Randy Houser, Songwriters Toast “We Went” At No. 1 Party Inside Tootsies

Pictured (L-R): Producer Derek George, SESAC songwriter Justin Wilson, Houser, and ASCAP songwriters John King and Matt Rogers.

Pictured (L-R): Producer Derek George, SESAC songwriter Justin Wilson, Houser, and ASCAP songwriters John King and Matt Rogers.

For Nashville songwriter John King, Randy Houser is the recording artist who gave him his first No. 1 chart-topping song, with “We Went.”

Houser is also a generous tipper.

“This dude’s the best singer, maybe in the world,” said King, to the cheers of the industry crowd packed into Tootsies Orchid Lounge for a No. 1 party hosted by ASCAP and SESAC. “Three years ago, I was doing a 10 o’clock slot at [Nashville restaurant/venue] Puckett’s and I was doing a three-hour set. I didn’t have a record deal or a publishing deal. Nobody knew me. I saw this dude sitting in the back at the bar. He had a trucker hat on and a beard. I was playing the last set, and I was in the middle of an original song. This guy walks up and drops a $100 bill in the tip bucket. It was Randy Houser, three years ago. I don’t know if you even remember this. Since that day, and even before then, he’s always been one of my favorite artists. He’s what artists like me aspire to be.”

Now, King is signed as both a songwriter and artist with Black River Entertainment, and celebrating his first chart-topping single with a song Houser recorded. “We brought the whole dang wagon from Georgia for this,” quipped King.

The music industry crowd packed the upstairs bar area at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to honor ASCAP writers King and Matt Rogers and SESAC writer Justin Wilson for “We Went.” Representatives from ASCAP, SESAC, Black River Entertainment, Broken Bow Records, ole, Magic Mustang, Razor & Tie, CMA, CRB, and more were on hand to honor the Houser and the songwriters.

“It’s a really hard thing to get a No. 1 song in the country,” said Houser, who gave thanks to BBR and Stoney Creek Records. “One thing I always love about my label is they have always been one of the little engines that could. The people that nobody saw coming, that came and whipped your ass. It’s a really special and unique thing they have there. They have really gritty people…they are the people that are on the phone and getting it done. That’s what I’ve always loved. I see people that are in the grind. That’s the coolest thing. For myself, I never saw a quick rise to fame. You keep grinding, and things happen. I’m very proud of all my people at Stoney Creek.”

“We Went” is the fourth No. 1 song for Houser, and the first single from Houser’s fourth studio album, Fired Up, which released in March.

Pictured (L-R): (front row) George, Wilson, Houser, King, Rogers, (back row) Razor & Tie's Brad Kennard, Black River's Dave Pacula, SESAC's Shannan Hatch, Magic Mustang's Juli Newton-Griffith and Lydia Schultz, ASCAP's Beth Brinker, Black River's Kelly Bolton, Ole's John Ozier, and Broken Bow Records' Carson James and Jon Loba.

Pictured (L-R): (front row) Derek George, Justin Wilson, Randy Houser, John King, Matt Rogers, (back row) Razor & Tie’s Brad Kennard, Black River’s Dave Pacula, SESAC’s Shannan Hatch, Magic Mustang’s Juli Newton-Griffith and Lydia Schultz, ASCAP’s Beth Brinker, Black River’s Kelly Bolton, ole’s John Ozier, and Broken Bow Records’ Carson James and Jon Loba.


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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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