Record-setting songwriter Bobby Braddock was in a whimsical mood Tuesday (Aug. 11) as BMI, the performance rights organization, honored him and co-writer Troy Jones for penning Billy Currington's latest No. 1 single, "People Are Crazy."
Photo Credit: Marilu White
"If we have any more plaque buildup," Braddock quipped, eying the trophies piling up around him, "we'll have to call a dentist." It was just the sort of wordplay one expected from a guy who's crafted such quirky ditties as "I Lobster but Never Flounder" and "You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith, Too."
Friends and associates of the two songwriters packed a reception hall at BMI's Nashville headquarters to witness the ceremonies. Currington was there, too, fresh from surviving a recent stage collapse in Canada that seriously injured one of his band members.
Also spotted in the crowd were songwriters Scott Emerick, Jim Beavers, Deborah Allen and songwriter-novelist Alice Randall.
Jody Williams, BMI's vice president of writer-publisher relations, read an abbreviated list of Braddock's formidable achievements, including the fact that "People Are Crazy" is his 13th No. 1 single. Braddock has been one of Nashville's top songwriters for more than 40 years. His credits include "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "Golden Ring" and "Time Marches On."
Williams added that Braddock has won 29 BMI songwriting awards and nine Millionaire certificates (meaning that each song has had at least 1 million airplays) and that he was elected to the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1981.
"Bobby just tells it like it is like nobody else does," Williams said.
Williams presented Braddock and Jones each a guitar and a trophy. The song's two publishers -- Sony/ATV and Carnival Music -- also gave them awards.
Jones, like Braddock, is from Florida. Williams noted that Jones grew up around music, his father being a disc jockey. Jones worked in a paper mill for 20 years before taking a career leap to commit himself to songwriting.
"People Are Crazy" is Jones first No. 1, although he came close earlier as the sole writer of the Kenny Chesney-George Strait hit, "Shift Work."
Carnival Music chief Frank Liddell told the crowd he had an earlier and less successful association with Currington back when the singer was just getting started: "He interviewed me to be his producer -- and wisely never called me back."
Liddell also noted that Kenny Chesney once had "People Are Crazy" on hold but never used it. "I was really pissed when he left the song off his record, but I'd like to thank him now," he said.
When it came his turn to speak, Jones observed, "There's probably a couple of guys here taking bets on how long it will take me to start crying." Then, as the tears welled up, he quickly added, "Right now."
He thanked his wife for her years of support. "You're looking fine," he told her as she dabbed at her eyes.
Braddock spent his time at the microphone praising other people. He singled out Currington for his excellent interpretation of the song. He said that as soon as Jones came up with the song's refrain -- "God is great, beer is good, people are crazy" -- "I knew I was going to have a good day."
He also thanked his 4-year-old grandson, who frolicked in the crowd, for "not making a lot of noise."
Braddock said people routinely ask him if having a No. 1 single means as much to him these days as it did earlier in his career. He assures them it does.
"It's just as big a thrill to have 'People Are Crazy,'" he said, "as it was to have [my first No. 1] 'D-I-V-O-R-C-E.'"
View photos from the No. 1 party.