Hit Songwriter, Producer & Performing Artist, Billy Yates “does his rockin’ on the stage”!
The healing power of music is Billy Yates' ministry & with songs recorded by George Jones, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans & more, plus two concurrent shows in Branson, he stays busy evangelizin’.
I had the privilege of connecting with Billy for a conversation & impromptu guerrilla style video shoot between his shows - the powerhouse Raiding the Country Vault concert & the more intimate Hit Songwriters in the Round. It was awesome to sit with him while he performed some of his hit songs in the theater setting before the crowd arrived. He shares his insights regarding our human vulnerabilities & how songs provide a vehicle to alleviate loneliness & suffering as well as lifting us into joy.
Be sure to catch the moment when, during the Raiding the Country Vault concert, I knew I had to have him on The Naked Vibes Show!
Enjoy the show on NAKED VIBES TV:

SHOW NOTES (times are for audio):
4:33 - Billy Yates talks about moving to Nashville to pursue his dream of being a singer, finding great songwriters to mentor him, & recording his first song that was eventually recorded by George Jones.
5:03 - LIVE ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE: Billy Yates plays the intro to “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”, recorded by George Jones. The song won a CMA Event of the Year.
5:57 - “I do my rockin’ on the stage” is one of my favorite lines from this song. The song became an anthem, not only for Jones, but for many of his older fans who intended to keep livin’ large! George Foreman was a huge fan & appeared in a video for the song.
6:38 - Julia Cameron talks about, in The Artist’s Way, the importance of starting anything you desire to do at any age. It’s never too late!
7:18 - Billy Yates’ show is about to start at his theater, where we’re recording, so there’s a lot of activity in the room. He talks about the evolution of becoming a songwriter in Nashville by singing on song demoes for other writers. They encouraged him on the value of his gift for phrasing. He had to learn the craft to tap into his skill for writing lyrics & melodies.
9:04 - Frank Dycus & Dean Dillon were instrumental in Billy’s development as a songwriter. He’s written & recorded many songs with them & says he most enjoys the friendships & feels like it’s therapeutic to collaborate, putting a puzzle together with others & having fun in the process.
10:09 - Billy talks about the inception of the creative process as a gift from God. He’s dreamed complete songs - when he wakes up & records them, he knows it’s coming from something beyond him.
11:11 - Music is healing. We don’t think about how important it is to our lives. Songs help us to feel less alone, uplift us when we’re down, & often teach us to see ourselves.
11:45 - Billy Yates likes writing from a first person perspective because it helps the listener connect with the artist. He knew his song “Choices” had to be recorded by someone who could really own it & allow themselves to be very vulnerable in performing it. George Jones made it a hit.
12:34 - All human beings have the same experiences - pain, joy, hardship, love - even though they may come in different shades. This is how even the solo writing experience becomes collaborative with the recording artist, making it their own by bringing their personal experiences & emotions to it.
13:23 - “Choices” was written Billy Yates with Mike Curtis, a great piano player & melody writer. He was coming to Billy’s house to write & Billy didn’t have a piano. Billy told him, “We’ve got three chords & the truth; that’s all we’ve got today!” Though they didn’t have George Jones in mind when writing the song, they eventually approached him with it because Billy felt like it was a song that offered healing.