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Joe Diffie...Jan Howard...John Prine

Mar 30 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Monday morning and I’m looking out my blogging window at Old Hickory Lake and the lawn that just got mowed for the first time this year. It’s nice to see that kind of view considering that we won’t be leaving the house now until at least the end of April with the extension of the social distancing the President has asked for.



Losing Joe Diffie this weekend to the virus just made it so real for anyone who loves country music. And now John Prine, one of the greatest songwriters of all time is fighting for his life right now.  I never had the pleasure of being around Mr. Prine but I was around Joe Diffie several times.  I emceed his charity concert a couple of years in a row at the Ryman Auditorium with his friends Wynonna, Keith Urban and countless others showing up to sing and help raise money. He was just the nicest man and one of our great “country” singers. Last night my wife and I found the two bottles of homemade wine that Joe made and gave to me when he came in to be interviewed at WSM-FM radio here in Nashville years ago.  I don’t know whether to open it and toast his memory, or leave the bottles sealed.  And this on the heels of Kenny Rogers and Jan Howard’s death.



We lost a great Grand Ole Opry star this weekend Miss Jan Howard at the age of 91.  She’d been ill for awhile.  She had some radio hits early in her career, was married to legendary songwriter Harlan Howard once, was part of a hit duo with Bill Anderson for many years.  She endured sadness in her life too as she lost a son in Viet Nam and his younger brother who reportedly was depressed at the loss of his brother and committed suicide.  I was around her a few times.  Interviewed her more than once.  She was always always nice. 


I did not know until producer-writer Buddy Cannon pointed out this weekend on Facebook that it was Jan Howard who sang the line “Mama sang tenor” in that huge hit from Johnny Cash in 1968 “Daddy Sang Bass”.  Many thought it was June Carter Cash…including me.


What a nice lady.  RIP Miss Howard.



It actually started Friday with a TV interview for a show called ”Cincy Lifestyles” that airs in Cincinnati on WCPO Channel 9 TV, the ABC affiliate there in the Queen City. I chatted in a “Zoom” connection on the computer and she asked me questions from her home as she’s quarantined like everyone else.  And I sang my little “Corona Virus and Corona Beer” song.  The interview will air at between 10-11 AM in Cincinnati and they do stream online and they post on Facebook and other socials.  Here’s there LINK on Facebook. 


My thanks to publicist Fred Anderson in Cincinnati for thinking of me for this interview.  It’s nice to make folks laugh again in a city I spent a lot of years in and love.



Then Friday night my wife and I connected once again on the computer with a circle of great friends that was put together by Lang Scott & Linda Davis who are quarantined in Florida with all of their family.  So we sat on the couch and joined 8 or 9 other folks and or couples all in their homes quarantined and it just gave us a great chance to re-connect and hug each other virtually. It was just very cool.  One of our friends in that circle has a young daughter who’s an airline attendant as my daughter once was for American. So Lang included her in a prayer of protection. As a Dad, I can relate and I’m honestly relieved my daughter is not doing that at this moment.


There was a funny moment when one of our friends mentioned how folks thought if they ever had extra time they’d clean and get their house in order. They found out that’s not true.


And someone also noticed how older folks like their parents are now FINALLY learning how to do a few things on the Internet that they swore they could never learn how to do.  They want to stay connected too. 


My thanks to Linda & Lang for the great idea and for hooking all of us up.



My wife and I watched Idol last night looking for our friend Lauren Mascitti.  If you watched last night you did not see her.  She’s on next Sunday.  The show is in Hawaii with the Top 40 being whittled down to the Top 20.  At the end of the show last night, if you watched the tease for next week’s show…at the very end Lauren was one of the two girls who had to go together to get their verdict. So, one will advance, one will go home.  And that will probably be at the very end of next weeks show.  Good luck to Lauren.  If I were betting?  I’d bet on her. 



I saw this posted this morning and smiled.  What’s essential in a time like this?


For France: Wine and Pastry.

For USA: Golf & Guns


And also in the US…marijuana sales have skyrocketed.  Everybody’s looking for a way to chill and stay mellow I suppose.



Some Drive In Theaters are seeing double the business they normally have.  Social distancing in your own car.  First run movies too since the movie theaters are all shut down.  Now I just need a station wagon with a back seat that you can back in to view the big screen.



Husband:  Where do you want to eat tonight?


Wife:  Downstairs?  Maybe outside?  You know I can’t make this kind of decision”!


See…some things don’t change no matter what’s going on in the world.



Found out you can now order Girl Scout cookies online.  I ordered two boxes of the disinfect Macaroons.  Should be here shortly.



Lots of quarantined folks are going for “comfort” food.  We could use some right?  Now there’s a waffle iron that makes Lego waffles. Yes…you can make your own brick creation and then eat it.  Comfort and fun all at the same time.  Wonder if a jigsaw puzzle waffle will be next?



Turns out that NASCAR E-Racing thing on Fox is actually pretty cool to watch…especially if you’re into NASCAR.  More realistic than one would think.  Some of the drivers including Denny Hamlin didn’t have good things to say about the idea originally, but after participating in one?  They’re all onboard and enthusiastic.  Worth checking out if you’re a fan.  The one yesterday (Sunday) was at the Texas Motor Speedway just like it would normally be.



I’m back online and I THINK I’ll be hooking up with Brent Burns down in Gulf Shores.  Brent shared a song of ours “Same Boat” on his Facebook Page yesterday because the song kind of relates to how all of us right now are truly in the same boat trying to get through some stormy waters right now. 


Stay safe…and have a great Monday!



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