NSAI Throws “World’s Largest No. 1 Party”

Organization Honors 27 Songs and Their Writers

The Nashville Songwriters Association International staged what it billed as “the world’s largest No. 1 party” Tuesday (Sept. 25) in a massive tent pitched on the parking lot of the Country Music Association office building in Nashville.

Although many of the songwriter recipients were on hand for the event, none of the artists who had scored hits with the 27 songs cited were there. The recognition ceremony covered country songs that had reached No. 1 between July 2006 and through June 2007.

NSAI’s executive director Bart Herbison and NSAI president Steve Bogard hosted the presentations. Prior to handing out the No. 1 plaques, they conferred three special honors, including the Maggie Cavender Award to former Sony Tree/Acuff-Rose music publishing chief Donna Hilley for providing “significant benefit to the entire songwriting community” and the NSAI President’s Award to attorney Denise Stevens for her work in passing tax legislation favorable to songwriters. The executives also presented the Stephen Foster Award to ASCAP senior vice president Connie Bradley for her historic support of the NSAI.

Hilley, who is ill, did not attend. Her three daughters accepted the award on her behalf.

Tammy Genovese, the CMA’s chief operating officer, presented five Triple Play Awards to songwriters who had had three No. 1 songs within a 12-month span. They went to Brett Beavers for “Come a Little Closer,” “Every Mile a Memory” and “Settle for a Slowdown” (all recorded by Dierks Bentley) and Dave Berg for “Stupid Boy” (recorded by Keith Urban) and “These Are My People” and “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)” (recorded by Rodney Atkins).

Triple Play awards also went to Kelley Lovelace for “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” (recorded by Carrie Underwood) and “The World” and “Ticks” (recorded by Brad Paisley) and to Rivers Rutherford for “Homewrecker” (recorded by Gretchen Wilson), “When I Get Where I’m Going” (recorded by Brad Paisley) and “Livin’ in Fast Forward” (recorded by Kenny Chesney). The other Triple Play honor was earned by Jeffrey Steele for “What Hurts the Most” and “My Wish” (recorded by Rascal Flatts) and “Brand New Girlfriend” (recorded by Steve Holy).

Here is the complete list of the No. 1 songs and songwriters honored:

“The World,” written by Kelley Lovelace, Lee Thomas Miller, Brad Paisley (recorded by Brad Paisley)

“Don’t Forget to Remember Me,” Ashley Gorley, Morgane Hayes, Kelley Lovelace (Carrie Underwood)

“A Little Too Late,” Dean Dillon, Scotty Emerick, Toby Keith (Toby Keith)

“If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows),” Dave Berg, Annie Tate, Sam Tate (Rodney Atkins)

“Leave the Pieces,” Bill Austin, Jennifer Hanson (the Wreckers)

“Brand New Girlfriend,” Bart Allmand, Shane Minor, Jeffrey Steele (Steve Holy)

“Give It Away,” Bill Anderson, Buddy Cannon, Jamey Johnson (George Strait)

“Would You Go With Me,” Shawn Camp and John Scott Sherrill (Josh Turner)

“I Loved Her First,” Walt Aldridge, Elliott Park (Heartland)

“Before He Cheats,” Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins (Carrie Underwood)

“What Hurts the Most,” Steve Robson, Jeffrey Steele (Rascal Flatts)

“Every Mile a Memory,” Brett Beavers, Dierks Bentley, Steve Bogard (Dierks Bentley)

“My Wish,” Steve Robson, Jeffrey Steele (Rascal Flatts)

“Want To,” Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles, Bobby Pinson (Sugarland)

“She’s Everything,” Will Nance, Brad Paisley (Brad Paisley)

“Watching You,” Rodney Atkins, Steve Dean, Brian Gene White (Rodney Atkins)

“It Just Comes Natural,” Jim Collins, Marv Green (George Strait)

“Ladies Love Country Boys,” Jamey Johnson, Rivers Rutherford, George Teren (Trace Adkins)

“Beer in Mexico,” Kenny Chesney (Kenny Chesney)

“Last Dollar (Fly Away),” Kenny Alphin (Tim McGraw)

“Wasted,” Marv Green, Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges (Carrie Underwood)

“Stand,” Blair Daly, Danny Orton (Rascal Flatts)

“Settlin’,” Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles, Tim Owens (Sugarland)

“Good Directions,” Luke Bryan, Rachel Thibodeau (Billy Currington)

“Moments,” Dave Berg, Annie Tate, Sam Tate (Emerson Drive)

“Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” Casey Beathard, Ed Hill (Tracy Lawrence)

“Ticks,” Kelley Lovelace, Tim Owens, Brad Paisley (Brad Paisley)

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.