On the sidewalk outside Nashville's Two Doors Down sports bar, it was a sunny 90 degrees; but that was practically frigid compared to the temperatures generated inside by the hundreds of music industry folk jammed shoulder-to-shoulder to toast Montgomery Gentry's latest triumphs. Held late Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 3), the party celebrated the duo's first No. 1 single ("If You Ever Stop Loving Me"), its fastest-certified gold album (You Do Your Thing) and the gold certification of You Do Your Thing -- The DVD.
Many of the writers who contributed songs to the new album were on hand to share the spotlight, including Bob DiPiero and Tom Shapiro, who, along with Rivers Rutherford, wrote "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," as well as Jeffrey Steele, Al Anderson, Kelley Lovelace and David Lee Murphy.
"There's nothing I'd rather do professionally than have a party with Montgomery Gentry," declared a beaming John Grady, president of Sony Music Nashville, MG's record label. As the heat drove clusters of partygoers outside, Grady introduced C. Paul Corbin, vice president of writer-publisher relations for BMI, the performance rights organization. Corbin called DiPiero and Shapiro to the stage to present each of them a No. 1 award. "They have been referred to as the best [songwriters] in their price range," he quipped. "If You Ever Stop Loving Me" was Shapiro's 22nd and DiPiero's 14th chart topper.
Eddie Montgomery, dressed hat-to-boots in black, and Troy Gentry, clad in a white, long-sleeved shirt and jeans, then came forward to accept their BMI trophies. There followed a cascade of other awards, including one from the music trade publication Radio & Records certifying that during the week of June 25 this year, "If You Ever Stop Loving Me" was the "most heard song in America."
Gentry beckoned his wife out of the crowd to share his awards and to thank her for her support. "There's a lot of lonely nights at home," he said as he handed her a plaque.
In a plaque to his spouse, Montgomery joked, "She's going to tell me where to hang [the awards] in the house anyway." Said Gentry, "It takes a lot of tolerance for them to put up with us." Montgomery agreed, but added, "When we're back home for four or five days, they're on our ass to get back on the road."
Gentry was just as effusive in his praise of the songwriters.
"Thank you for the talent that Eddie and I lack," he said. "If I could write, my ass would stay at home." Montgomery then took up the chore of thanking the many members of their support team who hadn't been given awards. After citing their manager, booking agent, publicist, road manager, band members and various others, he paused and asserted, "I'm not drunk enough. I usually don't do this sober."
To view photos from the party, visit Montgomery Gentry's artist page at CMT.com.