ASCAP held a #1 Party on Wednesday October 21st to celebrate the hit single “Out Last Night” recorded by Kenny Chesney and written by Brett James and Kenny Chesney. Members of Music Row as well as friends and family filled the room to show support in recognizing the songwriters for the special occasion. Connie Bradley welcomed everyone in attendance by announcing the song was # 1 on R & R as well as Billboard for two weeks which garnered much cheering and applause as the songwriters made their way to the front of the room to be recognized for the achievement.
“Out Last Night” is the sixth #1 for Brett James and this is his eighth hit single in 2009 alone. Bradley proudly reminded everyone he was the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 2006 and her prediction is that he is working on the award again for this year which again brought whistles and cheers from the crowd.
The single is Kenny Chesney’s fourth #1as a songwriter, and two of them have been with Brett James, so it goes without saying that this made for a very special party. Chesney has achieved nineteen career number one songs, four CMA Entertainer of the Year Awards and is nominated again for the CMA title that will be held next month. If he wins it will be a new record. Chesney has also won four consecutive ACM Entertainer of the Year Awards. The current Sun City Carnival Tour sponsored by Corona Extra has found Chesney in twelve NFL stadiums and playing to more than 1.1 million fans which makes this the eighth year for Chesney to play for over a million fans and makes him the biggest ticket seller of any music genre in this century.
Hank Adam Locklin, Senior Manager of Membership and Industry Relations for CMA presented both James and Chesney with number one awards and spoke generously of their selflessness and both men’s genuine character. CRB Executive Director, Ed Salamon was also on hand to show appreciation and recognition to both writers mentioning the impact they have had on country radio and noting memories from their involvement and participation in past Country Radio Seminar Showcases. A number one plaque was also presented to the two gentlemen by the Art Director for Country Weekly Magazine, Jerry Holthouse.
“Out Last Night” was produced by ASCAP’s Buddy Cannon who was on hand to accept recognition with a number one plaque. Publishers recognized were Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who has held the number one position on Billboard charts for twelve weeks over the summer months of 2009 and Stage Three Music Publishing, which has had four number one songs of the year in 2009. Troy Tomlinson, President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville, noted he has worked with Kenny Chesney for over eighteen years and he said he is frequently asked by reporters what he likes most about working with Kenny and what he likes the least, which he said ironically is the same answer for both questions, which is that even though Chesney writes a lot of music, it is difficult to get him to record it; and when he does, he usually cuts his own songs from a project first if he is forced to choose and put in a position to narrow down the final songs on a project. He also said for him to encourage his own songs to be released as a single is rare. He stated these things are what he hates the most, but also respects the most about Chesney. Tomlinson also gave special recognition to the team of Promotions of BNA Records Brian Frasier, Joe Galante and Butch Waugh commemorating the achievement of a number one song with a special plaque.
Tim Hunze, General Manager of Stage Three Music was quoted as saying that both Kenny Chesney and Brett James accomplishments have been “ridiculous” but were the result of working very hard and putting everything into what they do best. He gave uniquely framed #1 plaques to James, Chesney and Cannon and mentioned again the appreciation of all the hard work that went into the song.
During the thank you’s Brett James gave Kenny Chesney a “little something” to remind him of who he is. A black t-shirt with white lettering across the chest that said “I am Brad Pitts brother” and then said he had one made for himself as well that said “I am Brad Pitts other brother” which brought a round of applause and cheers from all that gathered for the ceremony.
Chesney gave much of the credit to writing the song to James and again reiterated that as a songwriter he has had four number one hits, and two of them were co-written with Brett James.
For additional photographs of the #1 celebration at ASCAP for “Out Last Night” visit http://www.digitalrodeo.com/drphotos/photos/album/ASCAP1OutLastNightBrettJamesandKennyChesney