Songwriting

The Story Behind The Hit Song: Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right

by Marty Dodson
Dec 31, 2019

My biggest song so far (by far) has been my Billy Currington hit “Must Be Doin’ Something’ Right”.  The song also has an interesting story.  My co-writer, Jason Matthews, and I had been working for two days on another song idea.  By lunchtime on the second day, we still hadn’t made any progress.  Not even one line.

So, we did what many songwriters who are stuck do.  We went to lunch.

On the way back, Jason timidly asked me, “Do you like the song we are working on?”   I said “No, but I thought you were really into it.”  He laughed and said “No, I thought YOU were really into it.  I think it sucks!” So we talked about just calling it a day and going home. That would have been a HUGE mistake.

When we got back, Jason picked up his guitar, started playing an R&B groove and singing nonsense words.

When he got to the chorus, he sang “Must be doing’ somethin’ right”.  In the next hour and a half, we wrote and work taped what would become each our first #1 songs and Billy Currington’s first hit #1 song.  My life would not be the same if we had gone home that day without writing.

That song led to awards, writing deals, college tuition for kids, and lots of other things.  It was a game-changing day.  To this day, I don’t know where songs come from.  I think they are some combination of divine intervention, fate, hard work, preparation, and a willingness to follow where the muse leads you each day.  At any rate, we were blessed to be a part of that song on that day.

When I turned the song into my publisher, one of our pluggers instantly said “This sounds like it could be a Billy Currington hit!”

She pitched our work tape the next day, Billy’s label put it on hold and they cut it about a month later.  Soon after that, it was working its way up the charts.

The label told us not to demo the song, but we wanted to show them how WE heard the production.  So, we demoed it and Jason sang a killer version of the song.  Billy’s producer, Carson Chamberlin, took our demo to the next level, and a hit was born.  Click on the links below if you would like to hear the work tape, the demo, and the final cut of the song.

And, the next time you have the option of calling it a day out of frustration  – think twice.

Marty Dodson

Work Tape:

Demo:

Billy Currington Hit:

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing

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