The show must go on, and the late Frances Preston wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. BMI toasted the No. 1 hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck” yesterday (6/13), the same day as the passing of its legendary leader.
Jody Williams discussed her devotion to songwriters at the opening of the ceremony. He explained, “The first thing Frances would say about today is, ‘get that party started and honor those songwriters.’” Flags flapped at half-staff above the crowd gathered on BMI’s sunny rooftop.
Penning a charttopping song is a grand achievement for any writer, but the first time is often the sweetest. “Truck” is the first No. 1 for songwriters Kip Moore and Dan Couch, and is also Moore’s first No. 1 as an artist. BMI presented him with a guitar to mark the occasion. The song, which hung out at the radio pinnacle for two weeks, is well on its way to Platinum download status.
Mike Dungan was also celebrating a first. “Truck” is his first No. 1 as leader of UMG Nashville. “I’m getting lots of nods, but I’ve had nothing to do with it,” he said, turning the spotlight to his label team. Ever the colorful character, Dungan took the opportunity to hand out his own unique prizes. Moore received a tie-dyed T-shirt that said “Get F*&%@d,” Couch’s trophy was a Richie Sambora figurine, and producer Brett James was honored with a lifesize Jonas Brothers cardboard stand-up.
James has shepherded younger tunesmith Moore for years. “He’s my little brother and he’s one of my best friends,” said James before presenting Moore with a small body road guitar. James took the usual honors one step further, giving plaques to engineers Nick Brophy and Ben Fowler, as well as Nate Lowery, who operates his publishing outfit Cornman Music.
Several others took the stage to honor the writers. Avenue Bank’s Ron Cox presented a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association on their behalf. Brandi Simms represented the CMA.
The mood turned emotional when Couch and Moore swapped turns at the mic, choking back tears as they savored the hard earned moment. Couch recalled his 16-year journey and how his family supported his career. His hometown even cheered his success recently when the mayor of Logansport, Ind. declared it “Dan Couch Day.”
“I’m more nervous now than when I played the stadium the other night,” exclaimed Moore, who performed last weekend at CMA Music Festival. He acknowledged James’ patience while helping him develop as an artist and writer. “In an instant world, Brett has stood by me,” he said gratefully.
Partygoers munched on a spread of mini hot dogs, black bean burgers, chips and canned beer—perfect food for a “Truck” tailgate party.