Early arrivals at the No. 1 party Monday (July 15) for the writers of Eli Young Band’s “Love Ain’t” were treated to a video history of the group’s rise from Texas bar band to its current eminence as a top country act.
Held at Nashville’s The Sutler saloon, the event spotlighted “Love Ain’t” songwriters Ashley Gorley, Ross Copperman and Shane McAnally.
ASCAP’s Beth Brinker hosted the proceedings and began in a tone of mock despair at having to think of something new to say about “Ashley ‘Freaking’ Gorley,” an ASCAP member who’s written or co-written a monumental 42 chart-toppers.
She praised Gorley for balancing his enormous success with his love of family, many of whom were in the crowd applauding him. Gorley is ASCAP’s reigning country songwriter of the year, an award he’s won six times. “There’s never a dull moment saying nice things about you,” Brinker told him.
Josh Tomlinson spoke for BMI on behalf of Copperman and Eli Young Band. He pointed out that Copperman has twice been BMI’s songwriter of the year and that “Love Ain’t” is EYB’s fourth No. 1 (the earlier ones being “Crazy Girl,” “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Drunk Last Night”). He also announced that the band will be on tour later this year with Chris Young.
Copperman’s publisher, Josh Van Valkenburg, praised Copperman for having scored 19 No. 1 songs so far.
“How do you keep your band cool for 20 years?” Scott Borchetta, EYB’s label head, asked rhetorically, and then answered himself by saying, “You never forget your artistic integrity.” He praised the band for staying true to itself on its bumpy road to fame and asked the crowd to stand and cheer the group — which it did.
Borchetta noted that besides reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s terrestrial radio-derived charts, “Love Ain’t” was also No. 1 on “The Highway” channel on Sirius XM satellite radio.
“Nothing comes easy if it’s worth anything at all,” said EYB’s Mike Eli in citing the many people who’d helped the band achieve its success. “I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth.”
Top photo: Ross Copperman, Eli Young Band (Chris Thompson, Jon Jones, James Young, Mike Eli), Ashley Gorley, and Shane McAnally
Bottom photo: Back Row (L-R): BMI’S Josh Tomlinson, SONY ATV’S Josh Van Valkenburg, SONY ATV’S Jon Platt, Warner Chappell’s Ryan Beuschel, The Valory Music Co.’s Chris Palmer, Endurance Music Group’s Michael Martin, ASCAP’S Beth Brinker, Triple 8 Management’s George Couri, Big Machine Label Group’s Allison Jones, The Valory Music Co.’s George Briner, Smark’s Robert Carlton, Combustion’s Chris Farren; Front Row (L-R): The Valory Music Co.’s Ashley Sidoti, BMI songwriters Ross Copperman and Eli Young Band, ASCAP songwriter Ashley Gorley, GMR songwriter Shane McAnally, Big Machine Label Group’s Scott Borchetta