It wasn't the height Lee Brice's "Love Like Crazy" reached on the Billboard charts that BMI celebrated Tuesday (Dec. 14) but rather the length of time the song spent there -- a record-setting 56 weeks.
Photo Credit: Steve Lowry
The previous record holder was Eddy Arnold's "Bouquet of Roses," which occupied the charts for 54 consecutive weeks in 1948-49.
"This is a historic celebration," said BMI's Jody Williams, as he congratulated Brice and the song's co-writers, Doug Johnson and Tim James, during a party at the performing rights organization's Nashville headquarters. Johnson produced the record, as well.
Williams noted with a grin that "Love Like Crazy" could also be described as "the slowest climbing Top 10 song."
Billboard's country chart commander, Wade Jessen, announced to the gathering that "Love Like Crazy" has just been declared the top country song of the past year.
A songwriter himself, Brice scored another historical first in 2007 when "More Than a Memory," which he co-wrote with Billy Montana and Kyle Jacobs, debuted at No. 1 in Billboard for Garth Brooks. Usually, it takes approximately 20 weeks for a song to reach the top of the charts.
Drew Alexander, director of publishing for Curb Records, Brice's label, told the celebrants that "Love Like Crazy" has so far racked up an estimated 800 million audience impressions at radio and sold more than 500,000 digital downloads.
"I think Eddy Arnold would have loved to be here," said Mike Curb, the founder and owner of Curb Records chief and a major Music Row philanthropist. He pointed out that Arnold, who died in 2008, recorded his final album for Curb Records.
Curb also noted the label will celebrate its 50th year of doing business next year. He said his label has a history of sticking with artists as long as it takes for them to make a breakthrough, citing Tim McGraw and Rodney Atkins as examples. Both were relatively slow starters. Brice has been with Curb since 2007.
"We think Lee is the future of country music," Curb asserted.
Johnson agreed: "He's the kind of guy people want to fight for."