No. 1 Party: ‘Don’t It’ Celebrates Top Nashville Songwriters

Pictured (l-r): "Don't It" co-writers Ross Copperman and Ashley Gorley, Billy Currington, and co-writer Jaren Johnston Photos by Ed Rode

Pictured (L-R): “Don’t It” co-writers Ross Copperman and Ashley Gorley, Billy Currington, and co-writer Jaren Johnston. Photo: Ed Rode

The CMA Office in Nashville was host to a celebration of Billy Currington’s “Don’t It” as a No. 1 hit song on Monday August 3.

Hosted by ASCAP and BMI, Currington and songwriters Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley and Jaren Johnston were all honored and were addressed several times as some of the best in town.

ASCAP’s Mike Sistad recognized Johnston as a tireless worker who performs every weekend as the front man for The Cadillac Three, and then gets up every morning during the week to write a hit songs. “Don’t It” is Johnston’s sixth chart topper.

“I definitely need to thank my parents, who are here today,” said Johnston. “My dad used to put money in my account when I didn’t have any. I’d go and buy shoes instead of water and bread. Somehow, that worked out for me.”

Those in attendance were reminded of Gorley’s accomplished career so far. He has had over 300 of his songs recorded with 21 No. 1 songs, including Luke Bryan’s current No. 1, “Kick The Dust Up.”

Gorley stated, “I know it takes a nation to make this happen and we don’t take it for granted. There is a long list of people that need to be thanked.”

Leslie Roberts of BMI congratulated Copperman on this, his 4th No. 1 as a songwriter. He also has three songs currently on the chart. (Jake Owen’s “Real Life,” Keith Urban’s “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” and Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind.”) In addition to being a hit songwriter, Copperman is also an accomplished producer.

“Don’t It” has become Currington’s 10th No. 1 song as an artist. He said this was the first song pitched to him for his sixth studio album, Summer Forever, which was produced by Dann Huff. He praised his Mercury Nashville promo team.

Also taking to the mic were UMGN Chairman/CEO Mike Dungan, Sony ATV’s Sr. VP Josh Van Valkenburg, Combustion Music’s VP Chris “The Falcon” Van Belkom, Cooper Samuels of Avenue Bank (who announced a charitable contribution to ACM’s Lifting Lives) and representatives from CRB and CMA.

Pictured (l-r, front row): Co-writer Ross Copperman, Billy Currington, and co-writers Ashley Gorley and Jaren Johnston; (back row) ​Universal Music Group Nashville Chairman & CEO Mike Dungan, Warner Chappell Music Publishing's Ben Vaughn, BMI's Leslie Roberts, Sony ATV Music Publishing's Josh Van Valkenburg, Combustion Music's Chris Van Belkom and ASCAP's Mike Sistad

Pictured (L-R, front row): Co-writer Ross Copperman, Billy Currington, and co-writers Ashley Gorley and Jaren Johnston; (back row) ​UMGN Chairman/CEO Mike Dungan, Warner Chappell Music Publishing’s Ben Vaughn, BMI’s Leslie Roberts, Sony ATV Music Publishing’s Josh Van Valkenburg, Combustion Music’s Chris Van Belkom and ASCAP’s Mike Sistad

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About the Author

Troy Stephenson is The CountryBreakout Chart Director at MusicRow. He comes to Nashville with 10+ years in Radio Promotions.

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