recently purchased sent up a warning light. The manual said to stop the car. The engine completely shut down. At midnight on a Sunday a tow truck finally came and hooked the car up and dropped us at a hotel. Next day the Audi dealership told us that rarely if ever happens…and gave us a car to get home. Needless to say I missed my radio show that Monday morning. And it took them a couple of weeks to completely replace the motor for free.


So every time I hear the most played country song on the radio?  I think about that night.



Woman Accidentally Joins Search Party Looking For Herself.” Good luck finding you.



I always leave Mondays’ open…or try to after a road trip to unpack and catch up. And that’s what I plan on doing today.


Have a great Monday!