Rarely has a little black dress fulfilled so many male fantasies at the same time — not sexual fantasies, mind you, but lust for a No. 1 song.
Chris Young and his co-writers, Cory Batten and Kent Blazy, basked in just that achievement Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 24) at back-to-back parties in Nashville for Young’s recent chart-topping single, “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).”
Festivities began at ASCAP, the performance rights society with which Young is affiliated, and then moved on across the street to BMI, Batten’s and Blazy’s home turf.
“Gettin’ You Home” is Young’s first No. 1 single, both as a singer and songwriter, and he could hardly contain himself when he spoke to the horde of well-wishers that jammed ASCAP’s reception hall.
“I know I’m talking a long time,” he said, after reeling off a long list of friends and business associates, “but you’ll just have to deal with it. I’m so friggin’ excited.”
In addition to giving Young a plaque, ASCAP also presented him an acoustic guitar to welcome him into its “No. 1 Club.”
“Gettin’ You Home” is from The Man I Want to Be, Young’s second album for RCA Records. He co-wrote two other songs on the collection, which includes a duet with Willie Nelson on “Rose in Paradise” and a cover of Tony Joe White’s “Rainy Night in Georgia.” (Jim McBride and Stewart Harris, the co-writers of “Rose in Paradise,” Waylon Jennings’ last No. 1 single, were both on hand at the BMI party to tip their hats to Young.)
The singer recalled that when he, Batten and Blazy first sat down to write together, he was the odd man out.
“Cory had just come off his first No. 1 — ’She Wouldn’t Be Gone’ — for Blake Shelton, and Kent’s had more No. 1’s than God. So I told them, ’Man, one of these days, I’ll have my first No. 1 and be in the club.'”
“Country music’s in great hands with this guy,” Young’s producer, James Stroud, proclaimed. “He’s going to be unstoppable.”
BMI’s Jody Williams picked up that theme, branding Young “just an amazing talent” and commending the song’s three writers for “spreading cheer all over Music Row.”
Williams pointed out that the nearby buffet table was stocked with “black dress cookies.”
He noted that Blazy began his songwriting career after a stint as bandleader for Canadian singer Ian Tyson. Blazy scored his first country hit in 1981 with “Headed for a Heartache,” a No. 8 single for Gary Morris.
But his career went stratospheric after he teamed up with Garth Brooks in the late ’80s, Williams continued. That alliance produced such smashes as “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” “Somewhere Other Than the Night” and “Ain’t Goin’ Down (Til the Sun Comes Up).”
In his acceptance remarks, Blazy expressed particular gratitude to Jim Dowell, his co-writer on “Headed for a Heartache” and the man who signed him to his first songwriting deal.
“I’d like to thank BMI for putting out the cookies I baked last night,” Batten joked, “and I want to thank all of you for being in one room to celebrate a song about sex.” His humor turned to tears, though, when he turned to thank his father, who stood a few feet away in the crowd, also crying. He called his dad “the toughest guy I know.”
The most visceral tribute to “Gettin’ You Home,” however, came from Country Weekly magazine’s David Scarlett, who presented the writers “The Story Behind the Song” plaques.
“My last cigarette was in the eighth grade,” he said. “This [song] made me smoke one.”View photos from the No. 1 parties.