Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right 

Jason Matthews and I wrote this at his turn-of-the-century home in Columbia, TN.  We spent the whole morning trying to finish another song we had already started.  We beat on it until neither of us liked it anymore.  After lunch, we decided to start something new.  Jason started in with the melody and just felt like it wanted to say "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right".  We wrote the whole song in about 2 hours.  Abbey Burkhalter at Blacktop Music played our work tape for Billy's record label the following week and they put it on hold for him.  A month or so later he cut it.  It became the title track and the first single off his second album.  And it became the first #1 song for both writers and for Billy.  The record went Gold by the time the #1 party occured on January 29th, 2006.  This has been the biggest song of my career so far!  Billy performed it on the "Tonight Show" in January.  It will also be featured in a Hallmark card that will play the song when you open the card.  The cards are due in stores April 1, 2006.

 
 In My Neighborhood 
Danny Wells, Catt Gravitt, and I wrote this one at Danny's office on Music Row.  We laughed all day long as we came up with crazy images to put in this song.  The funniest part is that most of them are really things one of us had actually seen.  They all came together to describe one crazy neighborhood that the singer is proud to be a part of.  One artist that we pitched this one to thought that we were making fun of people who live in places like this.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The three of us ARE people that have lived in neighborhoods like this and we were just celebrating the colorful people who make those neighborhoods exciting places to be.  Craig Morgan knocked this one out of the park with great tracks and a superb vocal.  He must be from a neighborhood like this as well! 
 
 Going Til You're Gone 
Danny Wells, Catt Gravitt, and I wrote this one at Danny's office on Music Row.  We laughed all day long as we came up with crazy images to put in this song.  The funniest part is that most of them are really things one of us had actually seen.  They all came together to describe one crazy neighborhood that the singer is proud to be a part of.  One artist that we pitched this one to thought that we were making fun of people who live in places like this.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The three of us ARE people that have lived in neighborhoods like this and we were just celebrating the colorful people who make those neighborhoods exciting places to be.  Craig Morgan knocked this one out of the park with great tracks and a superb vocal.  He must be from a neighborhood like this as well! 
 
 I've Gotta Find You 
Ron Harbin and I wrote this one with Richie McDonald, the lead singer for Lonestar.  Ron and I wanted to demo it quickly because Lonestar was about to cut their next album.  Richie thought they had already chosen their songs and he didn't want to muddy the water by throwing another song into the mix.  Ron and I demoed it the week before they went in the studio to record.  When Richie heard the demo, he got more excited about the song.  He sang a great vocal on the demo and agreed to play it for their producer, Dann Huff the next day.  Dann loved the song and bumped something else off the album so that they could record it.  The "Lonely Grill" album came out with one failed single "Saturday Night" followed by the monster hit "Amazed" which stayed at #1 for an amazing NINE weeks!!  The album sold more than three million copies and went on to become one of the biggest albums of the year.  Thanks to a great demo and a little luck, we got Triple Platinum plaques just over a year after the album came out.
 While You Loved Me 

Kim Williams (Ain't Goin' Down Til The Sun Comes Up, Papa Loved Mama), Danny Wells (Check Yes or No), and I wrote "While You Loved Me" at Kim's cabin on Clinch Mountain in east Tennessee.  Kim was my publisher at the time and he and I would often go to the cabin to write with different co-writers.  On this trip we wrote 6 songs in about 3 and 1/2 days.  Danny and I demoed all of them the following week back in Nashville.  "While You Loved Me" was actually our third favorite song on the session, but it was the one that immediately went on hold and that all of our publishers loved.  The song came off hold for Tim McGraw the day before the final song meeting with Rascal Flatts.  We had not even heard of them at the time, but our publisher assured us they would be great.  They heard the song on Wednesday and cut it the following Sunday.   We were astounded when we first heard the cut.  There could not have been a better artist for this song.  The song went on to be a top ten single and the album went on to sell over 2 million copies. 

 
 A Better Idea 
I wrote "A Better Idea" with Tom Shapiro, one of Nashville's most prolific hit writers. I told him that I had an idea that I thought would appeal to women. He loved it and we began writing it at his music row office one morning. We had the song nearly finished by that afternoon. One more afternoon together and we had it done. We actually talked about who we thought might cut this song and Diamond Rio was at the top of the list. I went to the same college as Marty Roe, the lead singer, and had always wanted to hear them sing one of my songs since they are such talented musicians and singers. Several months after we demoed the song, we got the call that they had indeed recorded it. It was included on their gold record, "Completely".
 
 How To Love You 
I love the sentiment expressed in this song! Rory Lee Feek and I were writing at his office on the square in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee. He had converted a turn of the century hardware store into a writing room. It still contained the old cash register and little drawers from floor to ceiling that once held nails and screws. He had the idea for a song about the way failed relationships actually help you learn how to have good ones later in life. We had a great time writing the vignettes that contained various experiences from our own lives. Rory co-produced Blaine Larsen's debut album and included the song there. This is the song that has prompted the most crowd response of any song I've been a part of. I'm always having strangers come up to me and say "I love this song I heard Rory sing at a writers night!"
 
 Always Sixteen 
"Always Sixteen" did not do well on the charts, but I love what this song says.  Brett James and I wrote this one one day at the Blacktop office.  No big story to go along with it - it was just another day at the office.  We thought Billy Ray did a great job on the record and video, but it was not ever heard by many people.
 
 I Wanna Thank Everyone 
Tom Shapiro and I wrote " I Wanna Thank Everyone Who Ever Told Me 'No' ".  We demoed the song and didn't have much interest at first.  When the Nashville Star TV show came along, I wrote several songs especially for the winner of the show.  Clint Black was going to produce the album and I write for his publishing company, so I had written a number of songs especially for the winner of the show.  Nobody liked any of the songs I wrote for Nashville Star.  Right before they cut Buddy Jewel's album, Tom's song plugger remembered this song that we had written over a year ago.  He pitched the song to the record label, Buddy sang it on the show when he was announced as the winner, and they recorded it for his first album.  As it turned out, the next year's winner sang it when he won as well.  I guess it became the unofficial anthem for those of us who have told "NO" more times than we care to count!  Buddy's record went on to go gold in spite of all the people that told him it couldn't be done.

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