No. 1 Party: Thompson Square’s ‘If I Didn’t Have You’

Pictured (front row, L-R): Thompson Square and co-writers Jason Sellers and Paul Jenkins; (back row, L-R): Broken Bow Records’ Jon Loba, BMI’s Penny Everhard, ASCAP’s Ryan Beuschel, SESAC’s Shannan Hatch, Magic Mustang Music’s Juli Newton-Griffith, and Sony ATV Music Publishing’s Terry Wakefield. Photo by Rick Diamond

Pictured (front row, L-R): Thompson Square and co-writers Jason Sellers and Paul Jenkins; (back row, L-R): Broken Bow Records’ Jon Loba, BMI’s Penny Everhard, ASCAP’s Ryan Beuschel, SESAC’s Shannan Hatch, Magic Mustang Music’s Juli Newton-Griffith, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s Terry Wakefield. Photo by Rick Diamond.

It was an emotional celebration Tuesday (June 18) for Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square during an event for their chart-topping single “If I Didn’t Have You.” It marked the first No. 1 for the duo as co-writers (their previous No. 1, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” was penned by Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy).

In a rare occurrence, the song’s writers were represented by all three performing rights organizations–ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. “If I Didn’t Have You” was co-written by Shawna Thompson, Keifer Thompson, Jason Sellers and Paul Jenkins.

The celebration took place at Nashville restaurant The Row Kitchen & Pub. ASCAP’s Ryan Beuschel introduced Terry Wakefield of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who spoke of Sony/ATV writer Sellers. The Texas-raised songwriter began his career at age 18 performing with Vince Gill. He has been an ASCAP songwriter for 17 years.

BMI’s Penny Everhard saluted Shawna for her first chart-topper as a songwriter, giving her a customary BMI guitar. BMI also honored songwriter Jenkins.

Avenue Bank offered a donation to Child Fund International, an organization that Shawna and Keifer have close ties to. Avenue Bank’s Ron Cox was on hand to announce the donation.

SESAC’s Shannan Hatch awarded plaques to SESAC songwriter Keifer Thompson, as well as to the production team New Voice Entertainment and to Juli Newton-Griffith of Magic Mustang Music.

The Academy of Country Music’s Butch Waugh also made an appearance to congratulate Shawna and Keifer (two-time ACM Top Vocal Duo winners). “They epitomize what the ACM is about–helping new artists break through,” said Waugh. Brandi Simms of the CMA and Michelle Kammerer from the Country Radio Broadcasters also presented awards. Broken Bow Records owner Benny Brown and wife Caroline were in attendance.

“It takes an army,” said Keifer Thompson, and judging by the number of people who crowded into the restaurant and lobby to attend the celebration, he was right. “We are proud to call Jason and Paul our friends. Benny and Caroline, you have changed our lives forever. This label is a special situation and it doesn’t feel like a label, it feels like a family.” Thompson also thanked the duo’s manager Shawn Pennington.

Keifer and Shawna had their own tokens of appreciation to give out, inviting their band members onstage and then giving necklaces to the Broken Bow promotions staff, including Shelley Hargis, Heather Propper, Abi Durham, Samantha Borenstein, Jen Joe and Chelsey Flick.

“You guys are like my kids,” Broken Bow owner Brown said to Keifer and Shawna. “You make me proud. As a label owner, you get enjoyment from seeing good things happen to special people.”

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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