Cody Johnson: ‘Long Live Country Music’
Cody Johnson releases his album Leather on Friday (11/3). The new album from the CMA Male Vocalist nominee is full of songs that tell Cody’s story even though this time around, he didn’t have a hand in writing any of the songs on the project. He says that the songs he was pitched spoke for him and were just better than the ones he wrote.
One song, in particular, was written for Johnson after he won an award and said something on stage in his acceptance speech that sparked a song idea. He told us when we interviewed him last month, “I think it was the CMT Awards. I accepted an award, and on stage, I said, ‘Long live country music.’ Well, that night, they wrote that song, and after what I had said, it got pitched to me. And the next day Ronnie Dunn calls my phone and says, ‘Hey, have you heard this song called ‘Long Live Country Music’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I just got it.'”
The two country stars then went back and forth asking who would cut it, and Cody said to Ronnie, ‘Well, how about this, why don’t you talk to Kix (Brooks), and why don’t you all just cut it with me on my record.’ It’s pretty simple, but that’s exactly how it happened.”
He added that the song goes back to a particular time in country music when Brooks & Dunn ruled. Johnson said, “I do believe that it’s a great opportunity to stand up with a bunch of guys that did it the way I did it, grew up playing honky tonks and bars. They’ve got that deep country heritage of hard work; go get it, nobody’s gonna hand it to you sound of the 1980s and 1990s. The sound of Brooks and Dunn. I think that’s one of the biggest things about having them on there is I feel like me and Ronnie and Kix we still stand for country music. We don’t want to water it down; we want it straight up.”