July 31, 2009 — Leave it to the guy who originated shhhhh? "It Happens" to recast a medley of Sugarland songs as a story about needing to find a bathroom on the interstate.
Bobby Pinson has plenty of reason to laugh these days, and he laughed a lot at Thursday's No. 1 party at BMI, where he was toasted for topping the charts with Sugarland's Kris tian Bush and Jennifer Nettles as the authors of "It Happens" and "Already Gone."
It was, to be certain, Bobby's idea to play with the frowned-upon S-word in "It Happens," though it took Kristian and Jennifer to bring it into full bloom. Bobby had tossed out the idea to several songwriters previously, but they always passed on that theme, figuring no artist would touch something so borderline in content.
Fortunately, Kristian and Jennifer — as artists with their own record deal — have an outlet for even their wackiest ideas, and they're not afraid to take chances.
"I think it took Sugarland to put the smile in that, because if somebody rougher and gruffer and more hardcore woulda sung a song like 'Shhh? it happens,' [people would say] they're an outlaw," Bobby suggested. "But Sugarland comes along and puts their little bubbly smile and their little pop and groove to it, and we got to say somethin' there, and it's fun. It's kinda like 'Hey, man, it's a joke.' And when Sugarland does that, people get it."
Sugarland certainly "gets" Bobby Pinson. They met around 2005, when Bobby was working his own album as an artist, which netted one hit, "Don't Ask Me How I Know." He didn't get another chance to make an album, but he did get brought into Jennifer and Kristian's circle of friends, and he's now had four No. 1s with the duo, including "Want To" and "All I Wan t To Do."
Dressed casually in a black "CASH" T-shirt and John Deere ballcap, Bobby reveled in the attention from Music Row executives Thursday and pulled in a bevy of awards and plaques from BMI, the Country Music Association, Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Weekly magazine.
He was not casual, however, in proclaiming his appreciation for his wife, Lucy, who's seen him through both good times and bad. He can still remember the first check he ever received for the use of his songs — it was for just $1.67, he said, "and I had to cash it."
"You don't realize," he said of Lucy's support, "how much somebody loves you until you don't love yourself for a couple of months."
Bobby's felt the love from Sugarland, but that's not that only place he's found admiration for his work. He's also picked up hits as a writer on Trent Tomlinson's "One Wing In The Fire," Toby Keith's "Lost You Anyway" and Josh Gracin's "We Weren't Crazy." And if that's not enough, Brooks & Dunn is set to release another song he wrote.
Ultimately, Bobby seems quite content — with his place as a songwriter and without the glaring spotlight that comes with being an artist.
Counting up the benefits, he cheered, "I can eat all the carbohydrates I want to!"