No. 1 Celebration: Brad Paisley’s “Beat This Summer”

Pictured (L-R): ASCAP's LeAnn Phelan, Sea Gayle's Marc Driskill, Chris DuBois, Brad Paisley, Luke Laird, Creative Nation's Beth Laird, Universal Music Publishing Group's Kent Earls, BMI's Jody Williams, Paisley's manager Bill Simmons, and Sony Music Nashville's Lesly Tyson and Gary Overton. All photos by Frederick Breedon.

Pictured (L-R): ASCAP’s LeAnn Phelan, Sea Gayle’s Marc Driskill, Chris DuBois, Brad Paisley, Luke Laird, Creative Nation’s Beth Laird, Universal Music Publishing Group’s Kent Earls, BMI’s Jody Williams, Paisley’s manager Bill Simmons, and Sony Music Nashville’s Lesly Tyson and Gary Overton. Photo: Frederick Breedon.

Songwriters Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois and Luke Laird were feted with a No. 1 celebration at the Country Music Association’s offices yesterday (Aug. 20) for the chart-topping success of “Beat This Summer,” recorded by Paisley. Jody Williams honored BMI songwriter Laird, BMI’s reigning Country Songwriter of the Year. ASCAP’S LeAnn Phelan honored Paisley, ASCAP’s 2011 Artist/Songwriter of the Year and DuBois, ASCAP’s 2004 Country Songwriter of the Year, for their part in the chart-topping summertime anthem.

Meanwhile, Sea Gayle Music’s Marc Driskill announced that the company would be making a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Sea Gayle writers Paisley and DuBois. Avenue Bank’s Ron Cox also announced that Avenue Bank would make a charitable contribution to Preston Taylor Ministries on behalf of all the songwriters.

It is the first No. 1 song for independent publishing company Creative Nation, founded by Laird and his wife Beth Laird. “I could not be more proud of Luke and Beth and the company that they are building,” said BMI’s Jody Williams. Beth Laird previously served as Director of Writer/Publisher Relations at BMI. Luke Laird’s parents traveled from Pennsylvania to be in the audience.

“I never thought I would marry a musician or start my own company but it has turned out to be the best thing,” said Beth Laird. “Jody was the first person to say ‘You should go do this.’ There is no way I could run a publishing company without his mentorship.” She also spoke of husband and Creative Nation co-owner Luke Laird. “I learn so much from you everyday,” she said. “You are the most caring man and I’m glad you trusted me with your songs and talent.” Creative Nation eschewed the trophies and plaques traditionally given to honor the songwriters, instead giving Ray Ban Wayfarers to writers and executives involved in the song’s success (in a nod to “Beat This Summer”‘s reference to the sunglasses).

Pictured (L-R): Luke Laird, Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois

Pictured (L-R): Luke Laird, Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois. Photo: Frederick Breedon.

The song marked the first co-write between Paisley and Laird; Laird recalled first seeing Paisley in the late ’90s, when Laird was a college student volunteering during Country Radio Seminar and Paisley was just releasing his first single. Laird also thanked many in the industry for their support of Creative Nation. “Nashville has such a family feel and so many people have been so supportive of it,” he said. “I had nothing to do with the bridge of the song, and it’s my favorite part of the song.” Turning to his co-writers, he said, “Thank you for writing the Wayfarer line so we can give Wayfarers out to people.”

“This was the first tune that Luke and I wrote together,” said Paisley. “It was asking a lot to have a writer come into what feels like a frat house, where everybody knows everyone’s dark secrets,” he quipped. “You are one of the most talented writers I have sat in a room with,” Paisley told Laird.

Partygoers partook in a lunch of chicken, chips and bread, along with Sweet Cece’s frozen yogurt–welcome summer treats on warm Nashville summer day.


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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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