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Gary Scott Thomas Podcast

Nicolle Galyon

By Fun, Music, Personal Growth, Philosophy No Comments

This episode is sponsored by:

To say Nicolle is a hit songwriter might be an understatement. She has written songs for Lady AMiranda LambertKeith UrbanKenny ChesneyDan + ShayFlorida Georgia Line, and many others. Galyon has written nine No. 1 hits including “Automatic,” Miranda Lambert’s chart-topping lead single from her critically-acclaimed album Platinum, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and featured five songs by Galyon.

In this episode:

  • Starting off as a pianist
  • Giving herself permission to make a record despite not wanting to be a performer
  • Having three #1 songs in a year
  • Looking for the next “one”
  • Where “Disneyworld” came from
  • Having a very humble beginning
  • Why she tells her kids “no”
  • How moving out of Nashville was the catalyst for First Born
  • Making songs NOT meant for radio
  • How not winning class President in high school was a gift
  • Being back in her hometown
  • How not knowing her biological father shaped some of her music

Quotations:

“It’s really always been about the words for me.” ~Nicolle Galyon

“My career kind of started to work about 10, 12 years ago when I started just to let go of the music and lean in more to the story ” ~Nicolle Galyon

“I have really awesome relationships with so many men in the business, and I work really well with guys. I have so many guys that I feel like we’re like brother and sister, and I’m so thankful for that.” ~Nicolle Galyon

“I definitely have a growth mentality. I challenge myself in every way possible. But there also comes a time where the best thing you can do is to just kind of, excuse my French, but give less shit.” ~Nicolle Galyon

Guest’s Bio:

(Per Wikipedia)

Originally from Sterling, Kansas, Galyon made her way to Nashville, Tennessee in 2002 to attend Belmont University for Music Business. At Belmont, Galyon discovered her passion for songwriting [1] and signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Nashville shortly after graduating in 2006.[2] In 2012, Nicolle appeared on The Voice as a contestant on Adam Levine‘s team.[3] There she met RaeLynn and Miranda Lambert, two friendships that she accredits to kickstarting her songwriting career.[3] Galyon earned her first #1 song with We Were Us performed by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert. With cowriters Miranda Lambert and Natalie Hemby, Galyon won the 2015 ACM’s ‘Song of the Year, and the 2014 CMA’s single of the year for Miranda Lambert, performing the hit song Automatic. Since then, Galyon has had songs recorded by RaeLynn on her album WildHorse, Dan + Shay on their album Obsessed, Kenny Chesney on his album Cosmic Hallelujah, Florida Georgia Line on their album Dig Your Roots, Lady Antebellum on their album Golden, and Thomas Rhett on his album Tangled Up, among others. Galyon partnered with Big Loud to launch the female-focused record label Songs & Daughters. The label was announced in July 2019 and signed Madison Kozak as its flagship artist. In 2020, Galyon expanded Songs & Daughters to include a publishing arm. In 2020, Galyon served as a producer and writer on iHeartRadio scripted podcast “Make It Up As We Go.” Nicolle Galyon currently resides in Nashville.

Galyon is heavily involved in the CMA Foundation’s music education initiative and served as an NSAI Board Member & CMT Next Women of Country mentor. Galyon has worked with Save the Music + SongFarm to put music studios in high schools throughout the country. She also provides a college scholarship to a senior at her alma mater, Sterling High School, each year through the Autobiography Scholarship.

Galyon married songwriter Rodney Clawson on October 13, 2007. They have two children together, daughter Charlie Jo Clawson born May 29, 2013, and son Ford Sterling Clawson, born April 14, 2015.

Guest’s Contact Info:

www.nicollegalyon.com

Lynn Abaté-Johnson

By Author, Caregiving, Grief, Mental Health, Personal Growth, Philosophy No Comments

This episode is sponsored by:

In this brutally honest conversation, Lynn Abaté-Johnson gets candid about her journey as a caregiver and talks about how she was able to finally care for herself the way she cared for her mom in her final years. We also talked about her recently released book Out of Love where she chronicles her journey and provides resources and systems for caregivers.

In this episode:

  • Being a caregiver while juggling her career
  • Keeping it a secret
  • Turning her mom’s cancer diagnosis into a “business”
  • Why she put the book on pause
  • Removing the hustle mindset
  • Being a caregiver while juggling being a wife
  • Changing to a healthier lifestyle
  • When her mom realized she wasn’t going to beat cancer
  • Feeding stress with food
  • Incremental changes
  • How to squeeze gifts out of hard situations
  • How the book morphed into being about her

Quotations:

“If I didn’t take that [her caregiving journey] and learn from it and transform my own life in very personal ways, there would be no point in telling the story.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I went into production mode, and I did one of the things I do best, which is, I created–I jokingly said at times–we turned my mom’s cancer diagnosis into a business, and everything was documented. That really helped us with the emotional support we needed.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I was doing the best job I could for her, at the same time freaking out myself that my mom was gonna die. That was the whole first year. Pretty much I could say I freaked out about me. It was a very selfish perspective. Like, ‘Well, okay, you have cancer, but what am I gonna do without you?’ I didn’t say that to her because I didn’t want her to feel bad. But I had this panic about losing my mom all of a sudden.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I still believe that about every family member. We’re all doing the best we can. There’s a Ram Dass quote that I love that says ‘We’re all just walking each other home.’” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I used to say to my mom, ‘Mom, your cancer’s gonna kill me. Forget about you. It’s gonna kill me.’” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“It was a very different world in 2011 when we got the diagnosis to the point where I couldn’t really be myself; I just had to figure out how to compartmentalize and then just do my job and still be a rockstar at work.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I would go home, and I would fall apart. That’s when I would cry. That’s when I would curl up into the fetal position and be like my little girl self with my husband.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“You know, all of those things that sounded like criticism from my mom before, you never stop hearing that.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I used to joke that, damn, I keep hearing mom’s voice in my head telling me what to do. ‘Can you please stop?’ And it hasn’t changed since she died. I still hear her voice in my head, but now it’s more of a comfort.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

 “We didn’t really admit that we were control freaks until we got that diagnosis. And I’m perfectly willing to say I’m a recovering control freak.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“What am I really hungry for at this moment? So that’s a question I ask myself. Is it food? Is it really food, or is it something else? If it’s something else, then I have tools now that I’ve learned through all of my coaching and everything that I really can pull myself back into what’s really happening now.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“Truthfully, when I was in the trenches and in the muck of being a caregiver for my mom, I did a terrible job of taking care of myself.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“With all of the chaos swirling around, I have to believe that there is hope, and I have to believe that we are going to do a better job of taking care of ourselves and taking care of each other as we learn about our mistakes and, we just really try to do a better job, and doing a better job can be incremental.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I am really committed to honoring everybody where they are in this moment.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“I didn’t die. I didn’t die when my mom died. I thought I would; I could not imagine being on this earth without her. And yet she’s still very much with me. Every time I see the hummingbirds, I say, ‘Hi, Mom.’ And it brings me a smile.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

“It’s not my weight to carry. I can only carry my own weight, and I don’t want it to turn into me blowing up physically again or having so much inflammation on my body that I’m so miserable and I can’t function.” ~Lynn Abaté-Johnson

Guest’s Bio:

After being a primary caregiver for her mother for over six years, author Lynn Abate-Johnson understands the typhoon of emotions and responsibilities that come with caring for a loved one. However, she discovered how to blossom through (and after) caregiving rather than let it drown her. 

By using her natural organizational skills and her solid work ethic, she developed systems and processes to help navigate the difficult journey of caregiving, which allowed her to go from “What am I going to do without my mom?” to “I know I can thrive after she’s gone–just as she would want.”

Like most caregivers, Lynn juggled caregiving duties with a full-time career. In her daily life, she’s a business consultant and global community builder. 

She’s been building businesses from the ground up from a young age, with her first business being a network of family roller skating rinks in the Detroit, Michigan metro area. She is currently growing the global community as “the voice” of the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI), one of the world’s most respected leadership development and professional coach training organizations.

As part of her devotion to developing global communities that make a difference by connecting human beings, she speaks with cohorts of caregivers to help them discover they’re not alone, everything’s going to be ok, and there are tools they can use to ease the burdens they might feel as caregivers. Her book Out of Love: A Daughter’s Journey With Her Mom To The End provides care for caregivers by giving them the emotional and practical support they need.

About the Book:
Lynn’s words offer a uniquely personal glimpse into her journey as a daughter of a strong mother, along with her own transformation in the aftermath of being a caregiver.

Lynn’s approach removes the stigma of grief, Her expressive and often vulnerable ways of sharing help to normalize what many families may take for granted or miss in their often overwhelming and new experience as caregivers. There will be discomfort, shame, guilt, and layers of conditioning to discover in this book, with the goal of bringing light to the dark and peace to the soul.

These words are also interactive, meaning you will find practical, logistical tools and resources on the accompanying website: LynnAbateJohnsonBook.com.

Guest’s Contact Info:

LynnAbateJohnsonBook.com

Ashley Cooke

By Fun, Music, Personal Growth No Comments

This episode is sponsored by:

Country artist Ashley Cooke is quickly becoming a favorite and is on her way to becoming a household name. She’s already gotten to collaborate with Jimmie Allen and tour with Cole Swindell! In this episode, we talk about her journey to being a Country star and what her audience means to her, and so much more. You’re going to appreciate and enjoy how open and authentic she is.

In this episode:

  • Getting to work with Jimmie Allen
  • Why poetry speaks to her
  • What could possibly cause Taylor Swift to return to Country Music
  • What makes a song Country
  • Why she had to move around so much
  • Why Florida is home
  • Why she went to school for Marketing & Communications rather than something in music
  • Being the first non-music major to win the Belmont Showcase
  • Going on tour with Cole Swindell
  • Her songwriting process
  • Her future as an actress
  • Is she or isn’t she dating the guy from Back in the Saddle
  • Dating in 2022
  • Connecting with her audience

Quotations:

“There was just something in the depth of poetry and how so little could say so much.” ~Ashley Cooke

“The bar for what is good [music] is just so high right now.” ~Ashley Cooke

“I think the beautiful part is that Country has, over the last couple of years, whether you hate it or you love it, it’s kind of extended its boundaries for what is and isn’t Country.” ~Ashley Cooke

“Country music is universal in so many ways.” ~Ashley Cooke

“I just kind of fell into performing and writing songs and kind of just being around it. And it just became my absolute passion, and I found a knack for it.” ~Ashley Cooke

“I lived in California the longest, but Florida was just kind of where I feel like I became a human.” ~Ashley Cooke

“I think when you’re 18, giving yourself the ability to question what you want to do and the doors that you want to open and the person you wanna be is really important instead of just being like, ‘Well, I have to do this thing because obviously, this is what I’ve always done.’” ~Ashley Cooke

“As much as being on stage and looking out at the audience makes you envision your future, it’s the one-on-one connections with people that care about what you’re doing and wanna get to know you and wanna learn and wanna buy your merch and wanna come to your next show.  That’s your future.” ~Ashley Cooke

Guest’s Bio:

Raised between the coasts of California and Florida, Ashley Cooke is an up-and-coming country artist who brings authentic and honest storytelling to her music. The singer/songwriter developed her love of country music as Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, and Florida Georgia Line quickly became the soundtrack of high school. Cooke followed her passion for music to Belmont University, where she won the Country Showcase, placing her in an elite class of winners that includes Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, and more. 

In Aug. 2021, Cooke released her debut project, Already Drank That Beer, featuring 8 tracks written by Cooke alongside many of Nashville’s hottest songwriters. Produced by award-winner Jimmy Robbins, the debut project garnered critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, People, Taste of Country, Sounds Like Nashville, Country Now, and more. In April, Cooke enlisted Country megastar Brett Young to feature on standout track “Never Til Now,” which Billboard tapped as a “superb vocal blend,” proving her “bright future ahead within the country music genre” (CMT). Resonating with fans far and wide, the romantic love song prompted Cooke to make her national television debut on ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”

Last year, Cooke hit the road on tour with fellow rising acts BRELAND and Spencer Crandall and spent the first half of 2022 touring alongside Cole Swindell, Brett Young, and Jordan Davis. Cooke will continue to appear at some of the summer’s hottest fairs, and festivals as she gears up to release more new music via Big Loud Records / Back Blocks Music before heading out on Swindell’s Back Down To The Bar Tour in fall 2022.

Guest’s Contact Info:

http://ashleycooke.com

Chrissy Bernal

By Author, Faith, Fun, Personal Growth No Comments

This episode is sponsored by:

Chrissy Bernal is quite a character and has led a life full of surprises and things you just can’t make up.  We talked about light-hearted stuff like sleep eating (yes, eating in her sleep) and talked about heavier topics such as regaining her confidence after escaping domestic violence. Did you know her daughters are Guinness Book record holders? I’m telling you; her story is a movie in the making.

In this episode:

  • Why she carried meatloaf in her purse
  • Competing in physique competitions
  • Gary’s son being born dead
  • What Chrissy has in common with Kurt Warner
  • Primordial Dwarfism
  • Throwing up the first time she saw her daughter
  • Dandy-Walker
  • The shocking thing her special needs daughter did at camp
  • The surprising thing that prepared her for having a child with Primordial Dwarfism
  • Survivor’s guilt
  • What made Sierra so independent
  • Having a woman threaten to call CPS
  • Sleep eating
  • The time her husband said she was going to kill him
  • How her daughter’s global fame shaped her career
  • Domestic abuse
  • What it’s like having kids who don’t want to take normal paths

Quotations:

“When I was competing, I would carry meatloaf in my purse because it smelled better than tuna, and I would just take it out of the baggy and start eating it in the car.” ~Chrissy Bernal

“She [Sienna] knows everything that she’s missing out on. So she tries to gain control of what she can, which is why she started her jewelry business so she could have something of her own that she got to have control over.” ~Chrissy Bernal

“I said like any good Texan would say, ‘Well, you put your big girl panties on, and you just do it.’” ~Chrissy Bernal

“Sometimes taking the first step is the plan, and you figure it out along the way as you make mistakes.” ~Chrissy Bernal

Guest’s Bio:

After accidentally ending up in the global spotlight for her unique identical twins, author Chrissy Bernal was forced to create & grow a brand on the fly. She knew she needed to harness the power of the publicity they were getting. Fast forward 15 years, and now by combining her formal education with the real-world knowledge gained from her family’s growth toward global brand awareness, she has a deep understanding of how to help brands clearly communicate their stories, increase their influence & reduce the chaos experienced in the journey of being known.

While she works with men and women, she’s particularly passionate about working with women because statistics show that female entrepreneurs make half of what their male counterparts make.
She knows from her own experience that particular events in her life caused her to lose sight of her worth, and she has heard the same thing from other women.

She has had so many wonderful coaches and mentors over the years; she wishes she had found them earlier in her career. It would have saved her a lot of headaches and lost income.
She remembers always feeling jumbled and constantly operating from a desperation mindset. Now that she’s clear about who she is, what she’s passionate about, and what difference she wants to make, she feels so much more focused.

And she wants to help other women feel the same way.

She believes women should embrace their worth and confidently pursue the success they desire, so she guides them through proven frameworks for Branding, Marketing, and Communication and uses strategic PR to help them increase their audience and improve their influence with intention and less stress.

Guest’s Contact Info:

www.ChrissyBernal.com

www.BeABetterBrand.com