Josh Turner was suffering from the last remnants of a head cold, but he didn’t let it dent his spirits.
Coming on the heels of “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” the song made Josh one of only six artists to notch a pair of No. 1 singles this year, according to Billboard. The significance of that moment was not lost on him.
“Havin’ a song on the radio, period, is a huge accomplishment nowadays, and havin’ it go to the top is just icing on the cake,” he said. “To have two in one year, in someways it’s a little overwhelming. It’s hard to top that, but I just gotta try to choose the best songs I can and just hope for the best after that.”
Actually, the three writers — known collectively on Music Row as “the Peach Pickers” — have each had at least three singles in the last 12 months. Dallas, in fact, has had five in a 217-day span. No songwriter in history has had that many songs reach the summit in that short a period on the country chart.
The Pickers have collectively written such hits as Blake Shelton’s “All About Tonight,” Joe Nichols’ “Gimmie That Girl,” Jack Ingram’s “Barefoot And Crazy,” Brooks & Dunn’s “Put A Girl In It” and Rodney Atkins’ “Farmer’s Daughter.” All three hail from Georgia, and Ben and Rhett used to play in the outfield together when they were classmates. The trio makes it a point to write together every Wednesday.
The day “All Over Me” came into being, none of the guys had an idea until the title phrase popped up in conversation.
“Dallas played the groove, Rhett started throwin’ lines out and before we knew it, we had somethin’ rollin’,” Ben remembered. “I think we broke for lunch at that point, like we always do.”
Once Josh took “All Over Me” into the studio, it came out with a quirky vibe that Rhett compares to the Allman Brothers and Little Feat. It reflects Josh, who has his own quirky sense of humor. But even more, it reflects one of Josh’s session musicians. Gordon Mote is a blind piano player who’s used a lot in Nashville. He’s appeared on such hits as Rascal Flatts’ “Here Comes Goodbye,” Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” and Martina McBride’s “Anyway.”
“He’s just one of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet, but he’s also one of the most talented guys you’ll ever meet,” Josh says. “A lot of times he’s just sittin’ over there, just kind of in his own little world. All of a sudden, he’s like, ‘Well, hey, guys, what do you think about this?’ And everybody’s like, ‘Heck, yes. That works! Let’s go with that.’ That’s exactly what happened with this song. We sat there and we had kind of developed a groove, but then he was like ‘Let’s add this intro.’”
That took the song “to the next level,” Dallas said.
A bunch of organizations took part in the celebration, including MCA Records, the Country Music Association, Country Radio Broadcasters, Modern Management and three different publishing companies, plus the performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI.
Most of them shelled out awards and plaques. Josh put his off-kilter sense to work in handing out honors. Paying a nod to the summertime lyrics at the end of the first verse, he gave each of the writers sunglasses, suntan lotion and a T-shirt imprinted with a string bikini.