Rascal Flatts gathered their team on Wednesday afternoon (July 13) to celebrate their newest No. 1 single, “I Like the Sound of That.” The trio hosted the party inside the club level of First Tennessee Park, the minor league stadium that is home to the Nashville Sounds.
“I Like the Sound of That” was written by Jesse Frasure, Shay Mooney and Meghan Trainor. Although Trainor was on tour and unable to attend, Frasure and Mooney shared the stage with the Flatts members Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney for nearly the whole afternoon.
Going with the baseball theme, Bradley Collins of BMI showed up with black streaks on his cheeks (known as eye black) to congratulate BMI songwriters Frasure and Mooney. Tina Crawford of Major Bob Music said it was her first time to present an award — in this case, to Frasure — and asked the crowd not to throw tomatoes or baseballs.
Before presenting a plaque to Mooney, BJ Hill of Warner/Chappell noted, “I think this song was really a home run,” eliciting groans from the crowd. ASCAP’s Evyn Mustoe chatted about Trainor’s achievements, and her passing reference to “All About That Bass” (or would that be “Base”?) caused the guys to break into song.
Carla Wallace of Big Yellow Dog Music pitched the song the day after it was written and beamed with joy that she had finally landed a cut with Rascal Flatts. After admitting that Trainor cried after hearing their rendition of the song, DeMarcus interjected, “Can she put me in her meet and greet line?”
Sending in a peppy video, Trainor cheered on all of her collaborators: “Jesse Frasure, I hope you’re there. Shay Mooney, I love you guys so much. I wish I was there so bad! Congrats, Rascal Flatts, this is literally a dream come true, a No. 1 country song. We are pretty awesome! Take a shot for me, have fun, and get crazy!”
Amy Schoch of the Nashville Sounds presented customized jerseys to the Flatts fellows. Avenue Bank did not make a presentation but did drop off a donation for Nashville Humane Association on behalf of the songwriters. Holly Lane of Country Radio Broadcasters was greeted with whoops and hollers when she said “I Like the Sound of That” made 1.1 billion impressions at country radio.
Big Machine Label Group executives Scott Borchetta and Jack Purcell presented enormous plaques to the musicians. Borchetta said he’d wanted to sign Dan + Shay and Jesse Frasure before they got scooped up by other companies. He also recalled the negotiations it took with the band to make sure “I Like the Sound of That” got recorded, then added, “That’s all right, we’re all on the same team.” Purcell said the radio staff sent the tune “out of the park.”
Next, Frasure and Mooney stepped to the plate. Frasure said his parents flipped out when Rascal Flatts cut the song, because it was a band they actually knew about. (They were cheering from the crowd.) Mooney told the audience that he grew up listening to Rascal Flatts and quipped, “They’ve been like grandparents to me.”
Of course, the Nashville industry knows you can’t one-up DeMarcus with one-liners.
During his speech, DeMarcus first noted, “It’s awesome to wake up every day and get to do what you do for a living — and get paid about a third of what you used to.”
After the laughter subsided, he continued, “It’s really great to be in this city. I love this town and I love collaborating. And I love my Flatts brothers. I am a sucker for talent and we knew we had to cut this song when we heard Shay’s vocal [on the demo] and all the licks he stole from Gary.”
Following another round of laughter, DeMarcus remarked, “Hey, that’s for that ‘grandparent’ comment, buddy! I love this dude so much, and he is such a talented singer. And Jesse Frasure, you are a bad, bad boy. Just when I think this town can’t handle any more talent, somebody comes along and blows you away again.”
Rooney took a more serious approach in his comments, saying, “We’re writers, we try to write, but the benchmark is that you’ve got to put your heart on a shelf when you go into a song meeting and you’ve got to go, ‘What is the best song for Rascal Flatts?’ And as a writer, that’s not always easy because you’re like, ‘My stuff over here is pretty good too, man!’ But at the end of the day, a song like ‘I Like the Sound of That’ spoke to us.”
Rooney also gave thanks to management, label, publishers, his wife and especially to DeMarcus as a producer. “He tackled the last six or seven songs we had on this project and he said, ‘Guys, let me do this, I know I can do this,’ and he literally knocked it out of the park.” Before handing off the mic, he also commended LeVox as a lead vocalist and the “safe landing” he delivered on the song.
LeVox also effusively thanked Big Machine Records, country radio, and the publishing community.
“Every time that we go into cut, like we are right now, we just appreciate you thinking enough of us to pitch your writers and their music to us,” he said. “We know each song becomes their baby and we’d be good grandparents to them! So, they’re in good hands with grandpa, grandpa, and grandpa. We’d love to have your children!”
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