The Gold good old days are back.
“This looks like a good turnout; I haven’t been to one of these in a long time,” said Duane Allen of The Oak Ridge Boys. Neither has the rest of us, buddy.
“Remember when we used to have one of these once a week?” reminisced Beverly Keel. Indeed I do.
“We don’t do this much anymore,” said Luke Lewis. “This is very special.”
The occasion was a Gold Record Party for Jamey Johnson. Held on the rooftop of BMI (5/19) on one of the prettiest spring days in memory, it was extremely well attended. That’s probably because, as Duane, Luke and Beverly suggested, we don’t have many Gold and/or Platinum soirees anymore. But it also could be because Jamey’s That Lonesome Song album is truly artistic and truly country.
“Your success is our success,” proclaimed BMI’s Clay Bradley to the honoree.
“There are poets in the house,” said Luke. “Jack Clement is here. Bill Anderson is here. Hank Cochran is here. Buddy Cannon is here. And Jamey Johnson is here. I am humbled.
“I’ve been selling records for 35 years,” Luke continued. “This is probably the proudest moment of my career.” He added that his 65 Universal employees are rabid music fans who made Jamey’s cause their challenge and their passion.
“I’ve been making records for about four years,” said Jamey. “And this is my proudest moment.”
I asked him if he had ever dreamed of getting a Gold Record when he was a kid. “Hell, I never even dreamed of it as an adult,” he replied.
Jamey gave Luke a flask as a present, noting, “I didn’t fill it up, yet.”
Everyone gave a shout out to Luke’s V.P. of A&R, Brian Wright. He’s the one who turned the label on to Jamey’s music.
The Kent Hardly Playboys band members were called up to be presented with Gold plaques. So was manager Terry Elam. And make no mistake, those were Gold LPs represented in those frames. That Lonesome Song has been issued on vinyl. Yeah, baby.
Duane’s fellow Oaks Joe Bonsall, Richard Sterban and William Lee Golden were there. So was his lovely and talented wife Nora Lee Allen, fresh from backing Garth Brooks at the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on Sunday. The Oaks have recorded Jamey’s “Mama’s Table” for their new CD.
Guests sipped cocktails and snacked on Mexican food. Dickey Lee, Bob McDill, Allen Reynolds and Curtis Wright mingled, as did Ronna Rubin, Royce Risser, Will Rambeaux, Ron Huntsman and Regina Stuve.
Working the room were Sherman Halsey, Donna Hughes, Kay West, Caroline Davis, Doug Johnson, Gary Overton, Christie King, Anastasia Brown, Peyton Hoge, Terry Bumgarner, Jay Orr, Michael Grey, Steve Buchanan and Jon Freeman.
It’s been quite a year for Jamey Johnson. He’s been on Letterman and Leno. He’s been praised in Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Esquire. He was nominated for three Grammy Awards, and last month “In Color” was named the ACM Song of the Year. Also he was just nominated by Music Row in its Breakthrough Artist category.
Now he’s Gold. Just like in the good old days.
UMG Nashville Sales and Marketing staff and Chairman Luke Lewis with goatees (L-R): Andy Nelson, Jen Schaaf, Jeff Stoltz, Tom Lord, Lewis, Jamey Johnson (with daughter Kylee), Melissa McAllister, Pam Russell, Jamie White and Parker Nusbickel.