Welcome!
Billy Dees - Writer, Podcaster, & Media Enthusiast 

I am Billy Dees and I am thrilled that you stopped by my website!

This website is a collection of my editorials and blog posts. The site also features many of my podcasts. The "Billy Dees" Podcast is available on most of the major Internet Radio Networks including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spreaker, and Google Play for Android. 

Social issues, politics, and pop culture are among the topics featured. I am not an ideologue. I try to objectively examine issues and hopefully present a unique perspective to the reader and listener. Thank You.

My most recent podcast, an episode list, and live podcasts will appear here:

Listen to "Billy Dees Podcast Show" on Spreaker.

Entries by Billy Dees (27)

Wednesday
Aug092017

Note to Readers:

In the past I have tried to comply with most blog standards of allowing comments by readers under blog entries. There have been many interesting posts by readers during the nearly past 10 years. I am grateful to all of you who have shared your ideas. 

However, increasingly the nature of these comments has changed not only in tone but by advertisements for products and odd URLs being placed in the comment sections. Managing various filters and content policing have become too many tasks to maintain.

Therefore, comments on this site have become disabled for the time being. You can always email us through the portal on the upper left. Again, we use a contact form because too often actual email addresses are swept on websites for use with spam.

You can also tweet the blog and podcast Twitter account at @BillyDees

Thank you very much.

Billy Dees

Wednesday
Aug022017

Interview with Wil 3 Author of "Heartly God?" 

Back in June I had the chance to interview Wil 3 about his new book “Heartly God?” for Donna Cavanagh and HO Press.

It was a fun interview to do and I would encourage everyone to give it a listen. Wil 3 gives us various insights into his personality and what went into the writing of his book. If you enjoy writing or the creative process in regard to character or story development then you might find this podcast episode of particular interest. You can find the book “Heartly God?” here on Amazon.

This episode entitled “HOPress HumorOutcasts Radio Wil3 Interview” was featured on the “Billy Dees” Podcast which is available on most of the major Internet Radio services including iTunes (Apple Podcasts), Stitcher, Google Play for Android, SoundCloud, and Spreaker.

For your convenience you can listen to it in this post.

Thanks and fun reading to you.

Listen to "HOPress HumorOutcasts Radio Wil3 Interview 6 15 2017" on Spreaker.

Saturday
May132017

It Doesn't Take Much to Get Into Trouble

Humor

One summer day last year I was in the middle of my morning routine when the doorbell rang. I absolutely despise somebody ringing my doorbell or pounding on the door especially at 8:00 AM.

So, in typical fashion I ignored it. There isn’t anything that anybody who has been banging on my door has to say that interests me. I don’t care if you are selling gold bricks for a dollar you can go pound salt.

In the meantime, I checked outside and noticed that the bell ringer happened to be the young woman who lived next door to me and she was going from house to house as if she needed help. So alright, in this day and age of stalkers and serial killers, I decided that I might as well put my shoes on to go outside and find out what in the hell was going on.

It turned out that all this fuss was about the fact that she had just started a new job and her car wouldn’t start. She was afraid she was going to be late. By this time a man who was parked in the street, some goon who wouldn’t even say hi to me, offered his car battery to her but didn’t have jumper cables. Already regretting my decision to come outside but yet still trying to be helpful, I offered them the use of a set of cables that I had in my garage.

We got her car started and the goofy Good Samaritan, whoever he was, disappeared into the ether as quickly as he appeared. She seemed relieved that I had stayed with her until the stranger left and she could be safely on her way.

I presumed that was my good deed for the day and that was that.

A day or so passed and I was sitting in my living room when my wife got home early one evening. Without so much as a hello my wife blew into the room and asked me, “What is with this cake that was on the front porch?”

Sure enough she was standing in the doorway holding a cake. I very politely replied, “I don’t know anything about no damn cake.”

To which my wife sharply responded, “And there’s a note on it that says, ‘Thanks for jumping me.’ What the hell?”

It is at this point that no matter what you say you are going to sound guilty of something. Frustrated I gave it my best shot, “Oh for crying out loud that must be from the woman next door who was pounding on the door yesterday morning because she couldn’t get her car started and there was this weird guy in the street who offered to help her but…”

My wife interrupted, “For God’s sake Bill, why didn’t you tell me about this yesterday?”

To which I very logically replied, “Because it never would have occurred to me again from now until the end of the world had it not been for that f**king cake!”

It doesn’t take much to get into trouble. The scripture says, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

It may not be the scripture that you are familiar with but it is the one that I live by.

Saturday
Mar042017

Have You Ever Noticed?

Have you ever noticed that the people screaming about their right to free speech never listen to anyone else?

Have you ever noticed that “Breaking News” now means, “We still do not know anything more than we did an hour ago?”

Have you ever noticed that “beware of the dog” signs are usually posted in front of houses that you know damn well do not have a Godforsaken thing in them worth taking? Walking through the house would be an exercise in avoiding big piles of crap; some of which might actually belong to the dog.

Have you ever noticed that in order to legitimize any pseudo medical disorder all you have to do is attach the word “syndrome” to it? If you experience a painful itch in your groin area after working out then you may have “sticky tickly genitalia syndrome.”

Have you ever noticed that if you are not completely sensitive to the latest “syndrome du jour” or “the latest hip affliction everybody now has” trending on social media you are labeled a hater?

Have you ever noticed the sultry women whispering with a breathy voice in the Viagra commercials probably have had more experience with men suffering from premature ejaculation than erectile dysfunction?

Have you ever noticed those commercials are just a bit too short to enjoy to the fullest? Oh sorry, wait a minute let’s move on…

Have you ever noticed that electric cars need plugged in to charge? Where does the electricity come from much of the time? Mmmm, burning coal and other fossil fuels maybe?

Have you ever noticed that emailing has become on par with texting? “I emailed you the PDF over an hour ago haven’t you read it yet?”

Have you ever noticed that some posts just aren’t much focused and not worth clicking on?

Please notice that I am sorry.

Monday
Jan022017

My Fan Experience with George Michael

Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries2016 was a bad year for losing some great musical artists. Prince, David Bowie, and Glenn Frey are among the many notables who past away and were also some of my personally favorite musicians.

One of the other deaths that hit me was George Michael. For me, he was more or less in his own category. Prince and Bowie also helped redefine the image of masculinity but Michael brought a special sensitivity that seemed to resonate with me more as I matured myself. 

I was very young and just getting out into the world of real responsibilities when “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” came out by the duo of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in the group “Wham.” The album “Make It Big” was released the latter part of 1984 and churned out hits through 1985. (Michael was the principle producer.)

George Michael and I were about the same age and “Wham” was all over the radio and TV that year. My 20-year-old self was getting the early stages of a sound business together while at Kent State. I was working with mostly rock bands and doing some of my first voice-overs and DJ work. When I mentioned “Wham” to some of my contemporaries the standard remark was, “You mean you listen to that little f*g?” I’m not sure that "term" was in reference necessarily to Michael’s sexuality (at that time little was known about it) but it was the standard pejorative used by many of my hard rock buddies toward all famous men who did not bite the head off of dead animals or brag about how many women they laid in one night.

My answer to that rude and awkward question was that I was interested in radio and I had to be aware of all types of music. By and large that was true, much of the music I was exposed to through working in the sound business would not be on my personal playlist at home. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was part of a wider group of songs to me at that time, however, “Careless Whisper” was already on my radar as an indication that something more was coming from George Michael.

When Michael’s solo album “Faith” was released in ‘87 & ‘88 my days of minimizing my status as a George Michael fan were over. He was a couple of years older and so was I. I had matured to the point that I was no longer going to back away from the things that I liked or the people who inspired me.

“I Want Your Sex” exploded onto the dance charts. The controversial video actually spelled out the message “explore monogamy” on the bare skin of a model.

As the hits kept coming from “Faith” it became apparent that Michael was more than a typical pop star. 

This is especially true when you consider the pop scene today. I don’t want to sound like the typical older guy who says that they just don’t make them like they used to. Objectively, yes there are a lot of talented people out there today. However, true artisans in the wide venue of pop culture are rare. I would caution current recording artists not to rely too much on technology. One thing that dates a song is relying on the technology of the time to carry the tune. No pun intended. Great vocals and writing, by contrast, are timeless.

“Father Figure” is a good example of an awesome song. It could almost be described as a ballad mixing elements of pop and gospel with rhythm and blues sensuality. At this point George Michael became a crossover artist of enormous significance in numerous genres. Michael wrote and produced the song. It is one of the first major pop hits that I am aware of that deeply explores the complexity of an intimate relationship; in this case a suggestion of erotic exploration and role playing by consenting adults, done with sensitivity and affection. Michael’s soulful vocals just float over the mix.

Let’s just say that we don’t hear songs like that every day. 

I particularly like the part of the song that goes:

"If you are the desert
I'll be the sea
If you ever hunger -
Hunger for me
Whatever you ask for
That's what I'll be...

So when you remember the ones who have lied
Who said that they cared
But then laughed as you cried
Beautiful darling
Don't think of me…

Because all I ever wanted…"

George Michael’s active reign as one of the biggest stars in the world may not have lasted as long as some others, but he helped open the door to a new style of male pop star. In this way I feel that I matured with him. He made it cool to be sensitive and passionate. He also had a fervent respect for the process and discipline of creativity in one’s work. Now, after his death, stories are surfacing of his wonderful generosity. The stories come as no surprise to me because the human side of him was apparent in his work and in the various interviews that I followed about him over the years.

For being thirty years old the video stands the test of time fairly well. It has somewhat of a cinematic and story-type feel to it more so than a series of flashes and quick edits usually present in music videos. However, like most great songs the video in any case is almost a distraction from Michael’s lyrics, the soulful sound of his voice, and his emotion in the singing. I would recommend listening to the song on a fairly good set of speakers if possible.

Tuesday
Aug232016

Interview with a 40 Year U.S. Navy Veteran (Podcast)

This podcast is an interview with Joe Prusacik, a veteran of the United States Navy who served for 40 years. During this interview we cover JFK, Joe's service during the Vietnam era, and how changes in military culture often relect those in society at large.

This podcast is also available on iTunes and Stitcher under "Billy Dees."

This photograph was taken August 23, 2016 at PerfectMediaProds Recording Studio 

Listen to "Interview with a 40 year U.S. Navy Veteran 8 23 2016" on Spreaker.

Wednesday
Aug032016

"How to Write and Share Humor" by Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh has just published a new book, “How to Write and Share Humor.”  

Featured in this post is the book trailer for the release.  

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, a book trailer is a video about a book that is often stylized as a movie coming attraction. We chose a fairly straightforward approach highlighting the content of the book. Donna has had associates and friends send her pictures of the book from various landmarks around the country as part of her #SummerOfHumor tour. We assembled some of the images into a book trailer that I voiced-over. 

You can follow Donna Cavanagh on Twitter @dtcav and purchase her new book on Amazon

The week of August 1, 2016 I was featured in an interview by Donna on her site HumorOutcasts.com.

You can check out the interview post here. The feedback and support that I have received from staff members and readers has been fantastic and much appreciated. 

Friday
Mar182016

Podcast Competitive Cheerleading as a Sport

#Interview #Commentary #Sports

This podcast is an interview with Marissa, a former avid competitive chearleader and now a coach. In the show she discusses the sport and how competing in the world of cheerleading has affected her life. You can follow or tweet Marissa on Twitter @muhrisah_

Photograph taken March 18, 2016 at PerfectMediaProds Recording Studio

Listen to "Competitive Cheerleading and Its Classification as a Sport" on Spreaker.