A persistent drizzle, lingering from a downpour the night before, hurried partygoers into the lobby of the Country Music Association
in Nashville Monday afternoon (Sept. 17) to celebrate the singer and songwriters of Luke
Bryan‘s most recent No. 1 single, “Drunk on You.”
by ASCAP and BMI, the performing rights organizations, the event spotlighted the “Drunk on You” songwriters Josh Kear, Chris
Tompkins and Rodney Clawson.
Inside, the guests busied themselves on a menu of spring rolls, pretzels, cookies, fresh
fruit cups, wine and beer as they waited for the ceremonies to start.
Among the attendees was the Muzik Mafia’s Two
Appropriate to the song’s title, the stage was decorated with a whiskey barrel and several decorative bottles
of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
A figure dressed to resemble a giant CMA award circulated through the crowd. The CMA Awards
show will be broadcast on Nov. 1, a point driven home by a sign attached to the front of the speaker’s stand.
Williams, representing BMI, called the party to order and straightaway summoned Bryan, the three writers and Bryan’s producer,
Jeff Stevens, to the stage.
Since Bryan and Clawson are affiliated with BMI, Williams saluted them first. He noted
that Bryan is now on tour with Jason Aldean and will be headlining his
own tour this fall.
“There’s no artist I know of who can match the energy level Luke puts into every aspect of his
career,” Williams proclaimed. He recalled sitting beside Bryan’s mother at Nashville’s LP Field as Bryan prepared to go onstage
at this year’s CMA Music Festival. He said he asked her if she realized her son was going to be the next “giant country star”
and that she could only respond by nodding her head as the tears of pride flowed.
Williams concluded his tribute by
pointing out that “Drunk on You” was Bryan’s fifth No. 1 single.
It was also the fifth No. 1 for Clawson, Williams
said. He reminded the audience that Clawson, who co-wrote the massive George
Strait hit, “I Saw God Today,” is making his mark, as well, by co-producing Jake
Speaking for ASCAP, Mike Sistad underlined the fact that Kear and Tompkins are both Grammy winners.
two shared a best country song Grammy for co-writing Carrie Underwood’s
“Before He Cheats,” and Kear won two additional Grammys
for co-writing Lady Antebellum’s “Need
“There’s all kinds of hillbilly incest going on up here,” joked songwriter-publisher Craig Wiseman when
he took the microphone, referring to the cross-pollination of talents common to the Nashville music industry.
for conferring gag awards on his songwriters and on artists who have recorded his own songs, Wiseman cheerfully handed out
to the honorees quart-size bottles of seven-percent-alcohol beer he said he had just picked up in a McMinnville, Tenn., convenience
“If you get stopped,” he advised the recipients, “you can tell the cops, ‘I’ve had only one beer.’”
confided to the crowd he took credit for not writing the line in “Drunk on You” that says, “Girl, you make my speakers
go boom boom,” but he added he trusted his co-writers’ instincts on that one.
Tompkins said he appraises most of his
songs objectively but that when he puts “Drunk on You” on, he hears it “as a listener.”
Kear thanked everyone in “the
entire chain” who works to elevate an idea for a song into a hit.
Bryan praised the writers for giving him a “life-altering
song.” He admitted, however, he wondered “what the hell that ‘boom boom’ was” when he first heard the demo.
the great songs have that line [people] can gravitate to,” he observed.
He called “Drunk on You” the “crown jewel”
of his platinum-selling Tailgates Tanlines album.
Of touring, he said, “Honestly, we’re having the time
of our lives. … These are the days we’ll look back on and pinch ourselves at how remarkable they were.”
his remarks by turning to his wife and saying, “Thanks, Caroline, for letting me hump the air during ‘boom boom.’”