Saturday, December 09, 2006

Richest Man On Earth

Reflecting on the many wonderful blessings and good fortune which I’ve been experiencing in my life and music business pursuits lately, a song title of Paul Overstreet’s came to my mind that I think just about says it aIl. I truly do feel like I’m the Richest Man On Earth.

Paul Overstreet is not just the songwriter of Richest Man On Earth, he really lives out his life on earth embracing personal and spiritual values as a man of great dignity and humble grace. His professional stature as a legendary Hall of Fame songwriter has been secured with a string of hit songs that places the name of Paul Overstreet among the very top echelon of elite songwriters in the entire history of the Nashville country music industry. Check this out…

My personal respect for Paul Overstreet is extremely high both for his success as a professional songwriter and for his ethics as a man. Paul has stood tall firstly as a Christian husband and father whose positive example for other songwriters to emulate has been exemplary.

Paul Overstreet’s successful path in his life is every bit as profound and rich as his very succesful journey in the music business has been.

He knows what it means to be the richest man on earth.

Just as I do now today.

Grace & Gravity

Speaking of Grace…and riches too…my good buddy and former SBK colleague Jim McBride and I also had a great opportunity to spend some time together during my recent visit to Nashville. Jim McBride is also a Hall of Fame writer with a string of hits to his credit such as Chattahoochee [Alan Jackson] & Rose In Paradise [Waylon Jennings].

Jim is a personal friend and a favorite writer of mine for his honesty and humble nature as a professional. I have the deepest respect for Jim both as a songwriter and as someone who is just a great guy.

These days Jim operates his own intellectual property business called Copyright Recapture which returns copyrights to songwriters estates.

The photo above of Jim in his office shows him holding up a CD that you might recognize from this website. It’s called Grace & Gravity.

Now whose record do you think that might be I wonder…?

Photo Credits:
Frank Trainor and Paul Overstreet [photo by Jody Williams]
Jim McBride [photo by Frank Trainor]

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Thunder Rolls

My good friend and soul brother Billy Mason is a world class professional drummer and one of the greatest guys I've ever known in my life.

Billy and his family were close neighbors of ours during our earliest days in Nashville and we became good friends eventually creating a lifelong bond of mutual respect and appreciations in the sharing of our personal struggles, professional aspirations and our ongoing spiritual journey as Christians navigating entertainment industry minefields.

We often shared wonderful family times together with our children having BBQ's and picnic meals together, playing baseball and helping to pick one another up when we felt down or discouraged with the uphill nature of earning some measure of security in the very insecure world of professional music. Our children were all about the same ages and they all got along very well and in the shared hardships of those early years, we supported one another in our situations as family to each other. We're family to this day.

You may not recognize Billy's name, but indeed the world knows my good friend Billy "Thunder" Mason today as Tim McGraw's drummer.

Billy's band, The DanceHall Doctors, have toured with Tim McGraw for over 14 years. The band has recorded with Tim on several of Tim's best selling CD's including many # 1 chart topping hits. Billy Mason has "rolled" live and in the studio now for more than 30 years.

On my recent visit to Nashville, I had the opportunity to spend some great quality time with Billy and his family and we got to catch up on things as it has been a few years since we last saw each other. It was wonderful sharing our personal stories and recounting the memories of our lives and our children's lives. In fact, it was so great that Billy asked of me a special personal request as his friend. He asked me to help him write a book about his life and career in the music business.

I'm honored and grateful to be asked to help write the story of a world reknowned drummer who I knew long before he was famous.

But I'm truly more honored to be able to help my good friend write his very personal and deeply moving story which the world will come to value for it's substance and home truths about family and about a very tough & demanding big league industry that spares no mercy for the pure of heart. Our writing project will bring Billy and I together in a shared enterprise that will include writing some new songs and having Billy play drums on a future CD project of mine.

We're looking forward to sharing in these new creative experiences.

So stay in touch with the mystery as often as you can.

You'll want know all about it when the "Thunder" rolls.

. .