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Beach...Polka and Mr. Bush

Dec 3 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Well hello December.  Man you came around fast this year.



It was good starting my weekend writing a new beach song with Becky Denton and Will Smith.  Becky’s current song “Two Bags One Beach” has made enough noise in the beachy-Trop Rock world that she wanted to have another tropical song written.  Becky who’s from Missouri like I am shared with me that her favorite beach place that she and Will love is Tybee Beach in Georgia.  It hit me that there surely are not a ton of songs written about Tybee so we went that direction and tried to capture as may images as we could of the kinds of things the two of them see and feel when they’re looking out at the water at their favorite getaway place. So again…going to the beach in our heads with a guitar was fun way to jump-start the weekend.



Saturday morning I had coffee with Rob Bellamy and Ayla Brown who I write with quite a bit to say “congrats” and farewell.  Ayla just landed a huge opportunity as the co-host of the morning show at one of the big country stations in Boston…her neck of the woods.  The leave at the end of next week…suddenly.  First…I’m so happy for Ayla and second I’m sad to see good talented friends leaving.  Their lives will never be the same and her career is going straight up.


I have three songs I wrote with them that they recorded recently so there plans are to try and keep performing out east…and I’m sure they will.  Rob and I will do some Skype writing long distance.


I told Ayla I feel like I’m watching my own career all over again in her.  I bounced back and forth between radio and music and songwriting…and now Ayla finds herself in that position at about the same point in my life when I went from playing in a band to being back on the radio.  Folks in Boston are going to love her…and I’m going to miss both of them.



Saturday night I lost my mind.  I had forgotten somehow that it’s Christmas shopping season as I headed to the Bierhaus tucked inside the Opry Mills Mall here for an album release party for Lynn Marie and Eddie III…a polka album.  Traffic was unreal and reminded me why so many are shopping online these days.  Geez.


I did get there and sat in this huge German Bierhuas where Lynn and Eddie put everyone in a great mood with their band playing fun contagious polka music.  At one point…Santa came out and tapped a keg!  You don’t see that everyday. I’ve got a song on their new album they rolled out for the first time Saturday night…now for sale everywhere.  Our song is called “Celebrate” and the album is titled “Home”.  So it was fun getting to see and hear them in their element…and getting see Eddie wear lederhosen.


I drove back to the house listening to their new CD and smiling.  It’s hard not to be happy when you hear polka music…it just is.



I was sad to hear of the passing of George Bush.  No matter your political persuasion it’s hard not to like a man who was so consistently decent and kind.  He loved country music and was at the Opry House in 91 with Barbara when I won a CMA Broadcast Award .  And he was a heck of a pilot apparently in WWII.  I remember seeing the plane he flew at the Pensacola Naval Air Museum in Pensacola one year when my wife and I were on a beach vacation and thinking how cool that was.  RIP Mr. Bush.



So…if you’re a comedy based TV show…how do you stay true to what you do yet still acknowledge the passing of a President?  I can’t think of a better way to do that than the way Saturday Night Live did this past weekend.  It’s funny…and yet touching all at the same time while showing us the Mr. Bush had a terrific sense of humor.  If you have not see it…watch THIS. (the tribute comes at the end of this section)



Bill Anderson just recorded his 73rd album!  He’s whispering himself silly.  Have you seen his latest production “Waffle House Christmas” with Kid Rock, Gretchen Wilson and others?  Here’s that VIDEO.  A little scattered, whispered and covered if you will.


Bill actually lives down our road so maybe we rubbed off on each other as I have a song on the new Brent Burns CD titled “Midnight At Waffle House”.  There’s enough material from a Waffle House visit for two new songs…and I think you could easily write a comedy-sitcom around Waffle House.  Let the casting begin.



USA just listed their top 20 Christmas movies.  5 was Miracle on 34th Street.  4 “Love Actually” (not seen it) 3 Elf 2 It’s A Wonderful Life and they listed “Scrooged” the Bill Murray movie as their favorite overall…which surprised me.  I love that movie…but it would be nowhere number one for me.


I’m betting all of us would have out Top 5’s looking a bit different.


For me?  Off the top of my head I’d take “Grinch” the animated version, Bishop’s Wife, Christmas Carol (animated Scrooge played by Mr. Magoo) Polar Express and White Christmas.  Hard to pick 5!



Now when you come to Music City and stay at the massive Opryland Hotel where I work sometimes on WSM which is located inside…you can get hillbilly music AND a wet wedgie.  The hotel just opened a huge new water attraction called Soundwaves…slides…pools…restaurants and more that’s partly indoors…partly outdoors.  So…one can get on a giant slide and get their wet wedgie indoors…and then re-arrange their trunks when they finish outside.  And there’s your visual for your Monday.



Cruise ships are getting bigger…and bigger.  The Celebrity Edge is somehow floating now.  It cost a BILLION dollars.  Upscale all the way.  Some of the suites are 2,500 square feet.  Cost?  I’m sure we don’t wanna know.  All I know is it’s way more expensive than the Wal Mart Cruise Ship I last set sail on.



We are about to see the new Mary Poppins movie starring Emily Blunt.  My friend and co-writer Bobby Tomberlin had a chance to go out to LA for the premiere and posted on his Facebook that most of the stars were there.  But THE moment was when Dick Van Dyke walked into the theater and got a huge standing ovation.  Dick who was in the original of course…does have small role in this one.  Can’t wait to see this one.  But they will have to go some to replace Dick’s great moment in “Steppin’ Time”.



So…they’re saying (whomever “they” are) that smoking jacks are great Christmas gift for guys. Really?  Habits have changed…less smoking for the obvious reasons.  Maybe a Vaping Jacket would be a better idea.  Dunno.


I grew up with smoke.  My vision of my Grandfather Whyte was big overalls with a Prince Albert Can that sat in his upper pocket.  He’d take it out…and roll his own.


And my Dad at one time smoked a cigar.  Sat in an easy chair…loaded it up with tobacco and puffed away.  I remember thinking that cigar smoke smelled great at the time.  It’s not for me…but I love those picture in my head that I see of both men.



“Here’s What Happens When Your Body Eats Beets”.  Mine would recoil in horror and ask, “Dude…where’s the Mac and Cheese?”



We’re having a little “Hits & Grins” meeting with myself, Steve Dean and Victoria Venier and turning a camera on to do something Christmas like.  More on that tomorrow.


Have a great first Monday in December!



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