It was a crowded stage at the South saloon in Nashville Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 21) as Justin Moore stood there celebrating with the three writers and three producers of his fifth No. 1 Billboard single, “You Look Like I Need a Drink.”
Co-written by Rodney Clawson, Natalie Hemby and Matt Dragstrem, the song hit the top of the chart last September after an arduous 47-week climb. It was the first release from Moore’s fourth studio album, Kinda Don’t Care, and was jointly produced by Jeremy Stover, Julian Raymond and Scott Borchetta.
“I love songs that kind of jump off the page, title-wise,” Moore told the crowd, adding that the song was quite different from what he thought it would be when he first read the title.
The celebration was sponsored by the performance rights organizations BMI (to which Clawson and Hemby belong) and ASCAP (Dragstrem’s home base).
Speaking for BMI, Bradley Collins lauded Hemby’s “unique and beautiful music” and noted that she will open a number of shows for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their upcoming tour. He also pointed out that she recently released her first album, Puxico.
“You Look Like I Need a Drink,” he said, is Hemby’s sixth No. 1.
The song was Clawson’s 22nd No. 1, Collins announced to a vigorous round of applause. Clawson has since notched his 23rd with Florida Georgia Line’s “May We All.”
Collins also reminded the celebrants that Moore is currently on the American Made Tour with Lee Brice.
ASCAP’s Beth Brinker rolled out the praise and laurels for Dragstrem, recounting that he had originally moved from his native Illinois to Nashville to be an artist. Ultimately, she said, he found more success as a songwriter. The first of his two No. 1’s to date was Florida Georgia Line’s “Sippin’ on Fire.”
Dragstrem said this actually felt like his first No. 1, because he was in Las Vegas to celebrate the success of “Sippin’ on Fire” and didn’t remember anything about it.
Craig Wiseman, who heads Big Loud Shirt, Dragstrem’s publishing company, told him that a songwriter’s second No. 1 is the one to be savored. With the first No. 1, he explained, “People figure you were just in the right room [with more successful writers] and got lucky.” And by the time a writer scores his or her third chart-topper, he said, people are saying, “You must be getting tired of this shit?”
“You’re in the sweet spot,” he concluded. “Enjoy it.”
Borchetta is chief of Big Machine Label Group, of which Valory Records, Moore’s label, is a part.
“It wasn’t the intent for me to be a producer on this record,” he said, as he accepted his first No. 1 trophy for that achievement.
He said he normally acts as executive producer and “editor in chief” for BMLG artists. However, he said, Moore and his producers urged him to come into the studio and participate, which he did.
In his various capacities as record promoter, Borchetta said he had “worked” at least one No. 1 single for each of the past 32 years, and that he has helped power a total of 192 No. 1’s.
“In honor of this song,” Hemby told the crowd, “I almost showed up in beer can [hair] rollers.”
Despite her past success as a songwriter, this was her first No. 1 recorded by a male artist.