ASCAP and BMI, the major performance rights organizations, joined resources at Nashville’s Cabana restaurant Tuesday (March 23) to honor the songwriters of Josh Turner’s four-week No. 1 single, “Why Don’t We Just Dance.”
Turner was on hand to lead the applause for songwriters Darrell Brown and Jonathan Singleton, both ASCAP members, and Jim Beavers, who’s affiliated with BMI.
Although the event was held inside, Cabana’s mammoth side doors were up, admitting the warm afternoon breezes (as well as the drone of afternoon rush hour traffic and Vanderbilt Medical Center’s medevac helicopter).
BMI’s Jody Williams informed the crowd of celebrants that “Why Don’t We Just Dance” is Beavers’ fourth No. 1 song and Turner’s third. The song, he noted, is also producer Frank Rogers’ 29th chart-topper.
“The heart of Josh Turner’s music has not wavered since ’Long Black Train’ [his signature self-penned hit from 2003],” Williams asserted. “He’s as gifted a singer as has ever recorded in Nashville.”
ASCAP representative Mark Driskill announced that “Dance” is Brown’s 12th No. 1 and Singleton’s third.
In addition to the plethora of plaques and certificates handed out to the songwriters, Turner, the song’s publishers and the radio promotion team from MCA Nashville — Turner’s record label — one publisher gave the songwriters and the singer gift certificates for ballroom dance lessons.
Explaining how he came by “Dance,” Rogers said he had just gone on vacation and had given his assistant, Courtney Crist, explicit instructions not to interrupt him with any business matter. On the third day of his outing, however, Crist called him and insisted he listen to the song. He did and immediately told her to put it on hold for Turner. Thus began another Music Row success story.
“When I first heard this song,” said Turner, “I thought the country and the world needed to hear this message. I didn’t realize [the song’s power] myself until I heard it on the radio the day we shot pictures for the album.”
He said the song gets a “huge reaction” in his shows and admitted he felt momentarily bleak when he learned that it had failed to remain No. 1 for a fifth week.
Musing about this being his third No. 1, Turner quipped, “I had a two-week No. 2 spot [with ’Firecracker’ ]. That was Taylor Swift’s fault, but we won’t mention any names.” He said his ultimate goal has always been to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and that he has only 13 years to go to become eligible — plus some more “great songs” like the one being honored.View photos from the No. 1 party.