Story Behind the Song: Chris Young, ‘Tomorrow’
Chris Young, Anthony Smith and Frank Myers had been talking about writing together for years before they finally sat down for a songwriting session. But when they finally did, the result was solid gold (er, platinum): The three co-penned “Tomorrow,” which Young released in February of 2011 as the first single from his Neon album, and the tune became Young’s fourth consecutive No. 1 hit and has been certified platinum. Below, the three tunesmiths tell The Boot about writing the sultry song.
Young: Not only are these guys amazing songwriters, they are also amazing people. I would run into them a lot, especially Anthony, because he knew my parents, and every time we’d see each other, we would say, “Hey let’s get together and write,” but it just never happened.
I finally forced Anthony into it. He said he had a writing session scheduled with Frank, so why didn’t we just all write together? So there we are, finally all in one room, and Anthony and I are throwing ideas back and forth, like you do when you go in to write with someone. Frank is just sitting there, not saying much, and Anthony and I keep on talking to each other about these ideas.
Frank is minding his own business, and when we get ready to start on an idea, he says, “Hey, before you start on that, I’ve got this little thing I’ve been working on.” He plays us half the song, maybe a chorus and a melody, and we were like, “Our ideas were dumb, let’s work on that!”
I called them the next day and said, “Hey, this is gonna be the first single.” When I turned the song in, I told the people at the label, “Hey, this is going to be the first single.” Usually, you do that, and somewhere along the way, someone says no, but this time, that didn’t happen.
Myers adds that he came up with the idea for the song after listening to Gary Allan‘s tune “Today.”
Myers: I first thought we would go in the direction of all the things we say we’re going to do tomorrow, like quit smoking, lose weight and so on. But I was sitting around the house, and this chorus came to me, and when I showed it to Anthony and Chris, we rolled with it.
Smith: My office is down the hall from [Chris’] mother’s office, and we always talked back and forth, and she had mentioned to me that I should write with Chris. Frank and I wrote a lot together, and we talked about writing with Chris, but it didn’t happen at first. I think things like this happen when they’re supposed to in Nashville. It was at that time and point that we were supposed to write, and then it was okay. Then it was like we couldn’t believe it took us all that time to write together. So it worked out as it should have.
Myers: Anthony and I had been writing together for several years, and he told me about Chris. The first time I met Chris was at a SESAC Christmas party, and he was wearing this bright orange Longhorn shirt.
Young: Someone called and said, “Why don’t you drop by this place, there are gonna be some people from SESAC there,” but no one told me it was their Christmas party and to dress appropriately. I think you two guys were the only ones who spoke to me, and I was trying to sneak out the whole time. I had on these old jeans and that orange shirt, and I stood out really bad.
Smith: Yeah, Chris was hovering up against the wall. Everyone was coming up and talking to him, and he was trying to disappear into the wall.
I have to say that sometimes you have good friends you try to write with, and that doesn’t always work out. The fun thing about these guys is that not only are they good friends, but it works for us to write together, too. It’s good to be friends, but when you write great songs with people that you enjoy seeing and being around, then it’s great.
This story was originally written by Vernell Hackett, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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