Adjectives metastasized and plaque-makers dreamed of vacation homes in the Caymans as Nashville’s music insiders gathered Monday afternoon (Jan. 23) to toast Lady Antebellum’s recent No. 1 songs during a party at the third floor Phoenix Room of the Bound’ry restaurant near Nashville’s Music Row.
In the spotlight were the back-to-back hits “Just a Kiss” and “We Owned the Night.” Lady A’s Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott, along with Dallas Davidson wrote “Just a Kiss.” Kelley, Haywood and Davidson authored the latter hit. All the songwriters honored are members of the BMI performance rights organization, except for Scott, who belongs to SESAC.
The stage was decorated with a row of four acoustic guitars, each emblazoned with a likeness of Lady A on the front.
Mike Dungan, chief of Capitol Records Nashville, Lady A’s label, explained that having to fuse two No. 1 parties together, instead of holding them as each song topped the charts, was “the unfortunate byproduct” of the trio’s colossal popularity.
“Their schedules get a little crazy,” he observed.
He said that despite the group’s “massive worldwide recognition” and “massive [record] sales,” the members have never exhibited “an ounce of attitude,” a prudence for which he commended them on the spot.
BMI’s Jody Williams, who followed Dungan to the stage, revealed that “Just a Kiss” is now a double-platinum single and that “We Owned the Night” has achieved gold status.
Despite Lady A’s frantic touring and recording schedule, said Williams, they had still found time for “an engagement [Haywood’s] and a marriage [Scott’s].”
The group resumes touring next week in Tulsa, Okla.
Reminding the crowd that Davidson and his frequent co-writer, Rhett Akins, are BMI’s reigning country songwriters of the year, Williams added that the two songs being celebrated were Davidson’s ninth and 10th No. 1 single and that this week he scored his 11th when Luke Bryan’s “I Don’t Want This Night to End” topped the chart.
Besides Bryan’s single, Williams continued, Davidson currently has three other songs on the chart: Montgomery Gentry’s “Where I Come From,” Craig Morgan’s “This Ole Boy” and Ronnie Dunn’s “Let the Cowboy Rock.”
Williams concluded his summary by noting that Kelley and Haywood have scored seven No. 1’s.
Davidson then came forward to thank his co-writers, their producer, Paul Worley, and to greet several members of his family who had traveled from his native Georgia for the party.
“Contrary to popular belief down in Georgia,” he said, “we work pretty hard up here.”
He presented co-writers Kelley and Haywood each with a vintage Gibson acoustic guitar and told Scott he had made a contribution in her name to her favorite charity, My Life Speaks, which cares for orphans in Haiti.
To cap the celebration, the members of Lady A, with Davidson chiming in, seated themselves on high stools on the stage, and with Haywood accompanying on acoustic guitar, sang beautifully their two winning songs.
The best line of the evening came from B.J. Hill, who works with Kelley and Haywood at Warner/Chappell Publishing. As the accolades for Davidson kept piling up, Hill looked out at the partygoers with mock resignation and remarked, “He actually does own the night. He bought the night with his last royalty check.”View photos from the party.