A recent No. 1 party honoring Lee Brice‘s “I Drive Your Truck” and the ballad’s writers, Connie Harrington, Jimmy Yeary and Jessi Alexander, held more emotion than your typical Music Row shindig.
The song was inspired by the passing of U.S. Army Sergeant 1st class Jared Monti. Harrington got the idea for the song after hearing a talk radio interview where Jared Monti’s father, Paul Monti, told the story of his son’s death and how he kept his son’s truck in remembrance. Paul Monti was on hand during the celebration to honor his son’s legacy. “I have never been able to listen to the song beginning to end,” said Monti. “That song has touched so many people.”
The event was held at the Country Music Association offices and hosted by Mike Sistad of ASCAP and Perry Howard of BMI. Those in attendance included Curb Records chairman Mike Curb, Sony/ATV’s Tom Luteran, “I Drive Your Truck” producers Kyle Jacobs and Matt McClure, THiS Music’s Rusty Gaston, Kos Weaver, Brad Hill, Avenue Bank’s Ron Cox.
Yeary recalled that Harrington was understandably emotional throughout the writing of “I Drive Your Truck,” and they used the emotional response as a barometer to create an even more powerful song. “If she didn’t cry on a line, we didn’t write it,” quipped Yeary.
All three songwriters credited the song’s success to Brice’s powerful, soulful vocal rendition. “We wanted the right person–someone with conviction and passion, and no one sings it like him,” said Alexander, who also dedicated the song to her late mother. Harrington agreed, saying, “You sang from the bottom of your heart and it tore mine apart, in a good way.”
Though he clearly preferred to let the spotlight rest solely on the songwriters during the event, Brice did speak briefly to thank the song’s writers, Mike Curb and the promotion and label staff, as well as his wife and his management. He also thanked Paul Monti. “This is more than a No. 1 song,” said Brice.
Curb summed up the event’s atmosphere as he told Monti, “We wonder how we can say thank you to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. [Harrington, Yeary and Alexander] were able to say ‘thank you’ in a way that the whole world will know of the great service of your son.”
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About the AuthorJessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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