Music Row Toasts No. 1 Hit ‘Drunk Last Night’

Pictured are (Front, L-R): Big Machine Music Publishing's Mike Molinar, Big Machine Label Group President & CEO Scott Borchetta, "Drunk Last Night" songwriters Josh Osborne and Laura Veltz, and Republic Nashville's Jimmy Harnen and Matthew Hargis. (Back, L-R): Producers Frank Liddell and Justin Niebank, Warner/Chappell's BJ Hill, BMI's Leslie Roberts, ASCAP's LeAnn Phelan, Eli Young Band, manager George Couri, Big Machine Label Group's Allison Jones, Black River Publishing's Celia Froehlig and Gordon Kerr, and BMI's Jody Williams. Photo credit: Steve Lowry

Pictured are (Front, L-R): Big Machine Music Publishing’s Mike Molinar, Big Machine Label Group President & CEO Scott Borchetta, “Drunk Last Night” songwriters Josh Osborne and Laura Veltz, and Republic Nashville’s Jimmy Harnen and Matthew Hargis. (Back, L-R): Producers Frank Liddell and Justin Niebank, Warner/Chappell’s BJ Hill, BMI’s Leslie Roberts, ASCAP’s LeAnn Phelan, Eli Young Band, manager George Couri, Big Machine Label Group’s Allison Jones, Black River Publishing’s Celia Froehlig and Gordon Kerr, and BMI’s Jody Williams. Photo credit: Steve Lowry

Not since “You And Tequila” has a hangover paid off so handsomely.

In late 2012 Laura Veltz showed up to her writing appointment with Josh Osborne and apologized, “I got a little drunk last night.” They decided that was the perfect song idea and a hit was born.

Veltz and Osborne made a “killer demo” of the tune, according to Veltz’s publisher BJ Hill from Warner/Chappell. Then Veltz took the demo to her manager, Mike Molinar at Big Machine Music. When his co-worker, BMLG A&R exec Allison Jones, heard the demo coming through the wall, she knew immediately it would be a great cut by the Eli Young Band.

“Drunk Last Night” made its way to the top of the radio charts and is now Gold-certified. BMI, ASCAP, and Republic Nashville gathered at the CMA’s offices yesterday (April 28) to toast the team behind the hit.

BMI’s Jody Williams shared how he was introduced to Veltz years earlier by songwriter Kye Fleming. Back then, Veltz was part of a New York based family band called Cecilia. Williams said he knew early on that Laura was a creative “force of nature.”

ASCAP’s LeAnn Phelan toasted Frank Liddell, who co-produced the track with Justin Niebank and EYB. “You are a treasure in this city,” she enthused, noting his work with ACM Lifting Lives, Nashville Screenwriters Conference, and his willingness to share credit with the engineers, songwriters and musicians who contribute to his projects. This is Liddell’s seventh No. 1.

Hill saluted Veltz, “You keep impressing us with your abilities.”

“You’re a hit songwriter, it’s in your DNA,” agreed Molinar.

Black River’s Celia Froehlig cheered Osborne, “he’s a publisher’s dream.” Indeed, he has five songs in the Top 30 right now. “Drunk Last Night” is his second No. 1, following Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over” and Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy-winning “Merry Go Round.”

It was an emotional event for Veltz who was celebrating her first trip to the top of the charts. She thanked her family and the songwriters “who just let me in the room” as she learned the craft. She praised the support of Nashville’s creative community: “I don’t think this happens everywhere.”

Osborne said it isn’t hard to let go of a song you wrote when it is going into the hands of the Eli Young Band and Republic Nashville, because they always work hard and put all they’ve got behind it.

As songwriters themselves, Mike Eli explained that he and the other band members immediately recognized the song’s hit potential. “Drunk Last Night” is the talented foursome’s third No. 1, following double Platinum “Crazy Girl” and Platinum “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”

And in the very near future, Veltz will have two more reasons to celebrate—she’s pregnant with twins.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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