Miranda Lambert Leads Celebration of “The House That Built Me”

Songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin Also Honored

Well-wishers packed Nashville’s Sambuca restaurant Tuesday (Aug. 3) to celebrate the success of “The House That Built Me,” the song Miranda Lambert recently nailed to the top of the Billboard charts for four consecutive weeks.

Honored in addition to Lambert were the song’s writers, Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, and the record’s producers, Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke.

“Miranda’s idea of having a No. 1 party,” said Gary Overton, head of Lambert’s record company, Sony Music Nashville, “is ’Let’s do [the presentations] first and then have fun.'” With that, he brought Lambert and the other principals to the stage to receive their first round of awards.

WSM-AM disc jockey Bill Cody saluted Lambert and the songwriters on behalf of Country Radio Broadcasters. He said that in the old days, when radio stations still played vinyl records, Lambert’s heavily programmed version of “The House That Built Me” would have been marred eventually by “cue burns,” which, he explained, were the scratchy sounds caused by a needle being dropped repeatedly to start a record.

Fortunately, he added, digital technology enabled Lambert’s voice to come through today “in all her perfection.”

Clay Bradley, speaking for BMI, the performance rights organization with which Douglas is affiliated, proclaimed that “The House That Built Me” is “everything that makes country music great. This makes us all reflect on where we came from and where we’re going.”

(The song chronicles the return of an emotionally wounded wanderer to the house she grew up in and her hope to find healing there.)

Bradley noted the song is Douglas’ third No. 1 within the past 12 months and is Lambert’s second No. 1 from her current album, Revolution.

Tim DuBois, who runs Nashville’s ASCAP division, which is Shamblin’s home base, pointed out that, despite rumors to the contrary, songs still get cut because they’re great, not just because their writers have the proper political connections.

“What we have here,” DuBois said, “is a song written by two of Nashville’s best journeymen songwriters — seven years ago.” It is Shamblin’s sixth No. 1, he added.

Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of Sony/ATV Music, Douglas’ publisher, said “The House That Built Me” is the kind of insightful song that makes listeners think the writers “have been looking through my family photo album [or] through my window.”

Tomlinson observed the song had originally been pitched to Blake Shelton, Lambert’s fiancé, and his producer, Scott Hendricks, and thanked them for relinquishing it to Lambert.

Shelton, who stood half way back in the crowd, shouted back in mock dismay, “We’re really f***ing happy about it.”

“This song means the world to me. It really does,” Lambert told the crowd. “I cry every single night I sing it.” She said Shelton played her the demo of the song on their drive home from an airport and that she cried for two hours after hearing it.

“I want to thank my FI-nancy,” she quipped, hillbillying the pronunciation. “I like to call him my FI-nancy, but I guess I’m going to be financing him after this.”

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