Jon Pardi Triumphs With First No.1 Single

Pictured: (L-R): Back row: BMI’s Bradley Collins, Creative Nation’s Beth Laird, Universal Music’s Kent Earls, producer Bart Butler, Song Factor’s Jennifer Johnson, Sony ATV’s Troy Tomlinson and Capitol Nashville’s Mike Dungan. Front Row: Songwriter Luke Laird and BMI songwriter and artist Jon Pardi. Photo: Steve Lowry

Pictured: (L-R): Back row: BMI’s Bradley Collins, Creative Nation’s Beth Laird, Universal Music’s Kent Earls, producer Bart Butler, Song Factor’s Jennifer Johnson, Sony ATV’s Troy Tomlinson and UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan. Front Row: Songwriter Luke Laird and BMI songwriter and artist Jon Pardi. Photo: Steve Lowry

“Country radio, thank you for making a country shuffle a No. 1 song,” Jon Pardi told a packed house at BMI’s Nashville office yesterday (Oct. 25). “I love Nashville.”

BMI’s Bradley Collins hosted industry members to celebrate the Capitol Nashville artist’s first No. 1 single, “Head Over Boots.” It also marked the first No. 1 for Pardi’s producer Bart Butler.

Pardi penned the chart-topper with Creative Nation writer Luke Laird.

“Luke Laird’s only done this 22 times,” Collins quipped. Laird was the 2012 BMI Songwriter of the Year, and will be honored by BMI again next week for his compositions “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” (Tim McGraw) and “Gonna” (Blake Shelton).

The mere mention of Pardi’s name drew excited shouts from the industry crowd. Collins recalled talking to Pardi shortly after he signed his deal with Sony/ATV.

“I asked him how it was going out on the road,” Collins said. “He said, ‘Man, I have enough money to hire a lighting guy now, but I hired a fiddle player instead.’ Now how stone-cold country is that?”

BMI presented Pardi with an Epiphone guitar, as part of BMI’s tradition of gifting its songwriters with a guitar to commemorate their first No. 1 hit.

Song Factory’s Jennifer Johnson recalled first hearing Pardi’s voice and songs. “I was blown away. I remember hearing his voice and I thought, ‘Who is that?’ so I offered Jon a deal right away and never looked back. This is so special. This is Jon’s first No. 1, and this is the most gratifying No. 1 party I’ve ever been to.”

In keeping with Creative Nation’s tradition of unique gifts, Beth Laird presented Pardi and Luke Laird with custom engraved Cracker Barrel rocking chairs.

“Jon brought the title ‘Head Over Boots,’ and they knew they were creating something that was groovy and fun,” said Beth Laird. “For songwriters, it really is about that little spark in the room and the possibility of writing something special that millions of people can relate to.”

Sony/ATV’s Troy Tomlinson, Universal Music’s Kent Earls, CRB’s Holly Lane, Country Aircheck’s Chuck Aly, and more offered congratulatory remarks. Pinnacle Bank made a charitable contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association of America.

UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan reminded the crowd that the song has been certified platinum by the RIAA for 1 million sales.

“It’s been a rallying cry for us to come with an artist and music that is this different,” Dungan said. “Reminiscent of the past and also the present and so completely unique, this is a thrill. It’s what we do. We not only made our commercial goals here, but we have made an impact on the culture. I cannot tell you what we owe to Jon and this music for giving us a new boost of energy. This man represents himself and himself only and thank God for that. It’s the difference that makes the difference. This is just the beginning of what I am really confident will be a long and successful career.”

“We’ve come a long way,” Butler told Pardi. “I remember being in the back of a little old hit shack, we would just listen to all kinds of music. We wrote songs and just became brothers and hung in there. It’s been a long road, but every mile has been worth it.”

Pardi relished in the time to celebrate his first No. 1 single, and thanked nearly everyone in attendance who aided in his chart-topping success. Among those was UMG Nashville VP, A&R Autumn House-Tallant. “You got me a record deal and I appreciate that,” Pardi said from the stage.

Luke Laird recalled the early buzz he had heard about Pardi. “I was at a Kacey Musgraves concert years ago, and I was talking to Mike and we were just talking about how awesome Jon Pardi is. I’m a fan. I have a feeling in the next few years, you are going to have a lot of artists coming to town, wanting to be Jon Pardi,” said Laird.

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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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