Bill at the Bluebird

By Wally Stewart

During the recent LASC "Hit Makers '90" seminar, I mentioned to Bill Ede that I was going to Nashville on November 4 to spend a week with a Colorado friend who was in for a few days. This turned out to be great timing on my part, for the night I arrived Bill was to be on stage at one of the most prominent musical venues in town The Bluebird Cafe.

After throwing my luggage into a motel room, Arden Fennell and l hustled over to Hillsboro Pike, and found Ede already there, waiting his turn. This program was a weekly Sunday-night event that presented ten writers, and inclusion on it required either an audition or a previous appearance. (Bill had fulfilled both requirements several years ago.) The show's finale would feature award- winning composer Royce Porter, and the excitement was further enhanced by the appearance of a film crew from CBS's 48 Hours. They were taping for a program to be aired in 1991 called Music Business in Nashville.

Emcee Jeff Pearson kept the night's offerings flowing smoothly as each act progressed through three original tunes.

Ede was seventh in line and was adjusting a microphone when the cameras were surprisingly (to me) turned off. Evidently the crew was not scheduled to record all the writers, but after hearing Bill's "The First Time I've Played (In A While)," "If This Is A Party" and "No One Smiles For Me," the 48 Hours staff may have wished they had let the tape keep rolling!

Losing the extra lights did not appear to bother Ede as he brought forth a lot of applause from the packed cafe. Those who know Bill are familiar with his humor, and the crowd seemed to greatly appreciate it, especially when "No One" was introduced with "I wrote this for Billie Holiday. Do you know how hard it is to get a song to Billie Holiday?" I have enjoyed Ede's songs many times for about ten years and think that the vocalizing on "No One" was perhaps his best effort in that time. l was not the only person impressed, as Lisa Hughes asked Bill for a tape of, and permission to sing, "No One."

She was there briefly from Arkansas and had not met Ede before, but loved the song. (Good taste on her part.)

Although his performance didn't make the spotlight, you may see Bill, Arden and me packed into a two-person seat in one of the crowd scenes. We all had a good time and it was a great start to a fun week.