Clearly inspired by some of the more harrowing episodes of Survivor, ASCAP and BMI staged a celebration for the writers of Brett Eldredge’s “Wanna Be That Song” Wednesday afternoon (April 5) at a hard-to-find bar in an out-of-the-way section of Nashville during the height of rush-hour traffic while the city was under a tornado watch.
The tornado never materialized, deterred, no doubt, by the lack of valet parking.
Even so, a sizable crowd ultimately trooped in under overcast skies to the aptly named Back Corner saloon in the now-ritzy Germantown to salute Eldredge and his co-writers, Scooter Carusoe and Ross Copperman.
Beth Brinker spoke for ASCAP, the performance rights society with which Carusoe is affiliated. Josh Tomlinson represented BMI, the home zone for Eldredge and Copperman.
Brinker noted that Carusoe was celebrating his fourth No. 1 with “Wanna Be That Song.” He also wrote or co-wrote the Kenny Chesney hits “Anything but Mine” and “Better as a Memory,” as well as Eldredge’s “Mean to Me.”
Tomlinson praised Copperman for having racked up his sixth No. 1 single and for having co-written nine of the songs on Eldredge’s current album, Illinois.
Josh Van Valkenburg, from Sony/ATV music publishing, came forward to acknowledge producer Frank Liddell, who stood watching in the crowd.
He quoted the advice Liddell had given young songwriters during the recent Academy of Country Music Awards show when he stood with Miranda Lambert to accept her album of the year trophy for The Weight of These Wings.
“Tell the truth,” Liddell had advised fledgling composers. “It makes you more interesting.”
Liddell came to the stage to speak on behalf of Carusoe, who writes for his publishing company. After tracing their history together and praising Carusoe’s versatility as a writer, Liddell concluded by saying, “He can do anything.”
Of Copperman, Van Valkenburg said that every time he turns in a demo, “You’re going to get a great song that sounds like a finished record.” Eldredge, he added, is “somebody who writes [songs] because he has to.”
John Esposito, head of Eldredge’s record label, rhapsodized about the singer’s vocal abilities and proclaimed that his recent Christmas project, Glow, was one of the best holiday albums ever recorded.
Eldredge informed the celebrants that the song being honored was the second he’d co-written with Carusoe and the fourth with Copperman.
He mused that “years down the road” when the plaques are put away and the parties are over, “all that matters are the people you’ve celebrated with. … It’s all about the journey to get here.”
He concluded his remarks by spontaneously breaking into the chorus of “Wanna Be That Song.”
The crowd cheered, cameras clicked and by the time the room emptied many minutes later, the sky was sunny again.