It’s incredible to think that Scotty Emerick has already been writing hits for nearly half his life — since he’s only 32. But from the time the Vero Beach, Florida native set foot in Nashville at 19, he has consistently been making music that both fans and his fellow artists seem to love.
He got his first taste of success in the early ’90s with the Sawyer Brown hits “I Don’t Believe in Goodbye” and “Round Here,” co-written with roommate/bandmate Bryan White.
Recognizing experience as the best teacher, Emerick surrounded himself with Nashville’s most seasoned tunesmiths. “When I got here I sought out older writers, because I knew I could learn a lot from them,” he explains. “Older guys like Red Lane and Hank Cochran . . . really took me under their wing.”
A few years later, thanks to a chance dressing room placement at the CMAs, another artist took Emerick under wing: Toby Keith. “We became good friends and have a mutual respect for good songs. We’ve probably written 50 or 60 songs, and he’s cut 40 of them.”
Their list of hits includes “I Love This Bar,” “Beer for My Horses,” and their most recent #1, “Good as I Once Was.” Emerick’s new single, “What’s Up with That,” debuts on Keith’s new label, Showdog Records, in January. He also sings in Keith’s new Paramount film, and penned several tunes for the soundtrack as well.
And though he’s seen quite a few changes along with his buddy Keith since their early days in the business, there’s one thing Emerick says will never change: “All in all I think, in this town, a good song will always find its way.”