He’s “country music’s John Wayne,” a man with a “big, big heart” and “country music’s greatest voice.” These words and more were all spoken of Trace Adkins Wednesday afternoon (June 18) as he and songwriters Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller celebrated the success of “You’re Gonna Miss This.” The song, which spent three consecutive weeks at the top of the country chart, was honored at dual parties hosted by performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI.
Although the flattering compliments continually poured in for the towering baritone, Adkins credited the single’s popularity to Gorley and Miller.
“Anybody could have sang this song,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s just a hit song. It was a well-crafted, beautiful lyric.” Looking at both Gorley and Miller he said, “Ya’ll wrote it to the wall.”
Gorley, whose songwriting credits include Carrie Underwood’s “All-American Girl” and “Don’t Forget to Remember Me,” described the song as a “natural scenario.”
Recalling their songwriting session at his house, Gorley said, “Lee threw out that title, ‘You’re Gonna Miss This,’ which was great. I loved that and jumped right on it. We really worked to find the scenarios that people could relate to the best.”
“We wrote that song about our kids.” said Miller, who’s best known for songs such as Brad Paisley’s “The World” and Joe Nichols’ “The Impossible.” Referring to the course of writing the song and hearing it sung by Adkins, Miller said, “It was such an exciting ride.”
Gorley and Miller had their families with them as they celebrated, as did Adkins who had three of his youngest daughters and wife Rhonda by his side.
“What drew me to the song is that Ashley’s got three kids, Lee’s got four, I’ve got five, so it’s a very personal song,” Adkins said. “And when I heard the song, my oldest daughter had just gotten married.”
Despite the seriousness of the song, Adkins offered some comedic relief to reporters as he answered questions about performing the nostalgic “You’re Gonna Miss This” between upbeat and catchy boot-tapping hits like “Swing” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”
“It’s a fine line … to walk and keep that balance,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard to do. You just have to keep the ‘Arlingtons’ and the ‘Badonkadonks’ away from each other. You don’t want to do those back to back.”
He continued, “And how I strike that balance between those two things is really difficult to do. I need to be patted on the back to be able to somehow pull that off,” he joked. “It’s really unbelievable. They [the fans] dry their eyes with their panties and then they throw them on the stage.”
Adkins and the songwriters were thanked throughout the afternoon and given several plaques commemorating the song’s achievement. Miller’s wife surprised him with a heartwarming slideshow showing photos of their family and children with “You’re Gonna Miss This” playing in the background. He was also later given a wall-hanging displaying the words, “You’re Gonna Fish This” from friend and fellow songwriter Craig Wiseman.
Interestingly enough, much talk during both No. 1 parties revolved around Donald Trump and Trace Adkins’ role on the TV reality show, The Celebrity Apprentice, where he and media personality Piers Morgan both vied for the chance to win $250,000 dollars for their chosen charity during the final episode. Though Adkins eventually fell short of winning, his single “You’re Gonna Miss This” peaked at No. 1 that day and Adkins was to perform the tear-jerking song with Donald Trump introducing him on stage.
“But he has no concept of how these things work,” Adkins said of Trump. “We all know how these things work. We know that the song got to country radio … because of the lyric of the song.” He even admitted to being choked up during his performance on Apprentice.
“I was purposely avoiding looking to my left as I was singing that song,” he said, explaining that his wife and two daughters were sitting in close proximity to the stage. “I knew that if I looked over there, that I’d probably be done, and I didn’t want to take that risk. I knew that would be too heavy, and I probably wouldn’t be able to finish it.”
At Wednesday’s party, Capitol Records Nashville president and CEO Mike Dungan told the group, “When the eyes of the world were on country music, we were in our best shape.” He went on to say that because of Adkins, Gorley and Miller, country music owes them a debt of gratitude for “making country music be cool again.”