Music industry guests assembled at Nashville hotspot City Winery yesterday (April 14) to celebrate Frankie Ballard’s second consecutive No. 1 hit “Sunshine and Whiskey.” ASCAP’s Evyn Mustoe, who happens to be the wife of “Sunshine and Whiskey” co-writer Jaren Johnston, and BMI’s Clay Bradley hosted the gathering to honor Ballard and writers Luke Laird (BMI) and Johnston (ASCAP). In addition to being a hit songwriter, Johnston is member of band The Cadillac Three.
“Sunshine and Whiskey” marks Laird’s 19th No. 1 song, and is the fourth for Johnston.
Among those honoring the song were Sony/ATV’s Troy Tomlinson, Warner Music Nashville’s John Esposito, CMA, CRB, and Universal Music Publishing’s Cyndi Forman.
Laird’s wife and Creative Nation business partner, Beth Laird, pointed out that eight of the 15 songs Luke and Johnston have co-written have been recorded. She also offered celebratory whiskey racks to Ballard and the songwriters.
The evening included a donation presented by Avenue Bank’s Ron Cox on behalf of the songwriters to Preston Taylor Ministries.
“I still get this overwhelming feeling I don’t deserve to be up here,” Ballard said modestly, before recalling how much he wanted to record “Sunshine and Whiskey” when he first heard it. Ballard doesn’t have long to bask in the celebration; he will soon be on the road opening shows for Florida Georgia Line.
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