Barry Dean discusses the hard things about country music. He talks about great artists who have slipped through the cracks and his opinion on how we treat “Kings and Queens” in the country music industry. He gives a glimpse into meeting singers and artists as a songwriter and shares a bit about Eddie Arnold, Garth Brooks, Roger Miller, and other huge names in country music.
In this episode:
A bit of Midwestern Geography
Betty’s Fireworks best bang in town
Meeting Roger Miller
How comparison can be toxic
The hardest thing about country music
Going on air with Charlie Pride
Breakfast with Eddie Arnold
You don’t have to sing to sing
The making of 1994
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“I like to say I’m the person happiest to be a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee.” – Barry Dean
“Country music has, it seems, sometimes done a bad job loving our kings and queens and the people who have given us so much. You know, I do sometimes worry that we haven’t shown ’em enough love” – Barry Dean
“I love that he [Charlie Pride] died an insanely rich and successful man… [he] was married to his high school sweetheart and was just fabulously successful and fabulously wealthy. And so many of those ass hats who wouldn’t play a show with him, died broken in the bottle.” – Gary Scott Thomas
“I got to meet him [Eddie Arnold], and he would have breakfast at this little place called Vandy Land. And so other new writers and I would go eat there just to see if he’d talk to us sometimes. And sometimes he’d sit down and tell us stories or encourage us or “What are you doing today? How’s it going there?” And he was very, very kind” – Barry Dean
“We didn’t think we were writing a song that Jason Aldean would record. We were just laughing and having fun. And that’s just our remembrance of the darn thing, you know. But we had so much fun remembering the songs and the three of us writing it.” – Barry Dean
“You know, Garth will always have a space in country music and country radio and country in general because of the way he’s treated people.” – Gary Scott Thomas
Barry Dean takes nothing for granted. Even after earning a GRAMMY nomination for Tim McGraw’s “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” and topping the charts with four No. 1 singles, he remains awestruck each time he hears a song he wrote on the radio. Dean still can’t help but think of how he seemed destined to work a 9-to-5 in Kansas––a fate that now seems preposterous, given his track record: two No. 1 singles for Little Big Town, “Pontoon” and “Day Drinkin’;” “Think a Little Less,” which topped the charts for Michael Ray; “Heartache Medication” which most recently hit #1 for Jon Pardi; Ingrid Michaelson’s Top 40 smash “Girls Chase Boys;” and an ever-growing list of country and pop successes prove Dean is doing exactly what he was made to do.
Ghostwriting is its own form of literary mastery. In his efforts to expand on the profession, Josh Bains invites listeners to consider the stories in their lives. Through vulnerability and open-mindedness, Josh elaborates on the various adventures of himself and others that ultimately led to priceless lessons, life-changing morals, and new growth paths.
In this episode:
Bagpipes and a bicycle: A journey to Scotland
Searching for roots in Auschwitz
Hong Kong & the surprise synagogue
India, Thailand, Israel, and California: a search for living Jews
Finding an international family in the Jewish Community
Christian and Jewish Spirituality
Josh Bain’s path into ghostwriting
Finding the Elixir in a story (River Town by Peter Hessler)
Using literary concepts to delve into impactful writing
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“I was crying at some point, and it was a moving experience so that when I left, I tended to think, ‘Well, how do I solidify this? How do I turn this into something going forward?’ And I thought, ‘I’ve met a lot of dead Jews. I’d like to meet some living ones.’ And that’s the thought that I took away, that I need to do something. I need to go out and meet somebody because up until then; I hadn’t really.” – Josh Bains
“I’m seeing all of this woodwork and this incredible architecture, the thought that struck me was, ‘Oh, this is me!’ I don’t think I would’ve had that thought if I hadn’t been surrounded by so much alien activity to me in Hong Kong. But because I was steeped in the villages and all this stuff that I really didn’t understand or necessarily have any business being in it, it gave me this- um what’s the word? (…) There’s a literary term for when there are opposites. A Foil. It was a foil to what I really am. It was able- it showed me that, like, ‘No, this is actually you.’” – Josh Bains
“As you become part of families, you make friends, and it becomes your world, and you get to revisit it every single week. So suddenly, I just had a whole group of friends in Los Angeles, and I realized, ‘Wait, any place in the world that has a Jewish Community, I’ve got a family. I can go. I’ll be at home and accepted, and I can ask for help. I can stay with people. I can get food. I can be part of something, and it’s everywhere.’ And so that just opened up the world to me in a completely different way. It transformed the way I view the world.” – Josh Bains
“I think that what Judaism comes in and says (…) is that the physical is actually spiritual. And if you want a relationship with God, then go change the diaper, get your hands dirty, because that’s it. That ‘giving’, that ’being tied to reality’ is in a certain way what it’s all about. You’re learning about something that is, let’s say, transcendental with the purpose of bringing it down into the world and working on what’s here. And through that, you are working on yourself, and you’re connecting yourself to other people.” – Josh Bains
“I think that if you take all of the events in a story, and you kind of shake them, then eventually the most important thing- it either arises out of it or drops down deep to the bottom, and you kind of pull it out. But there is a point, and the best memoirs will have some deep points that the journey was leading to. And you might not have known it at the beginning. You probably didn’t. It probably comes from that journeying. And when you go through that process, then things come out, and you learn things. (…) That’s where it can really help to have a ghostwriter.” – Josh Bains
“In other words, when you think, ‘Well, do I have a book in me?’ Yeah, you have a book in you. The question is, which book? Or which story? And somewhere, there’s this arc in your life. And you’ve got to figure out, ‘Where is it?’ What’s the story you want to tell, and what’s going to have the most meaning and the most depth? And that’s what you should tell. And it’s probably going to be something that’s the hardest thing to tell.” – Josh Bains
“After the story’s over, after the climax, now you’re going to have this ebbing away period of tying up the loose ends, and that’s just part of life too.” – Josh Bains
Josh Bains is a New York Times Bestselling Ghostwriter, Author Coach, and World Traveler. A SoCal native, after receiving his journalism degree from the University of Hong Kong, Josh began exploring his Jewish roots–eventually spending three years in Israel, where he reported on the Middle East conflict, as he learned in a traditional yeshiva for Jewish learning in the Old City of Jerusalem. Today, Josh helps people tell their stories and speaks about self-development.
Country artist Tyler Rich has such an incredible connection with his fans, and you’ll see why in this episode. Enjoy moments of laughter and meaning as Tyler expands on the work it took to become a world-famous songwriter and country artist.
This episode is sponsored by: (Visit their site for free delivery.)
In this episode:
Pumpkin Pie, Salmon, and Quail Eggs; A Critique
Radio Tour and the challenging yet rewarding experience it is
What’s more intimidating? 15, 50, or 500-Person Audience
Tyler’s childhood introductions to live music
The many influences that shape Tyler’s music
From a hometown in LA to touring in Nashville, Tennessee
A dream, a business card, and a lie
6 Hour French Lesson produces a Top 10 Hit
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“It’s one of the coolest, stressful, inner growth-creating, expanding, artistic experiences I’d ever been through. Every person in every station and every listener, every person that comes in, is so different. And you’re not just playing for yourself on the air.” – Tyler Rich
“I do miss Radio Tour a lot because I’ve made so many cool friends in radio along the way. And it’s fun! You sit there and try to figure people out. Try to figure out, ‘What version of my story is this person gonna connect to the most? What version of my story does this person want to hear?’” – Tyler Rich
“It’s so funny because I feel like- say if Luke Combs called me up, ‘Hey dude, you wanna do a stadium date?’ I don’t think there would be an ounce of nerve like, ‘Oh, there’s gonna be 80,000 people!’ It would just be, ‘Look at us go!’ Because when you’re looking out, it’s crazy, and there are so many lights, there are so many people, but you’re still only looking at 15-50 people at a time.” – Tyler Rich
“The only thing my dad listened to growing up was Rock. The only thing my grandma listened to was Classical. You know, I listen to Classical on planes and listen to Classical at the house. Still to this day, it calms me because of that, and I love that all of my influences show up in my music and our show because I think that’s how it’s meant to be.” – Tyler Rich
“And I was like, ‘Why would I wanna take meetings with anybody else?’ I was like, ‘We found somebody that’s passionate.’ And somebody might be like, ‘Oh, I love you too! I’ll give you more money,’ or something. But the initial passion, the initial like, ‘I want you when nobody else cares’’ is what really drove me to Dustin and my manager Neil, who I’m still with.” – Tyler Rich
“I was like, ‘I’d love to see your hands if you got one of my cards when I lied to you and said I’d be playing at Stage Coach next year, get my free download- years ago.’ And not only did probably like 400 or 500 people hold up their hands, but at least 50 to 100 held up the card.” – Tyler Rich
Northern California-raised, Nashville-rooted Tyler Rich found his love of music gathered around a Christmas tree alongside family singing holiday classics and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fast forward to graduating college with a degree in Economics, Tyler moved to LA to pursue a different game of numbers–music–exploring various genres with songwriting and bands before taking the leap as a solo artist. Since, he has been named a 2018 CMT Listen Up artist, 2019 Pandora Artist, and Rolling Stone touted him as “the newest member of country music’s radio-minded incoming class, with a homecoming king’s swagger and a valedictorian’s songwriting smarts. ”Amassing over 394.4M+ total global streams with his debut album TWO THOUSAND MILES (The Valory Music Co.), featuring GOLD-certified “The Difference,” plus subsequent releases “Better Than You’re Used To” and The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston-produced “A Little Bit of You.” With “Thinkin’ We’re In Love,” an English and French duet with one of Canada’s most successful bilingual singer-songwriters, Marie-Mai, Tyler has announced a headline tour of the same name. Tickets are on sale now for his headline THINKIN’ WE’RE IN LOVE TOUR. His music embodies the feelings all people have in common –the need for acceptance, devotion, and a place to call their own–and that empathetic spirit extends to animals too. With Rich Rescues, Tyler visits local shelters while out on the road to raise awareness for pet adoption.
It’s always a pleasure to sit across from a friend and chat about your favorite music, let alone a Grammy Award-winning songwriter. Walk down memory lane with Brett James as he shares stories from his past and brings appreciation to the icons of the music industry who have paved the way for future singers and songwriters.
In this episode:
Thoughts on the CMA’s
Med school drop-out twice!
The difficulties of writing a hit song
The benefits and challenges of co-writing
Co-writing with Don Schlitz & other favorite artists
The impact of Garth Brooks on the country music industry
Which artists belong on the “Mount Rushmore” of the music industry?
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“I tell artists, you get to control about 30% of your career, and the rest is up to God.”- Brett James
“I’ve had 500 songs recorded, but the batting average is, if I’ve literally written over 4,000 songs, so it’s one in eight that even makes it to anywhere. If you do the math on 3,500 songs, and if you say that’s a song a day, not to mention the day required to record all those songs. I am talking about 15 years of my career, 365 days which meant I hadn’t made a penny. You know, that’s a real thing. You start adding up all the misses, and it gets pretty hard.” – Brett James
“There’s a whole lot of hit songs sitting on shelves in Nashville that if someone would take the time to dig through and find those diamonds, you could make a pretty good career out of it.” – Brett James
“There’s an insecurity to writing by yourself too, that, for me, forces me to be quite a bit harder on it than sometimes with a co-writer. Sometimes you need the other writers in the room to go, ‘Hey, that’s really good! Just leave that alone. You don’t need to screw that up.’ That’s kind of the beauty of co-writing, you know? You’ve got a second pair of ears and another opinion you trust.” – Brett James
“I told Garth this myself. I said, ‘Listen. You know the most important thing you did is that you’re now going on to your third generation of singers that you taught how to do this business and survive.’” – Gary Scott Thomas
“I walked up to him, and said, ‘Waylon, I am just so damn excited to meet you! This’ll be one of those moments I’ll take with me forever!’ He looks at me, and he goes, ‘Well, partner, I’m glad to hear that ‘cause one of us should!’” – Gary Scott Thomas
“Well, he’s Garth for a reason. You don’t get to be Garth by accident. He’s a special human, and superstars of that caliber are just, you know, intergenerational, and he’s just that guy.” – Brett James
“It’s hard to describe what those guys mean to music. You can’t put it into words, and we can always use more. That’s for sure.” – Brett James
For over a decade, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Brett James has been one of the most prolific and versatile songwriters in Nashville, having had more than three hundred of his songs recorded by major label recording artists. James has become a fixture on the Billboard Country chart with thirteen #1 songs and scores of top 20 singles to his credit.
In 2009, Brett achieved the Music Row “Triple Play,” an award for three #1 songs in a single chart year, not once, but twice! These six #1‘s; ‘It’s America,’ by Rodney Atkins, ‘Out Last Night,’ by Kenny Chesney, ‘Cowboy Cassanova,’ by Carrie Underwood, ‘Summer Nights,’ by Rascal Flatts, ‘The Truth’ by Jason Aldean, and ‘The Man I Want To Be’ Chris Young earned James ASCAP Songwriter of the Year for the second time in October 2010.
A native of Oklahoma City, Brett attended Baylor University, where he completed two years of medical school before moving to Nashville to pursue his dream of becoming a country star. In 1995, Brett James was signed to the Arista subsidiary Career Records and subsequently released his self-titled debut album. Career Records was later dissolved in consolidation, and with it, James’s recording artist aspirations. Brett persevered as a writer at Patrick Joseph Publishing which fostered the relationships that destined him for success.
In the year 2000, James received his first major album cut with the song ‘Love Is A Sweet Thing,’ recorded by Faith Hill, followed by a top 20 single ‘You Won’t Be Lonely Now,’ with Billy Ray Cyrus. It wasn’t long before Brett reached the benchmark that all songwriters and artists alike strive for, the coveted #1 song. In April of 2001, then-break-out artist Jessica Andrews landed James his first #1 with the song ‘Who I Am.’ He returned to the top of the chart in 2002, this time with country superstar Martina McBride and the song ‘Blessed.’
As his chart success continued, Brett appeared on Billboard Magazine’s top-ten country songwriters list for five consecutive years, the only writer to do so, and in 2006 reached yet another musical milestone winning ASCAP Songwriter of the Year. In 2007, Brett received the music industry’s highest honor winning the Grammy Award for Best Country Song ‘Jesus Take The Wheel,’ recorded by Carrie Underwood.
The list of artists that have recorded songs penned by Brett James resembles a who’s who in the country music list but also straddles genre lines into American and world pop music. Some notable pop artists to record James’ songs include Kelly Clarkson, Jon Bon Jovi, Daughtry, The Backstreet Boys, Chicago, and Leona Lewis. Brett has also scored #1 songs in Europe and a worldwide top 5 Latin hit with the song ‘Todo Mi Amor’ recorded by Paulina Rubio. Outside the writer’s room, Brett’s talents have earned production credits that include Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson, Josh Gracin, and MCA recording artist Kip Moore whose single “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” was a breakthrough smash in 2012!
Brett has toured with the CMA Songwriters series since 2010 sharing the stage with some of country music’s biggest stars; Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Martina McBride, and many more! James currently has four Top 20 songs climbing the Country charts with Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Thompson Square, and Danielle Bradbery.