Had Joe Cocker liked the song more, Keith Urban might not have recorded "You'll Think of Me," and Music Row would have had one less No. 1 party. Fortunately, though, Urban made the song his own. ASCAP, the performance rights society, honored his achievement Monday (May 10) with a celebration for the song's composers -- Darrell Brown, Ty Lacy and Dennis Matkosky.
"We try to find the best songs we can [to record]," Urban told the partygoers, "and I don't give a damn if I wrote them. But I wish I'd written this one." The final single from Urban's Golden Road, which is now nearing double-platinum status, "You'll Think of Me" perched at No. 1 in Billboard for two weeks. Fletcher Foster, senior vice president of marketing for Capitol Nashville, Urban's record label, reported that Golden Road sold more copies last month than it did the month it was released in 2002.
Several famous faces were among the celebrants, including LeAnn Rimes, Sherrié Austin, Radney Foster, Urban's producer Dann Huff and songwriters Larry Henley, Craig Wiseman, Will Rambeaux and Vince Melamed. Also in the audience were Urban's mother and father.
"There are thousands of ways for a song not to become a hit -- and none of them happened [here]," Matkosky exclaimed. He said Cocker had once shown interest in recording the song but ultimately passed on it. The song was written about six years ago.
Brown, who co-produced Radney Foster's last album and is working on the follow-up, thanked Capitol for "putting blood on the tracks" to help push the song to No. 1. "It's such a joy to share excitement with people you love," he noted. "Keith, thank you for asking me, 'Do you have anything?'" Lacy added, "I'm very humbled by this experience."
Producer Huff was modest in his remarks. "I think I get way too much credit," he said. "I probably did a better job on the song by not doing anything. ... It was a magical day [when we recorded it]."
Urban joked that Capitol had to go to extra lengths with radio programmers to get the song to the top of the charts. "We actually had to change the lyrics from 'Take your cat and leave my sweater,'" he said, "to 'Take the cash 'cause our song's better.'" He wrapped up the party by singing the song, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
Connie Bradley, ASCAP's senior vice president, presented monogrammed jackets to Lacy and Matkosky to signify their membership in the society's "No. 1 Club." (Brown had earned his jacket earlier.) She announced that Urban will perform the song at the upcoming Academy of Country Music awards, where he's competing for the top male vocalist prize.
Urban met briefly with reporters before the party started. He said he has "seven songs fully done" for his next album and reported that he and his dad will ride together in the ACM's first-ever Celebrity Motorcycle Ride which is designed to be an annual event. Established to raise money for various charities, the ride will take place May 24 in the Nevada desert. Urban said he rides his own motorcycle "almost every day" when he's on tour.
After finishing up his tour with Kenny Chesney, Urban plans to do some shows of his own this fall. While happy about his sales success in America, he said he would also like to sell more records in his native Australia.
To view pictures from the No. 1 party, visit Keith Urban's artist page at CMT.com.