Bobby Karl Works EYB and Lady A No. 1 Parties
To quote the late, great Jerry Reed, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot.”
Monday evening (1/23) was a confluence of hotness in Music City. You see, “Crazy Girl” isn’t just another No. 1 record, it’s THE No. 1 record of 2011. Lady Antebellum hasn’t just another No. 1 record, but TWO No. 1 records in a row, “Just a Kiss” and “We Owned the Night.” Both are co-written with red-hot Dallas Davidson. The band’s label, Capitol Nashville, is currently also hot, hot, hot with back-to-back chart-toppers for Eric Church (“Drink in My Hand”) and Luke Bryan (“I Don’t Want This Night to End”). It also has Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley in the Top 10.
Monday’s bashes celebrated all of that and more.
At BMI (1/23), the lobby was packed, because, “Everybody loves Lee Brice; everybody’s pulling for him,” explained Jody Williams. And, “Everybody loves Liz Rose. So that makes a lot of people,” gathering to support the “Crazy Girl” co-writers. Plus, there are the four members of the Eli Young Band and their friends and relatives.
Jody had to hustle to hand out their awards and still make it to The Boun’dry to celebrate Lady A’s two chart toppers. Group members Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood are both BMI affiliates, as is Dallas.
The celebration (1/23) was held in the venue’s third-floor space The Phoenix Room, festively festooned with paper lanterns hung from the ceiling and party lights massed on the cornices. Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, Davidson’s co-conspirators in The Peach Pickers, joined Lance Miller, Daniel Miller, Rick Murray, Sarah Trahern, Ed Morris, Alicia Warwick, Linda Edell, Donna Hughes, Bob Paxman, Bobby Young (on the eve of his “31st birthday,” RIGHT), Mary Hilliard Harrington, Perry Howard, Vernell Hackett, Suzanne Gordon, Julie Boos, Clay Bradley and Clarke Schleicher in making merry.
“This is a great and special event,” said Mike Dungan in greeting the throng. He noted that Lady A is now out on its first headlining tour and emphasized the character that Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley consistently display. Normally, you expect “misbehavior” and/or “attitude” by this point in a stellar career. Instead, Dungan noted that these three are, “respectful,” “joyful” and “focused.”
“If somebody wanted to paint a picture of the state of songwriting in Nashville, they would look no further, than ‘Just a Kiss’ and ‘We Owned the Night,’” stated Jody. Lady A’s album is now approaching Double Platinum and is up for a Grammy, he added. These are Charles and Dave’s sixth and seventh No. 1 singles as writers. “Then there’s Dallas Davidson,” Jody marveled. Dallas has four singles on the charts right now, is BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year (along with Rhett). He has co-written 16 hits and 11 No. 1 smashes in his career to date.
Jody called producer Paul Worley to the stage as, “The best friend a hit singer ever had.” Steve Markland of Warner-Chappell (Dave and Charles) and Ben Vaughn of EMI Publishing (Hillary and Dallas) were summoned to the stage as well. Everybody got plaques.
Ron Cox announced that Avenue Bank is making a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project on the band’s behalf. Tim Fink noted that Hillary Scott is SESAC’s Country Songwriter of the Year and that the organization is making a donation to her charity, My Life Speaks. That group is building orphanages in Haiti. Dallas Davidson also made a donation to it, and gave vintage guitars to Charles and Dave.
“I thank God for bringing Lady Antebellum into my life,” Dallas told the crowd.
The man who brought Dave and Charles to Warner-Chappell was in the house. B.J. Hill gave out some more plaques, followed by the CMA’s Steve Moore and Brandi Simms.
“Great songs make great radio,” said the CRB’s Bill Mayne. “Country radio world-wide loves you…Thank you for kicking off CRS by bringing your tour this year.”
“It would be very easy to take this stuff for granted, but they don’t and we don’t,” said Mike Dungan in conclusion.
For the past 11 years, Mike has led his staff in annual acoustic celebrations with the Capitol roster. Lady Antebellum upheld the tradition by capping the party with lushly harmonized renditions of their two honored tunes, accompanied only by Dave’s guitar and percussion by Hillary’s new hubby, Chris Tyrrell.
“We just want to say a huge ‘thank-you’ to each and every one of you,” Hillary said. “We’re having a blast,” added Dave.
The bash attracted Capitol’s biggest national and international brass, including Roger Faxon, Leo Corbin, Matthew Tilley, Greg Thompson and Colin Finkelstein. Now that’s what you call hot.