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Little Churches...Hole In One...Goodbye Pizza


Thursday February 8, 2024


Thursday morning be here. 64 with sun today. It is feeling a bit like Spring already in Nashville. Maybe it is as January went down as the warmest January ever…worldwide.



I spent some time online writing with my bluegrass friend Troy Engle up in Pennsylvania. Troy is a gifted musician and has played out on the road with a lot of folks. Kenny Chesney, Tom T. Hall, Eric Church, and I found out yesterday he went out once with the Oak Ridge Boys on tour. We were talking about the song “Blue Collar Gospel” that I helped write with Jerry Salley and Rick Lang that the Oak Ridge Boys are a big part of. The things you find out when you’re writing with folks. He talked about how great those guys were on the road and how nice they treated him. Good to hear.


Troy grew up rural like I did. And yesterday he brought a song idea that he had a verse and chorus to about those old church pews that we both sat on a lot in those little one room churches when we were growing up. So I could relate pretty easily with his vision for the song and we finished it up together. So we added another gospel-grass song to our little catalog we share together.




Got to brag about my younger brother Gary who is retired in central Florida with his wife Kay. He’s an avid golfer…and pretty good at the game unlike me. Yesterday he teed off and watched his ball roll in the hole. Every golfers dream…a hole in one. Every golfers dream….to bend down and pull THAT ball from the cup!


And it’s the second time he’s accomplished that. Too danged cool.


Me? My game is so awful if I were to ever score a hole in one I’m pretty sure it would be on a hole I’m not aiming for. Congrats to my brother.



We’ll celebrate a bit when I see him and his wife at a show in less than two weeks that I’m playing in Avon Park, Florida coming up February 18 with Grammy winners Linda Davis and Lang Scott with our “Evening in the Round” show. The matinees show is at 1:30 in this beautiful performing arts center in Avon.


Here’s some more information on that show.



San Mateo County in California up near Frisco has declared loneliness a public health emergency and they blame the COVID pandemic.


A dentist says we should brush our teeth BEFORE drinking that first cup of coffee in the morning. That supposedly will help keep your teeth from staining.


Research warns women to manage their blood pressure. It’s the leading cause of heart attacks for women. 44% of all adult women in the US have high blood pressure.



This one from the late funny comedian Rodney Dangerfield who made a great living telling jokes about his wife.


I asked my wife, On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate me as a lover”? She said, “You know I’m no good at fractions.”



And they just keep building celebrity honky-tonks here in Nashville. Luke Combs is rebuilding the old Wild Horse Saloon and now comes news that Bon Jovi will open a huge bar to be named JBJ’S. 37,000 square feet. So it’s not just country stars opening bars down on Lower Broadway anymore. His bar will open in the Spring.



A Las Vegas chapel is offering free wedding services to anyone named Travis or Taylor. This year’s Super Bowl is in Vegas this Sunday and the IT couple will be Travis Kelce…the tight end for the Chiefs and global superstar Taylor Swift who’s doing a tour of Japan this week and will have quite the adventure flying in and back from Japan. That wedding offer runs through Valentine Day.



For those planning to break up over the Valentine holiday Pizza Hut is trying to help break the news by offering up a “Goodbye Pie”. Yep. The delivery boy can deliver it to the person you’re breaking up with. Good in New York City, Chicago, and Miami. 



I can hear Jeff Foxworthy now. “If you break up with your girlfriend by sending her a meat lovers pizza…you might be a redneck!”



A small market radio station in Jasper, Alabama WJLX can’t find it’s radio tower. Gone. The radio tower, like a lot of radio towers was nowhere near the radio station itself. Out in the middle of nowhere. Gone. Thieves must have taken the 250 tower down, disassembling it and making off with it to who know where. Never heard of that one before.


The two small market radio stations I worked at in Missouri?  You could look out the window and see those towers. But most radio stations like WUBE Cincinnati, WMIL in Milwaukee, WFMS in Indianapolis and WSM here in Nashville…the towers are all in remote locations.


I’m thinking some radio owners may want to stick an apple tag on their towers.



When I was hired to work at the Grand Ole Opry radio station WSM here in Nashville I first went on the air and the old tower facility where 650 AM WSM first broadcast from way back in the day. Today the studios are in the Opryland Hotel. And they were in the hotel when I was hired but I was hired right after that flood hit Nashville and shut down the hotel forcing the radio station to broadcast in that historic stone building off I-65 south. If you’ve ever driven that way you may have seen the iconic WSM radio tower.



There’s a lot of history in that old building. Old equipment, microphones, pictures are still in there. So I’m on the air the first time late at night in that building. All alone. When my shift ended at midnight I was all alone, and flipped a switch that allowed the computer to run the music until the next morning.


So I finish up my shift and I can NOT get the front door unlocked. Tried and tried and tried. What to do. I opened the studio window and dropped to the ground. See how glamourous the radio business is?



It’s gotten REALLY expensive to take a vacation to Disney World. A two day pass with parking for a family of four will set the family back over $1,300. That doesn’t take care of food, hotel, and airfare if you’re flying. For me, still an amazing place to go but these days the words of comedian Killer Bee rings true. “Save Up!”.


So I finish and I can NOT get the front door unlocked. Tried and tried and tried. What to do. I opened the studio window and dropped to the ground. See how glamourous the radio business is?



These are the 7 safest countries right now to visit for Americans.


Canada, the Cayman Islands, Croatia, Iceland, Japan, Norway, and Portugal. I’d venture to say they’re safer to visit that some U.S. cities right now.





I’m off to write with Jenny Tolman and probably her 1 year old baby boy “Bear” who likes to jump in and try to help us rhyme words these days.



Have a great Thursday!