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

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My biggest hit so far (by far) has been Billy Currington’s “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 #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 tuitions 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 in to my publisher, one of our pluggers instantly said “This would be perfect for Billy Currington!”.  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.

~MD

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Marty Dodson is a multi #1 songwriter and co-founder of SongTown.com

 

Work Tape:

Demo:

Billy Currington Cut:

15 thoughts on “The Story Behind The Hit Song: Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right

  1. I just joined SongTown today. On my way home tonight from the West End area on the very slow rush hour I-65 South I had the radio on low as I daydreamed and thought about the day. This song came on the radio and I turned it up, louder than usual, and really listened to it thinking what a great song. Now, coincidentally, I see this post and find out you wrote it. I really appreciate the story behind it and getting to hear the work demo, demo, and ultimate cut.

  2. I’ve just been listening to Billy Currington all day and wondered ‘who wrote this song?’. So I googled it and wow! Congrats!!

    1. I toowas listening to this song and wondered who wrote it so I too googles it and even though I have seen Billy Currington sing this song it’s stillone of my favorites .
      Congrats Congrats Congrats on such a wonderful song

      1. What a SONG OBVIOUSLY I CANNOT SPELL AND THINK OF MY LATE HUBBY WHILE PLAYING THIS SONG SUNG BY BILLY CURRINGTON BUT WHAT A SPECTACULAR WONDERFUL LOVE SONG I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT, KEEP UO THE WRITING GREAT SONGS LIKE THIS

        1. I have seen him perform this song at Ky State Fair years ago BUT I STILL LOVE IT AS MUCH AS EVER. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK

  3. I love this song. Been hearing it alot lately. It reminds me of some special memories. I got curious and looked up the story of it. I love hearing about it and the whole process of this song. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This song is ABSOLUTELY beautiful !! Thank you so much for sharing the backstory and original worktape, demo and cut, Marty !

  5. Thanks so much for sharing the story and the different stages of the song (work tape, demo, finished cut). I always love listening to demos and/or work tapes to hear the original idea / musical direction.

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