Another day, another No. 1 party. That's life on Music Row.
Photo Credit: Marilu White
Good-timers gathered in droves Tuesday (Aug. 21) at the Country Music Association building in Nashville to toast Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Sam Hunt, the co-composers of Kenny Chesney's latest chart topper, "Come Over."
All three songwriters are affiliated with the ASCAP performance rights organization, and ASCAP's Ryan Beuschel hosted the event.
Guests entering the long, narrow party area availed themselves of wine or water at one table and chocolates and mixed nuts at another. Or they plucked brightly branded bottles of beer from a tall self-service cooler that stood nearby.
The resourceful sampled everything.
"Come Over," Beuschel told the throng, was Osborne's and Hunt's first No. 1 single, McAnally's third and Chesney's 22nd as an artist.
Although Chesney was in town, other duties kept him from attending the festivities. However, his longtime producer, Buddy Cannon, was on hand to hear the applause.
"Come Over" -- which one publisher recalled was written Oct. 17, 2011 -- recently stayed at the top of Billboard's country song chart for two weeks in a row.
CMA's Brandi Simms presented each of the songwriters a medallion on a ribbon for his achievement. "It's kind of like the Olympics," she said.
Country Radio Broadcasters' Bill Mayne told the crowd that "Come Over" had, to date, generated 67,000 "spins" (plays) for a total of 531 million "impressions" (estimated number of people hearing it).
All three writers seemed genuinely moved by the outpourings of praise.
Hunt, who moved to Nashville in 2008, said he didn't even know one could make a living as a songwriter when he first arrived.
He was particularly moved by the willingness of his publishers to pair him up in writing sessions with veteran songwriters.
"They put me in rooms with guys I had no business being in a room with," he marveled. He said he was inspired to believe in himself after hearing super-songwriter Tom T. Hall remark that each generation picks the songs it likes regardless of the preference of previous generations.
"When you believe something is going to happen," Hunt ventured, "it's kind of a law of nature [that it will]."
He then acknowledged his parents and his grandmother in the audience.
"I've been extremely blessed," said Osborne, "not just this day but my whole life." When he thanked his wife, he began to cry.
"We lost my father-in-law about four and a-half years ago," he said, "and I write songs on his guitar every day."
He praised his "Come Over" co-writers.
"I honestly believe in my heart -- and I've been in this town 14 years -- that Sam Hunt is a big part in the future of Nashville," he said. "Shane changed my life. ... [He's] one of the best co-writers I've ever written with."
But Osborne reserved his highest compliment for Chesney, saying, "Nothing in my life compares with hearing Kenny's voice on something I'd written."
"This was all I ever wanted to do," McAnally told his well-wishers, "and the fact that you all embraced me today is a dream."
At that point, he, too, started to cry. But he recovered quickly. Turning to face Hunt, he said, "If I didn't love you so much, I'd probably hate you. ... You're just scratching the surface [of what you can achieve]."
Osborne, whose family was also in the audience, returned to the microphone to announce it was his dad's birthday.
Then, as the songwriters, publishers and artists' reps clustered in various formations for photos, the rest of the crowd shifted its attention back to beer, wine and chocolates.
View photos from the party.