There was a lot of pent up festivity in the air as a Music Row crowd streamed into Nashville’s Cabana restaurant Tuesday evening (Sept. 15) to toast the team behind Canaan Smith’s first No. 1 single, “Love You Like That.”
Released in July 2014, the song had a cliff-hanging history, inching very slowly upward and even falling off the charts once before it completed its 49-week slog to the top.
The chief honorees were Smith, who records for Mercury Records, his co-writers on the song, brothers Brett Beavers and Jim Beavers and his producer, Jimmy Robbins.
Speaking for ASCAP, the performance rights organization that co-sponsored the party with fellow PRO, BMI, Mike Sistad noted that “Love You Like That” has sold more than 700,000 tracks, thus earning itself a gold certification.
He added that over the past 100 shows, Smith has performed to more than 700,000 people.
The crowd erupted with shouts and applause when he declared the song Smith’s first No. 1.
Sistad praised Robbins as well, noting that he has co-written five No. 1’s, including ASCAP’s 2014 country song of the year, Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This.” In recognition of Robbins’ achievements, Sistad presented him a special edition acoustic guitar.
Bradley Collins then took the mic on behalf of BMI to rhapsodize about the Beavers brothers.
Calling them “the Peyton and Eli Manning of songwriters,” he pointed out that their songwriting efforts had yielded a total of 19 No. 1’s (10 for Brett, 9 for Jim).
“Your humor and professionalism are so appreciated,” he told them.
Dale Bobo from Big Deal Music, the publishing company to which Brett Beavers is signed, told the crowd that Beavers was a skateboard enthusiast. That being the case, he presented him a handmade model from Nashville’s Salemtown Board Co.
The Mercury promotion team was cited again and again for its labors in boosting “Love You Like That” to the top of the chart. “I have never seen an effort like this before,” said Mike Dungan, head of Universal Music Group, of which Mercury is a division.
At this point in the ceremony, servers passed through the crowd handing out individual shots of whiskey, which the celebrants were then urged to lift in a toast to Smith’s current single, “Hole In a Bottle.”
When it came his turn to speak, Brett Beavers touched his phone to the mic and played a 1981 recording of his brother Jim introducing a song the two had just written. Jim was in the eighth grade at the time, and Brett was in high school.
“It was just to show how long we’ve been making music together,” Brett said later.
Smith seemed overwhelmed by the adulation. Looking down from the stage he exclaimed, “I’m looking out on a world of believers!”
That seemed a pretty fair assessment.