Jon Pardi Honored for No. 1 Success of “Head Over Boots”

Co-Writer Luke Laird, Producer Bart Butler Join the Celebration

It was a long time coming, but on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 25), Jon Pardi finally stood on the stage of the BMI building in Nashville and savored the joy of having his first No. 1 party.

The celebration was for “Head Over Boots,” Pardi’s fifth single, which he co-wrote with Luke Laird. The tall, boots and hatted singer has been pumping out music on Capitol Records since 2012, but “Head Over Boots” is his first single to make it past the Top 10.

“I like No. 1 parties,” he declared to the applauding crowd, as if his broad smile alone wasn’t sufficient proof of that fact.

Laird was considerably more used to the spotlight. Including his hits as a producer, he’s racked up 22 chart-toppers, according to BMI’s Bradley Collins, who hosted the festivities.

“Jon’s always had a unique perspective [on the music business].” Collins said. He recalled that when Pardi’s touring earned him enough money to hire a “light guy,” he elected instead to spend it on adding a fiddler to his band.

Also honored at the event was Pardi’s producer, Bart Butler. “Head Over Boots” was his first No. 1, as well.

Jennifer Johnson, Pardi’s publisher, credited him with coming up with the name for her publishing company, Song Factory.

And Beth Laird, who helms Laird’s publishing company, Creative Nation, said Pardi coined the phrase “head over boots” that became the nucleus of the hit.

“For songwriters, it’s all about that little spark in the room,” she observed.

Inspired by the lines in the song that say “test time and grow old together/rock in our chairs and talk about the weather,” Laird announced that Creative Nation was giving each of the writers his own personalized Cracker Barrel rocking chair.

Mike Dungan, who heads Universal Music Group Nashville, Capitol’s parent company, said “Head Over Boots” was the most “Shazamed” song in country music this year, a reference to the Shazam song-identification app.

He added that the single has been certified platinum for having sold 1 million copies.

Warming to his subject, Dungan declared that Pardi is a “completely unique” artist in his melding of traditional and contemporary elements of music.

“We have made an impact on culture,” he said. “We have changed the culture.”

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.