Guests filled the cavernous entrance hall at BMI’s headquarters in Nashville Monday afternoon (June 13) to toast Granger Smith’s first No. 1 single, “Backroad Song.”
Sharing the spotlight with Smith was his co-writer and co-producer, Frank Rogers. “Backroad Song” is Rogers’ 39th No. 1 as producer and/or writer.
BMI’s David Preston emceed the ceremonies and cited various of Smith’s other achievements, including creating his feisty alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr., touring 10 countries on three continents and performing three times at the White House.
Ben Vaughn, Smith’s publisher, called the celebration “a full-circle moment,” alluding to his early work with the singer. He summarized Smith’s success by saying, “The fans bought his music, the fans bought his merch and the fans bought into Granger Smith.”
Smith was the first artist signed to Broken Bow Records fourth label imprint, Wheelhouse Records.
Broken Bow’s Jon Loba said that when he first introduced Smith’s music to his staff, “No one over 25 knew who he was. Everyone under 25 did.”
He added that convincing Broken Bow owner Benny Brown to sign Smith was “the easiest sell” of any artists he’d ever recommended.
“I started the day with zero plaques to my name,” Smith beamed, as one official after another handed him awards, “Now I have four.”
Preston presented him an acoustic guitar, BMI’s traditional gift to its writer members scoring their first No. 1.
Smith explained that playing high school football in his native Texas had taught him the value of teamwork and, thus, an appreciation for all the coordinated work that went into securing his first No. 1.
Relentlessly pursuing a goal is also vital.
“Success is more important than sleeping,” he said.
Smith said he resolved to sign to Wheelhouse after Brown told him, “I don’t sign any artist I wouldn’t break bread with at my table.”
Smith took the time to recognize by name virtually everyone at his label, management company, publishing company and in his road crew and band who’d had a part in his present success.
Brandishing his BMI trophy, Smith declared, “It has my name on it, but this is our No. 1.”