Dierks Bentley joined a throng of music industry insiders at the ASCAP building in Nashville Monday afternoon (June 15) to salute Shane McAnally, Matthew Ramsey and Trevor Rosen, the writers of his latest No. 1 single, “Say You Do.”
In addition to being songwriters, Ramsey and Rosen are also members of the band Old Dominion.
ASCAP’s Mike Sistad hosted the celebration. He announced that “Say You Do” is McAnally’s 11th No. 1 and that his 12th arrived this week as “Wild Child,” recorded by Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter, topped the chart.
For Rosen, it was his second No. 1 and for Ramsey his first.
Sistad noted that “Say You Do” was the third chart-topping single from Bentley’s current album, Riser, and the 13th of his career. He praised Bentley for his Miles & Music charity that raised more than $335,000 this year for the Monroe Carrell Jr.’s Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.
As publishing and record label representatives stepped forward to join Bentley and the songwriters standing in line to receive awards, Mike Dungan, the head of Bentley’s label, cracked, “This is starting to look like the hip-hop business.”
Speaking to the hit-heavy McAnally, Dungan continued, “I promise you if you bring us great songs, we’ll make you a lot of money.”
McAnally observed that he and Ramsey and Rosen were writings song together for a long time before they started having hits.
He thanked Bentley for continuing to take chances musically.
“Dierks is a fantastic songwriter and could easily write his whole album,” Rosen said, expressing his appreciation for the fact that Bentley is open to recording songs by other writers.
Staring out at the familiar and significant faces in the crowd that filled ASCAP’s spacious reception hall, Ramsey said, “It’s like I’m looking at a movie about the last 12 years of my life.”
Bentley recalled listening to the demo of “Say You Do” and thinking, “Oh, this is a really big song, and this is my chance to put a hold on it.”
When an artist puts a hold on a song, it means that the song is made unavailable for other artists to record as long as the hold is in place. But putting a song on hold is not a promise to record and release it.
“I find it a tremendous responsibility just putting a song on hold,” Bentley mused. “I don’t do that often.”
This time he obviously made the right call.