It was a dream of becoming a songwriter that first brought Shreveport, Louisiana native Jordan Davis to Nashville in 2012. A lot has changed for 2020 ACM Best New Male Artist of the Year nominee since moving to Music City. From signing a record deal and racking up over one billion streams of his debut album Home State to touring the country playing for fans and now notching his third consecutive No. 1 single with “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot,” one thing has remained constant for the breakthrough hitmaker, his love for the craft of songwriting.
When Davis sat down with co-writer Lonnie Fowler for a writing session in 2015 – their first together – he was feeling creatively spent after a week of writing daily. But as the two got to know each other, discussing hometowns and first dates, it was Fowler’s story of his first date with his now-wife that became the foundation for the already Gold Certified “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot.”
“When Lonnie told me the story of that first date with his wife…he was taking her home from their college formal and didn’t want the night to end, so he pulled into a parking lot and put on Garth Brooks’ ‘She’s Every Woman’ and asked her for one last dance. I just thought ‘man, that captures everything country music is about right there,’” shares the man Billboard and Rolling Stone have dubbed an “Artist to Watch.”
Davis continues, “Sharing the truth in three and a half minutes…that is what a good country song does. It is what we wanted to do with ‘Slow Dance,’ tell this real and honest love story. It’s been great to see that authenticity resonate with fans. From slow dancing at our shows to sharing their own videos on socials slow dancing in parking lots, they’ve really embraced it. Big thanks to Lonnie for letting me share his story and to the fans and country radio for their continued support. I couldn’t be more proud or thankful.”
The song Taste of Country called “a down-to-earth love song,” is the third single from Davis’s debut album Home State. It marks his third consecutive No. 1, following the 2x Platinum Certified “Singles You Up” and Platinum Certified “Take It From Me.”
And as Forbes recently noted, “the hits just keep coming” for Davis. This success follows a string of recent releases including the deeply personal “Detours,” “Trouble Town” which also served as the name of his just wrapped headlining Trouble Town Tour, a collaboration with pop star Julia Michaels called “Cool Anymore,” as well as an Amazon Original cover of Jo Dee Messina’s 1996 hit “Heads Carolina, Tails California.”
Eric Church gave us all some hope that we will get out of this quarantine and economic hardship caused by COVID-19 and the Coronavirus. We are all facing hard times — physically, mentally and emotionally — and Eric’s intro before he performed a new song, “Never Break Heart,” during the CBS Special ACM Presents: Our Country, I believe, is a message we can all absorb in moving forward.
He said, “The hardest thing about this for me as a dad, as a husband, as a business leader, as a citizen, has been the unknown. I believe we fear the unknown. And after some thought and a lot of prayer, here’s what I know — I have hope and you should have hope, because since the beginning of time, people have gathered. They’ve gathered for fellowship, they’ve gathered for worship, they’ve gathered for prayer, they’ve gathered for song, they’ve gathered for communion, they’ve gathered for grief- but they’ve gathered, and we will gather again. The important thing to remember is to not fear, but to be brave, and endure.”
Eric is currently making his way up the country charts with another appropriate song, “Monsters.”
“The hardest thing about this for me as a dad, as a husband, as a business leader, as a citizen, has been the unknown. I believe we fear the unknown. And after some thought and a lot of prayer, here’s what I know — I have hope and you should have hope, because since the beginning of time, people have gathered. They’ve gathered for fellowship, they’ve gathered for worship, they’ve gathered for prayer, they’ve gathered for song, they’ve gathered for communion, they’ve gathered for grief- but they’ve gathered, and we will gather again. The important thing to remember is to not fear, but to be brave, and endure.”
Opry member Terri Clark was joined by UMG Nashville’s ACM-award winner Lauren Alaina and Warner Music Nashville’s CMA New Artist winner and Grammy-nominated Ashley McBryde tonight for the Grand Ole Opry’s 4,918th consecutive Saturday night broadcast. The show, broadcast live on Circle, was dedicated to Opry member Joe Diffie, who passed away earlier this week.
Clark, the host of tonight’s Opry, began by saying “It’s an unprecedented time in the world right now” before adding “…as tradition follows, we are going to keep going with the Opry and we are going to keep playing. We know these are tough times and have never seen anything like this in our lifetime. We are all so thrilled to be here.”
“Because we are honoring CDC rules we haven’t rehearsed a lot of this, so we were out in the parking lot 12 feet apart sitting on tailgates before we went on the air tonight,” laughed Clark before introducing Alaina. “Now that’s country. That’s the Opry.”
The three women kicked off the show with some of their own solo favorites before performing a medley of classic country female hits including “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” (Kitty Wells); “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” (Loretta Lynn); and “Walking After Midnight” (Patsy Cline). The three also joined forces on one of Diffie’s many hits, “John Deere Green.”
“Thank you all so much for being here with us tonight,” concluded Clark. “We love you. We’re going to get through this together. Stay strong. Stay mighty.”
Additionally, the Opry launched #UNBROKEN, a charitable campaign to raise money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund will benefit artists and musicians struggling through the pandemic– some of the very people who write, make and create the music that has kept the music alive on the Opry stage for almost 95 years. Opry fans are invited to contribute to the fund by texting UNBROKEN to 41444.
The Grand Ole Opry was broadcast live on Circle, and on Gray TV stations, DISH Studio Channel 102, Sling TV and other TV affiliates in addition to a companion live stream on Circle’s Facebook and YouTube. TV and radio personality Bobby Bones hosted the Circle telecast, while Opry announcer Charlie Mattos joined the Opry’s radio audience at the announcer podium. Embracing today’s technology, the Opry was broadcast and streamed with a very small production team. The shows artists continue to perform acoustically at the recommended social distance across the Opry stage.
Fans around the world tuned in to the broadcast on the Opry’s flagship radio home, 650 AM-WSM and several other outlets.
With Nashvillians at home under Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s “STAY at Home” order and live shows paused at the Grand Ole Opry to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, this Saturday’s performance continued without a live audience. Grand Ole Opry management has worked closely with the Nashville’s Director of Health to bring the show live to millions around the world while following strict safety protocols under the guidance of local health professionals.
Millions of fans in dozens of countries around the world have tuned in live over the past four weeks to video stream or listen as the circle remained unbroken. Opry members Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely and Connie Smith as well as Mandy Barnett, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper and Sam Williams took to the stage on March 14 as the Opry show went on the air without a live ticketed audience. On March 21 Opry members Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Marty Stuart performed acoustically from the Opry House stage. Last Saturday March 28, Gill returned to the stage to perform acoustically with members of his family: wife Amy Grant and daughters Jenny Gill and Corrina Grant Gill.
MEDIA NOTE: A full stream of the Opry show can be found HERE.