Making the Video: Gainesville‘s “On Top of the World”

Mindy Smith and Phillip LaRue Collaborate with CMT for the Upcoming Docu-Series, Premiering Aug 20

Every once in a while, you come across a song that reminds you of a place embodying the people, the spirit and even the memories you’ve made. Mindy Smith and Phillip LaRue’s “On Top of the World” does just this.

After featuring “On Top of the World” in a montage at the end of the first episode of CMT’s upcoming series, Gainesville, the network decided to create a music video to fit the loving, organic storytelling of the song. With Smith and LaRue’s performance shot at a creek in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, the video weaves in memorable moments from the first season.

“On Top of the World” was written in LaRue’s studio on a day that he and Smith were supposed to spend with another writer.

“We wanted to write something raw and real,” said Larue, “and this song honestly just fell on our laps that day.”

The simplicity and honesty of the song mirrors the honest portrayal of navigating adulthood on Gainesville.

Filming the video, on the other hand, was anything but simple. At the time of shooting, Smith was sporting a cast on a freshly broken wrist, which had to be handled carefully and disguised cleverly.

There was also the small matter of water moccasins slithering around beneath their feet. However, those particular snakes are probably accustomed to being around music video crews by now. That same creek bed has been featured in music videos starring Brett Eldredge, Jon Pardi and Drake White.

Keep an ear out for “On Top of the World” in the upcoming series premiere of Gainesville on Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

And for exclusive news and video, photo galleries and more, head over to, the CMT app, the official Gainesville Facebook page and Twitter using #Gainesville.

Writer and social-ite for CMT, lover of all things Nashville, and firm believer that Ross and Rachel were not on a break.