The voice memo Dierks Bentley sent Ashley Gorley and Ross Copperman at 6:30 a.m. with the original chorus idea for “Black” is still saved on Gorley’s phone.
But there wasn’t enough time to bust it out at Thursday’s (June 22) party celebrating the song’s success. Plaque presentations for and speeches by the three hitmakers lasted a quick 30 minutes at Ernest Hemingway’s Bar & Hideaway. The new restaurant-lounge launched in the Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood in May, and the open bar happy hour had to be wrapped before the evening dinner rush.
But it was a fitting spot to celebrate the song, which is among Bentley’s most creative releases to date. His wife Cassidy’s maiden name Black inspired the title, so it’s romantic to think that she was the first thought he had that morning before they wrote the song.
“I found the voice memo Dierks sent us at like 6:30 in the morning the day that we wrote it,” Gorley revealed as he stood before celebrants from the Music Row community. “It was just him kind of scatting things out about Black and it was really close to the chorus. I thought I wrote some of that chorus, but he nailed it.”
In his speech, Copperman called Gorley the homecoming king of country music for having written 33 hits. He also thanked his publishers and co-writers for trusting him and being his best friends.
Bentley thanked his radio promotion team for their work getting the song to the top of the Mediabase chart. The song peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s country airplay chart on June 10 after a 30-week climb.
“I just know that we have a great team who works really hard, so I can take my mind off that and put my concentration on my son’s broken arm and not have to worry about the song going No. 1,” he said. He also thanked Little Louder Music publisher Arturo Buenahora for putting together his first production team.
“He’s the reason why I’m here at all,” Bentley added. “But he put me together with Ross, and it’s really been a wonderful situation going on since then. I really appreciate all you do.”
Bentley thanked his wife Cassidy during media interviews before the party. She couldn’t be there because she was at home with the kids. Their youngest Knox is recovering from a broken arm he sustained in a fall at a house they rented in Telluride, Colorado, where Bentley was booked to perform at a bluegrass festival.
“She loved the song,” Bentley told reporters. “It’s definitely special to her, and it’s a surreal thing. We were sitting on the bus the other night and one of my semi trucks went by, and it had my name on it and it has the word, ‘Black,’ on it. And we were just like, ‘That is so weird because there’s our names all mixed up on the side of this truck.’ And the whole song and the making of the video, it’s just a really special song.”
Cassidy co-stars in the “Black” video which was directed by Wes Edwards in Iceland.