Harris' Original Hot Band Reunited at ASCAP Awards

Brad Paisley Honored as Artist-Songwriter of the Year

It speaks highly of Emmylou Harris that she earned a standing ovation from a room full of Nashville songwriters at a songwriting awards ceremony -- especially when she freely admits that she's not even primarily known as a songwriter.

Harris was presented with the Founders Award during ASCAP's annual awards ceremony on Monday night (Nov. 8) in Nashville. Given to a member of the performing rights organization, the honor recognizes Harris' enduring contribution to music.

To mark the occasion, she was joined on stage by the now-famous lineup of her original Hot Band -- electric guitarist James Burton, guitarist Rodney Crowell, steel guitarist Hank DeVito, bassist Emory Gordy Jr., pianist Glen D. Hardin and drummer John Ware. Together for the first time in 30 years or so, they blended beautifully on "Ooh Las Vegas" (written by her mentor, Gram Parsons), "Too Far Gone" and an early favorite, "Boulder to Birmingham."

"I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't really written very many songs," she told the audience upon accepting the award. "I hope to change that. But I rationalize that it can be given to me ... because I do believe that I've been a champion of songwriters, spending all these years recording these wonderful songs that you write. Believe me, now that I've really gotten into the songwriting, I appreciate a hundredfold more what you do. And please keep them coming, because I always want to be able to fall back on my other job, of being an interpreter."

Asked about Harris' legacy, Terri Clark told, "She's one of the first women who could get up with a guitar and a band and rock -- and have the kind of band that most guys envied and that the greatest players wanted to be in. She emanates true artistry to me. She has such a unique voice, she's a talented songwriter and she never seems to age. ... She's one of these people that you see being around forever and has been around forever, and I don't think music would be the same without her."

Clark was among those musicians recognized throughout the three-hour ceremony for writing or recording some of the year's most performed country songs. Other famous faces in the crowd included Trace Adkins, Jessica Andrews, Dierks Bentley, Chris Cagle, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, two members of Diamond Rio, Radney Foster, Josh Gracin, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, David Lee Murphy, Jamie O'Neal, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox, members of Sawyer Brown, Trick Pony, Josh Turner, Phil Vassar, Mark Wills, Gretchen Wilson and Darryl Worley.

Paisley won the ASCAP songwriter-artist of the year. Jim "Moose" Brown won song of the year for co-writing "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," his first cut. EMI Music Publishing won publisher of the year for the fourth consecutive year. Billy Bob's Texas was recognized with the Partners in Music Award. None of these winners were given time for an acceptance speech.

At the end of the evening, hosted by ASCAP senior vice president Connie Bradley, songwriters Chris DuBois and Neil Thrasher shared songwriter of the year honors. DuBois co-wrote "19 Somethin', "I Love You This Much" and "Little Moments," and Thrasher co-penned "I Melt," "There Goes My Life" and "Wrinkles."

Before the ceremony, DuBois told, "A lot of these songwriters that are here are guys that I know well and that I write with a lot. It's fun to share moments like with your peers. But mixed in with the guys I write with on a regular basis are my heroes. And that is very thrilling. I have to pinch myself sometimes when I'm walking through a room like this, and I'm rubbing up against Bob McDill or Dean Dillon. It's a lot of fun"

The evening also served as a 90th birthday celebration for ASCAP. Bradley recalled that 1914 was a historical year, giving examples that included the start of World War I and (to paraphrase a teasing Bradley) the year that Frances Preston got her first job as a secretary. Preston is Bradley's retiring counterpart at BMI, which held its awards on the same night. This year in particular, there is some friendly competition between the two performing rights organizations, since BMI scheduled their event on the same night, after ASCAP had already booked it.

Nevertheless, the evening proved a fun and lighthearted night. Jimmy Buffett surprised the audience by joining Brown on a piano rendition of "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." Don Pfrimmer offered a majestic dry-humored reading of Lonestar's "My Front Porch Looking In," which he co-wrote. Nashville radio personality Gerry House accompanied him on piano, preferring a tinkling lounge-act melody over the original arrangement. With melodramatic intonations of carrot-tops and sippy-cups, it was a bizarre reading, but it had the crowd in stitches.

Early in the show, Bentley performed "What Was I Thinkin'" with one of the song's writers, Deric Ruttan. Wills sang "19 Somethin'," and Thrasher opened the ceremony with two songs, including "There Goes My Life," with Rivers Rutherford's rendition of "Real Good Man" coming just before intermission.

A salad of baby California greens with blue cheese, pears, pecans and smoked duck was served before the entrée, which was mesquite seasoned filet of beef over charred turtle beans topped with corn relish and arugula and avocado foam. (Yes, avocado foam.) The baked apple wrapped in phyllo dough and surrounded with vanilla sauce was served for dessert.

Bradley estimated from the stage that 800 people attended the event.

ASCAP Country Award Winners

ASCAP Founders Award: Emmylou Harris

Songwriter of the Year: Chris DuBois

"19 Somethin'," "I Love You This Much," "Little Moments"

Songwriter of the Year: Neil Thrasher

"I Melt," "There Goes My Life," "Wrinkles"

Songwriter/Artist of the Year: Brad Paisley

"Celebrity" and "Little Moments"

Song of the Year: "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere"

Jim "Moose" Brown

Publisher of the Year: EMI Music Publishing

"19 Somethin'," "Celebrity," "Have You Forgotten?" "I Can't Be Your Friend," "I Just Wanna Be Mad," "I Love You This Much," "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," "Little Moments," "Remember When," "She Only Smokes When She Drinks," "Sweet Southern Comfort," "This Is God," "Tough Little Boys," "You'll Think of Me"

Most Performed Songs:

"19 Somethin'"

Writer: Chris DuBois

"99.9% Sure (I've Never Been Here Before)"

Writers: Billy Austin, Greg Barnhill

"A Few Questions"

Writer: Adam Wheeler

"Almost Home"

Writer: Kerry Kurt Phillips

"Backseat of a Greyhound Bus"

Writers: Chris Lindsey, Hillary Lindsey

"Beautiful Goodbye"

Writer: Kim McLean

"Beautiful Mess"

Writer: Clay Mills


Writer: Blake Mevis


Writer: Brad Paisley

"Chicks Dig It"

Writer: Chris Cagle


Writer: Anthony Smith

"Cowboys Like Us"

Writer: Anthony Smith

"Drinkin' Bone"

Writer: Kerry Kurt Phillips

"Forever and Always"

Writer: Robert John "Mutt" Lange

"Have You Forgotten?"

Writer: Darryl Worley

"Hell Yeah"

Writer: Craig Wiseman

"I Can't Be Your Friend"

Writer: Brad Crisler

"I Just Wanna Be Mad"

Writer: Kelley Lovelace

"I Love You This Much"

Writers: Chris DuBois, Don Sampson, Jimmy Wayne

"I Melt"

Writers: Gary Levox, Neil Thrasher

"I'm Gonna Take That Mountain"

Writer: Melissa Peirce

"It's Five O'Clock Somewhere"

Writer: Jim "Moose" Brown

"Little Moments"

Writers: Chris DuBois, Brad Paisley

"Long Black Train"

Writer: Josh Turner

"Love You Out Loud"

Writers: Brett James, Lonnie Wilson

"Lovin' All Night"

Writer: Rodney Crowell

"My Front Porch Looking In"

Writer: Don Pfrimmer

"My Last Name"

Writer: Dierks Bentley

"On a Mission"

Writers: Ira Dean, David Lee Murphy, Kim Tribble

"Raining on Sunday"

Writers: Darrell Brown, Radney Foster

"Real Good Man"

Writer: Rivers Rutherford

"Remember When"

Writer: Alan Jackson

"She Only Smokes When She Drinks"

Writer: Connie Harrington

"She's Not Just a Pretty Face"

Writer: Robert John "Mutt" Lange

"Simple Life"

Writers: Chris Lindsey, Hillary Lindsey


Writer: Chris Wallin

"Stay Gone"

Writer: Jimmy Wayne

"Streets of Heaven"

Writers: Paul Duncan, Al Kasha

"Sweet Southern Comfort"

Writer: Brad Crisler

"The Love Song"

Writer: Kenny Beard

"The Truth About Men"

Writer: Rory Lee

"There Goes My Life"

Writer: Neil Thrasher

"There's More to Me Than You"

Writers: Jessica Andrews, Marcel Chagnon

"There's No Limit"

Writer: Deana Carter

"This Is God"

Writer: Phil Vassar

"This One's for the Girls"

Writers: Chris Lindsey, Hillary Lindsey

"Three Wooden Crosses"

Writer: Kim Williams

"Tough Little Boys"

Writer: Don Sampson


Writer: Robert John ""Mutt" Lange

"Walk a Little Straighter"

Writer: Billy Currington

"Walking in Memphis"

Writer: Marc Cohn

"What a Beautiful Day"

Writers: Chris Cagle, Monty Powell

"What the World Needs"

Writers: Brett James, Holly Lamar

"What Was I Thinkin'"

Writers: Dierks Bentley, Deric Ruttan

"When the Sun Goes Down"

Writer: Brett James

"Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me"

Writer: Monty Powell


Writer: Neil Thrasher

"You'll Think of Me"

Writers: Darrell Brown, Ty Lacy, Dennis Matkosky

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