The calendar proclaimed the first day of fall, but it didn’t feel like it Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 23) with the sun broiling down on the parking lot of The Crying Wolf club in Nashville. There a crowd had gathered to assist Sam Hunt and his co-writers in celebrating Hunt’s two most recent No. 1 singles.
The songs in question were “Take Your Time,” co-written with Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally, and “House Party,” jointly composed with Zach Crowell and Jerry Flowers.
Crowell and McAnally also produced both songs.
Squeezing out the last rays of summer, the party planners brought in three food trucks to fuel the celebrants. One served bratwurst and hot chicken sliders, another multi-flavored frozen yogurts and the third a variety of crepes.
A bar upstairs in the club proper catered to the full spectrum of alcoholic cravings.
Mike Sistad of ASCAP, the performance rights society to which all five songwriters belong, announced that Hunt now has three No. 1 singles to his credit as an artist and five as a songwriter.
His first hit as a writer, Sistad explained, was Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over,” while his first as an artist was “Leave the Night On.” Hunt’s other No. 1 — a co-write with Osborne and Marc Beeson — was Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight.”
Hunt is also nominated for three CMA Awards — new artist of the year and single and song of the year (both for “Take Your Time”).
For McAnally, a Grammy-winner via his work with Kacey Musgraves, the two songs being honored brought his total of No. 1s to 13.
Osborne, who also won a Grammy with Musgraves, scored his 8th No. 1 with “Take Your Time.” Sistad then surrendered the mic to ASCAP’s Beth Brinker, who recited Crowell’s and Flowers’ credits.
She noted that “House Party” was Crowell’s second chart-topper and Flowers’ first and then cited Flowers for his 22 years of touring with Keith Urban. Flowers and Urban originally performed together in the trio the Ranch.
Royce Risser, senior vice president of promotion for Universal Music Group Nashville, the organization under which Hunt records, told the crowd that Hunt has scored all his No. 1 singles as an artist within a 63-week period.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” he said, “and I’ve never seen anything like this.” Montevallo, the album that yielded the three hits, has remained among the Top 5 bestselling country albums throughout the 47 weeks since its release. It has sold nearly 800,000 copies.
Hunt’s concert appeal is growing, too, Sistad asserted. He said that at a recent Lady Antebellum show for which Hunt was the opening act, every seat in the house was filled when Hunt came to the stage. Normally, a crowd won’t fill a venue until just before the headliner goes on.
“These songs are providing jobs for a lot of people,” Hunt said, “and bringing a lot of joy to people’s lives.”