ASCAP rolled out its cheering squad Wednesday (Sept. 22) to honor the writers of Terri Clark's recent No. 1 single, "Girls Lie Too." At a party held at its Nashville headquarters, the performance rights society presented songwriting awards to members Kelley Lovelace and Connie Harrington and acknowledged the song's third writer, Tim Nichols, who is affiliated with BMI, a competing performance rights organization. Earlier in the day, BMI gave a similar party in Nichols' honor.
Clark was on hand to praise the writers, as was Grand Ole Opry star Brad Paisley, a frequent co-writer with Lovelace.
ASCAP representative Dan Keen told the crowd that he had first met Harrington when she was working in the art department at a gospel record label. "Now," he said, "she writes songs about size mattering," a reference to one of the things the song says girls lie about. When he took the microphone, Lovelace observed, "None of this is any fun without sharing your success with friends." He added that he calls Harrington "Genie" because "she brings me into great situations."
Protesting that she isn't much of a public speaker, Harrington called Clark from the back of the room and turned the proceedings over to her.
"It all starts with a song," Clark said. "None of us would have jobs without great songs." Then, in a wry reference to her long dry spell between major hits, Clark noted, "It's great we can have a No. 1 in 1995 and another in 2004."
Tammy Genovese, associate executive director of the Country Music Association, surprised Clark by presenting her with its annual Connie B. Gay award for her help in gaining media attention for the CMA Music Festival (formerly Fan Fair), the CMA Awards and other association activities.
Clark's producer, Byron Gallimore, told the star, "You have made this whole [recording] experience nothing but fun." EMI Music executive vice president and general manager Gary Overton, who oversees the publishing company with which Lovelace and Harrington are affiliated, pointed out that one of the barriers to getting Clark's song to No. 1 was "that Tim McGraw record" ("Live Like You Were Dying"), which held the top spot for weeks. Gallimore co-produced that record, too.
Luke Lewis, the co-chairman of Clark's record company, Universal Music Group Nashville, concluded the event.
"We've been together for 10 years," he said of the singer. "You don't stay around for 10 years unless you're good and you work your ass off." Looking around at the dozens of celebrants who had been involved in creating and promoting Clark's latest hit, Lewis said, "There's a whole food chain here. I wish that the people who are stealing our music [through illegal downloading] could see this now."
To view pictures from the party, visit Terri Clark's artist page at CMT.com.