Legendary Nashville songwriter Even Stevens has just released his new book Someday I'm Gonna Rent This Town (Heritage Builders Publishing). The book offers a peek behind Nashville's musical curtain, written with humor and truth, revealing the struggles and glories of life as a hit songwriter.
Even Stevens' songs have been recorded by: Joe Cocker, Tim McGraw, Eddie Rabbitt, Martina McBride, George Jones, Julio Iglesias, Kenny Chesney, Conway Twitty, Elvis Costello, J.D. Souther, Sammie Smith, B.J. Thomas, Brenda Lee, Engelbert Humperdinck, Blake Shelton, Marilyn McCoo, Tom Jones, Shel Silverstein, Mac Davis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Steel Pulse, Micky Gilley, Lacy J. Dalton, Ricky Skaggs, Crystal Gayle, Trace Adkins, Glen Campbell, Alabama, Kim Carnes, Paul Davis, Kenny Rogers, Dr. Hook, The London Symphony and even The Chipmunks.
Thirteen of Even Stevens' songs have reached the revered status of BMI Millionaire, representing more than 143 years of consecutive radio airplay. Even Stevens' never-ending list of awards and accomplishments includes an unprecedented 53 BMI Awards, a Big Apple Advertising Award, BMI's Robert J. Burton Award, Song of the Year for "Suspicions" by Eddie Rabbitt, ASCAP's Most Played Song of the Year for "Love Will Turn You Around" by Kenny Rogers, and the distinction of being named BMI's Songwriter of the Century. Even Stevens lives in Carthage, IN.
Hallels: Even, I have been reading your book and I must admit I find it hard to put it down. There's so much an outsider would never have known without reading your book. So, why did you decide to write a book on an insider's look at the music industry in Nashville now?
Thanks for the kind words. My time in Nashville has been such an interesting ride. I came to town on a complete whim and decades later I can't believe how many great adventures I've had with some of the most talented scoundrels in the world! I thought I'd better get it down while everything is fresh in my mind.
Hallels: Why do you call the book "Someday I'm Gonna Rent This Town"?
There's an old joke: A young rube from Podunk gets off the bus in New York City in Times Square, sets his suitcases down on the sidewalk and screams at the skyline of Manhattan, "Someday I'm Gonna Own This Town"!......he looks down and his bags are gone.
It's just a take off on that ironic story.
Hallels: In the book, you did mention many artists who have had recorded your songs from Tim McGraw to Eddie Rabbitt to Lacy J. Dalton and so many others. If you have to pick three songs you are proudest of, which would they be?
"When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman" recorded by Dr. Hook
"Black Coffee" recorded by Lacy J.
"Song of Ireland" by Eddie Rabbitt (we wrote his life story in that song)
Hallels: You also talked about some of the songs you have written that were recorded but never released, including Kenny Chesney's "Long Story Short." Have you ever thought of recording them yourself one day?
I am in the process of recording my versions of my favorites, known and unknown, as we speak. I will release that CD in the near future.
Hallels: I know you have written with many great writers before. Is there anyone else you would like to write with that you haven't?
I love the works of Jimmy Webb and of course, Paul McCartney is a dream cowrite.
Hallels: Country music has changed over the years, is it easier or more difficult now to be a writer? And how has songwriting changed?
I don't know if songwriting itself has changed, but it does seem, to myself and my friends, that the labels really want more of the style that was just a hit on the radio....no matter how boring or uninspired it may be.
Hallels: How many songs do you write a year on average? Has songwriting come easier to you now or harder?
I probably write from 50 to 100 songs a year....depending on what other artistic endeavors I pursue. Songwriting has always been a hoot for me.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to find out more about you, your book, and your music, where can they go?
I soon will have my Website up and running.....for now, just type in, "Even Stevens Songwriter" and things seem to magically appear!