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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann


“NASHVILLE SONGWRITER II: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits” (Baker & Taylor) will hit store shelves and digital retail outlets. The highly-anticipated release marks award-winning, Nashville-based music biographer Jake Brown’s 45th published book and the second in the critically-acclaimed series. Readers will enjoy the first ever totally authorized telling of the true stories that inspired 300 No. 1 hits by a collective roster of the biggest multi-platinum country superstars, including Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and Blake Shelton to Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town and every major country music artist and band in between. To pre-order “NASHVILLE SONGWRITER II: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits,” click HERE.

The first of its kind book series offers songwriters the opportunity to step into the spotlight and share their back stories, struggles, stumbles and successes. All of this insider information is organized into 35 exclusive, chapter-length interviews with country music’s top songwriters such as Shane McAnally, Hillary Lindsey, Rhett Akins, Lori McKenna, Josh Kear, Luke Laird, Liz Rose, Ashley Gorley, Rodney Clawson, Cole Swindell, Ross Copperman, Natalie Hemby, Josh Osborne, Nicolle Galyon, Zach Crowell and many more. The book also includes an additional chapter devoted exclusively to navigating the music publishing business, featuring interviews with the biggest publishers on Music Row such as Warner Chappell, Creative Nation, SMACK, Rezonant, Carnival, BMG, Tape Room, Play It Again among others.

Excerpts from Several of the Songwriters Profiled in the Book: 

Hillary Lindsey reminiscing the writing of Carrie Underwood’s breakout No. 1 “Jesus, Take The Wheel” – “It’s weird when you write songs like that, that song in particular too, and there’s a handful of them where you don’t really know how they were written when it’s over, it’s like 'Wait a minute, did we do that?,' because it seems so powerful, and I really think it's God, I think we’re just vessels – all of us are, whether we write music or we don’t.” Country Song of the Year Grammy-Winner Josh Kear sharing his memory of writing Luke Bryan’s No. 1 “Most People Are Good” – “That was a song I needed…The song is really just a laundry list of our most basic beliefs hopefully mixed with a bit of humor and deep honesty about where the three of us were that day. The hardest part was really trying to figure out the most common ground between the three of us and whether we felt those ideas represented something that a lot of people could also agree with. So much of the country seemed to be divided at the time, we were looking for something that would serve the opposite purpose.” Star singer-songwriter Lori McKenna revealing her muse behind the writing of Tim McGraw’s No. 1 Song of the Year Grammy-winner “Humble and Kind” – “I’d just gotten all my kids off to school, and I was sitting in my house thinking about the things that we want to tell our kids, and at the time, my youngest was 10 and my oldest was 25, and we have all these different ages going on and the things my husband and I try to tell them and want to tell them, and decided to make a list. It took me the day to write it, and I went and picked them up from school, cooked dinner and all that stuff, and when my husband came home, I was still tweaking it and finishing it up and played it for him, and he said 'Man, that’s good!' So I sang it in my phone and emailed it to McGraw, and I still see that song as such a simple, little prayer I always call it: 'This is what I want you to know, this is what I want you to believe in yourself, and I want you to be a good person,' and Tim thought in such a bigger way. That was another blessing, because “Humble and Kind” is another example of someone in the universe being really nice to me, (laughs) and letting me write that song and be in a position where I could forward it to someone like Tim and for him to see it in such a huge way and make such a beautiful moment of it, it’s all been so magic." Shane McAnally recounting the writing Sam Hunt’s record-setting 34 weeks at No. 1 “Body Like a Back Road” – “The writing of that song went on for a really long time. My memory of it the first time is being over at Zach Crowell’s place, he lived in East Nashville at the time, and Sam came in and we just talked and threw around things. He told us about this title, ‘Body Like a Back Road,’ and we all lit up! Just the title, so we started Googling first to make sure it hadn’t been recorded already because it sounded like it would have been, and it wasn’t, so we proceeded to write every cliché of comparing a girl to a road that we could possibly think of.”

Exclusive videos of songwriters featured in the book continue to debut on several media outlets with the book’s roll-out. AXS and American Songwriter premiered footage of Lori McKenna sharing the story behind writing her Grammy award-winning songs “Humble and Kind” and “Girl Crush,” while The Boot and The Christian Post shared videos of Chris DeStefano’s performance and story behind Luke Bryan’s 10th No. 1 hit “Kick the Dust Up” and Carrie Underwood’s Christian-crossover success “Something in the Water." Sounds Like Nashville released an interview with Brown along with footage of Josh Osborne describing writing Kenny Chesney’s hit with P!nk, “Setting the World On Fire.” Guitar Girl Magazine also premiered a conversation between Osborne and Shane McAnally describing writing Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy award-winning hit “Merry Go ‘Round” with the songstress.

Rave Reviews from Volume One, Released in 2014:

““Nashville Songwriter” is an outstanding read from cover to cover. If you have any interest at all in what goes on behind the scenes in the songwriting business, you need to read this book.” —American Songwriter Magazine

“You know the words, but do you know the story behind them? In a new book, “Nashville Songwriter,” music biographer Jake Brown interviews elite country songwriters to get the true stories behind country music’s biggest and most enduring hits.” —Parade Magazine

“The book puts songwriters in the spotlight, including artist-writers Bill Anderson, Tom T. Hall and David Lee Murphy, as well as such full-time authors as Neil Thrasher (“Fly Over States”), Tom Shapiro ("Ain’t Nothing ’Bout You”), Dallas Davidson ("Play It Again”) and Dean Dillon ("Ocean Front Property").” —Billboard Country

For review copies or interview requests, please contact Scott Adkins or Makenzie Clayburg

ABOUT JAKE BROWN: Award-winning music biographer Jake Brown has collaborated on authorized books with artists and bands across the stylistic spectrum, including Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees HEART (Ann & Nancy Wilson), late, great country music legends Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers, living guitar legend Joe Satriani, late metal pioneers Lemmy Kilmister/Motorhead, and late Hip Hop legend Tupac Shakur (with Afeni Shakur/the estate) and country rap pioneer BIG SMO on his upcoming memoir among many others since 2001.

RECOMMENDED TWEET: New @NashSngwritrBk "NASHVILLE SONGWRITER II: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music's Greatest Hits" book in stores Oct. 15! Pre-Order here:


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