BobbyCast Recap: Jim Beavers Shares Stories Behind Hits for Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith & More

On the latest episode of his podcast, the BobbyCast, Bobby Bones brought on hit country songwriter Jim Beavers to talk about his successful career writing for some of the genre’s biggest artists. Beavers has nine No. 1 hits under his belt, and his catalog includes songs recorded by the likes of Dierks Bentley, Josh Turner, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Chris Stapleton and more.

Beavers started his career in the music industry working at Capitol Records in Nashville. Later, he went on tour with Lee Ann Womack, who was one of his high school friends making her own name in Music City. Beavers says he worked a few more label jobs before he felt the call to become a songwriter, and it was his friend Dierks Bentley who was the vehicle for his first hit. The two wrote “How Am I Doin’” together, which appears on Bentley’s self-titled, debut record.

“That’s what just absolutely saved me,” Beavers said of the song.
“We wrote one day, we wrote one song, and he ended up cutting it. Then it was a
single, and it was a hit. It literally saved me and my family.”

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Other Bentley songs written by Beavers include “Sideways,” “Am I
The Only One,” and “5-1-5-0,”  but his
impressive catalog doesn’t end there. While it never quite hit No. 1 on the
charts, Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable
songs in recent country music, and Beavers had a big hand in creating that
sing-a-long tune.

“My son and I were going to a Vanderbilt football game, and we
were walking through the tailgate area,” Beavers told Bobby. “I remember
walking through, and I noticed, for some reason, that everyone was drinking out
of these red cups. So, I pulled my phone out and I typed in ‘Red Plastic Cup.’”

Beavers finished the song with his brother Brett and another
sibling songwriting duo, Brad and Brett Warren. He told Bobby that they mostly
wrote the song to make each other laugh, but it soon started catching fire in
the country music community. Eventually Toby Keith heard it, and according to
Beavers, said, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Play it
again.”

While he has written many hits with many artists, Beavers says there was one appointment with a now-superstar that didn’t produce a song. He wrote with a 14-year-old Taylor Swift when she was just starting her career, and though they didn’t finish a song together, Beavers learned an important lesson from the experience. 

“I remember having a bad attitude about the write, like, ‘What am
I doing? Why am I doing this?’” he says. “But she knew exactly what she wanted
to say. She was, in a good way, pushing me around the room. What I learned from
her is that, from an artist perspective, she knew exactly who she was, she knew
exactly what she wanted to say, she knew exactly where she was going. Now,
that’s the number one thing I look for in somebody.”

To hear Beavers talk about the stories behind more of his hit songs, including writing Luke Bryan’s “Drink A Beer” with Chris Stapleton, tune into episode #199 of the BobbyCast.  

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