BMI’s Bradley Collins, writers Frank Rogers, ?, Granger Smith, Wheelhouse Records’ Jon Loba, Warner Chappell’s Ben Vaughn, Wheelhouse Records’ Benny Brown and BMI’s David Preston gather for a photo at Granger Smith’s “Backroad Song” #1 celebration at BMI on June 13, 2016, in Nashville, TN. (Erika Goldring Photo)
Granger Smith’s “Backroad Song” has led the singer-songwriter to his first No. 1 parties as a recording artist. The single marks the first radio release under BBR’s newest imprint, Wheelhouse Records.
Industry members gathered at BMI on Monday (June 13) to celebrate. Smith was presented with a BMI Epiphone guitar to commemorate his inaugural No. 1 song.
Co-written by Smith and Frank Rogers, the song marks Rogers’ 39th chart-topper. Rogers is an ASCAP writer; that PRO also hosted an event for Smith the same day.
Among the BMI partygoers were Warner/Chappell’s Executive VP Ben Vaughn, BMI’s Bradley Collins and David Preston, Lon Helton, Broken Bow Music Group’s Benny Brown and Jon Loba, Country Radio Broadcasters’ Holly Lane, and more.
“You can tell how special this day is. It’s a Music Row party and no one is talking,” said Vaughn. The day was a full-circle moment for him; he previously worked with Smith while leading EMI Publishing’s Country Division.
“I was struck by his work ethic,” said Vaughn. “He was so relatable that everyone liked him.”
Loba recalled how younger members of the BBR Music Group staff were already well-versed in Smith’s music before he was signed with the label group. Loba reported that when he presented the idea of signing Smith, BBR leader Benny Brown didn’t need much prompting to add Smith to the label.
“He had stayed up until about 2 a.m., listening to all of Granger’s music,” said Loba. “He said, ‘You don’t have to sell me on this. I’m in. Let’s go get him.’”
“I’ve been to so many of these No. 1 parties in this building,” said Smith, “and I’ve dreamed of being on this stage.”
He then spoke of the hard work put in by various team members, including those in radio promotion, management, publicity, his touring band, and more. His speech was peppered with references to the importance of teamwork, something Smith said he learned from his childhood days spent playing football in Texas.
“This is our No. 1,” he summed up. “It says my name on it, but this is our No. 1.”