Writers of Russell Dickerson’s “Blue Tacoma” Honored at BMI

The gray, chilly Nashville streets were worlds away from the golden California road Russell Dickerson sings about in “Blue Tacoma.” Even so, the mood was gloriously sunny inside the BMI reception hall Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 16) as hundreds of guests streamed in to honor the writers of the song that became Dickerson’s second No. 1 hit.

The composers being celebrated were Dickerson, himself, and his two co-writers, Casey Brown and Parker Welling. Brown also produced the song. The trio scored their first No. 1 last year with the Dickerson single “Yours.” They’re currently climbing the Billboard charts with “Every Little Thing.”

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BMI’s Spencer Nohe hosted the event and summoned the writers to stand with him on the stage to bask in the general praise. He noted at the outset that he is Welling’s husband. “She just has a way with words,” he said admiringly. “Parker could write a song with a brick wall — and sometimes I think she has.”

Nohe was equally effusive about Dickerson. Apart from his “high energy” and “magnetism,” Nohe said, the singer is “the kind of guy who’ll re-route a vacation to take care of a friend in need.”

Norbert Nix and Kevin Herring — the general manager and head of promotion, respectively, of Dickerson’s label, Thirty Tiger Records — were among the many who came forward to compliment him on his work ethic and achievements.

Herring, a Music Row veteran, pointed out that “Blue Tacoma” is the second “car song” he’s had a hand in promoting to the top. The first, he said, was Sammy Kershaw’s “Cadillac Style,” which was a No. 2 hit on Mercury Records, way back in 1991.

After inviting all of Thirty Tigers’ regional promoters to join him and Nix on stage, Herring turned to Dickerson and said, “Nobody gets [how the music business works] like you do, and that’s why you’re going to be a superstar.”


Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.