Songwriters Under the Covers with Victoria Shaw

S2 E2 | FULL EPISODE

Shelly Peiken and Chely Wright

Multi-platinum Shelly Peiken sings and dishes on her hits (“What A Girl Wants,” “Bitch”) while artist and activist Chely Wright highlights her own chart toppers (“Single White Female,” “Bumper of my SUV”). Carly and Martina are special guests.

AIRED: January 21, 2021 | 0:58:49
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Aw, go on. [ Laughs ]

Thank you.

♪♪

♪ Here's the part where I'm supposed to say ♪

♪ That it's okay that you and her are still friends ♪

♪ I'd like to think that I'm the kind of girl ♪

♪ Who'd just be cool with that and not overreact ♪

♪ I wish I could take the high road ♪

♪ I wish you could stand in my shoes one time ♪

♪ When she's looking at you

♪ With her "man, I'd do anything to get him back" eyes ♪

♪ And she's looking at me like I'm the reason ♪

♪ For every little tear that she's cried ♪

♪ I could use your arms around me ♪

♪ Preferably

♪ When she's looking at you

♪ With her "man, I'd do anything to get him back" eyes ♪

♪♪

♪ When she's around and brings up ♪

♪ All your little inside jokes, I laugh ♪

♪ But they're not funny

♪ And I'd appreciate it if she wouldn't call you ♪

♪ That nickname that she gave you, honey ♪

♪ When we're alone, I never feel like this ♪

♪ And I curse this jealous bone I'd like to beat her with ♪

♪ When she's looking at you

♪ With her "man, I'd do anything to get him back" eyes ♪

♪ And she's looking at me like I'm the reason ♪

♪ For every little tear that she's cried ♪

♪ I could use your arms around me ♪

♪ Preferably

♪ When she's looking at you with her "man, I'd do ♪

♪ Anything to get him back" eye eye-eye eye eye-eye eyes ♪

♪♪

♪ Eye-eye eye eye-eye eyes

♪ And I know it sounds neurotic ♪

♪ But, baby, what we've got is a situation ♪

♪ Driving me a little bit out of my mind ♪

♪ Before I go crazy, baby, kiss me one more time ♪

♪ While she's looking at you

♪ With her "man, I'd do anything to get him back" eyes ♪

♪ And she's looking at me like I'm the reason ♪

♪ For every little tear that she's cried ♪

♪ I could use your arms around me ♪

♪ Preferably

♪ When she's looking at you

♪ With her "man, I'd do anything to get him back" ♪

♪ Looking at you with her "man, I'd do ♪

♪ Anything to get him back" eye eye-eye eye eye-eye eyes ♪

♪ Eye-eye eye eye-eye eyes

I didn't even know you guys when you were dating.

But if looks could kill,

I'd be dead.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you! I feel better now. [ Laughs ]

Thank you so much.

Welcome to "Songwriters Under the Covers."

[ Cheers and applause ]

Oh, a feisty crowd!

We have such a good show tonight.

I have two of my dearest friends here,

starting with the lady on my left.

She has had an amazing platinum country music career.

She has, with her number-one singles, over 15 charted songs

on the charts, which is a very hard thing to achieve.

She's won multiple awards,

including the ACM new female vocalist of the year,

where she was up against some very tough competition.

[ Laughter ]

And she won. Curses! [ Laughs ]

As a songwriter she's also had songs recorded,

besides her own projects,

by people like Richard Marx,

Brad Paisley, Indigo Girls, Mindy Smith.

And then she wrote a book called

"Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer"

that really, I mean, she just bared her soul

and became a best-selling author because of this book

and just really was an amazing impact on so many people.

And then she became the subject of a documentary

that you can watch everywhere that also won multiple awards.

She is an activist. She is a wife.

I would think she would say her favorite thing to be

is mom to her two twins, George and Everett.

Please give a warm welcome to my friend Chely Wright.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

You know, I write my own intros. It's very interesting.

Right before I got on stage. [ Laughs ]

So of all the guests I've had,

this guest I've known the longest.

I think I met her when I was 18 or 19 years old.

Shh!

We're going to do that one more time.

I think I met her when I was 10.

In the '80s. In the '80s.

And we both were working in the New York piano bars,

and we became friends and we used to swap sheet music

so that we could play other songs.

And we both really wanted to be a songwriter,

and we dreamed really big and we worked really hard.

Eventually I went off to Nashville

and had success, and Chely went off to California,

where she just dominated the pop world for so long.

She has had songs recorded by people

like Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez,

Natasha Bedingfield, Meredith Brooks,

Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears.

If I kept going, we'd go on and on all day.

She really is one of the top,

top, top songwriters in this business.

And then I guess she also had a moment of boredom for a minute,

because in 2017, she wrote a book

called "Confessions of a Serial Songwriter."

Funny with the "confessions." Confessions.

Confessions is the theme. That's what songwriters do.

I guess so. "Confessions of a Serial Songwriter."

And this garnered her a Grammy nomination

for best spoken word.

First book. So, yes, quite amazing.

All this while being a mother to her daughter Layla,

who's here tonight.

Please welcome my friend Shelly Peiken.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you, everybody.

I had to get the two Shellys on the show.

How fun is that? Shelly power.

It going to be so confusing. Shelly power.

First of all, I think I should write a book.

I'm feeling really out of place.

"Confessions of Victoria Shaw."

It's a long book.

Sing a song and tell us a story.

So this was my first number-one song.

And it was also the first

number-one song of the millennium,

which makes it 20 years old this month.

You know, it's something. It's a story.

Wait, the first number-one song of the millennium.

Yeah. That's huge.

20 years. Christina Aguilera.

And I gave myself a gift in that,

for the 20-year anniversary of my first number one,

I decided to record it and put it out myself.

So it just came out last week. It's a great version.

I can't reach the same notes.

So the key is a little lower,

and I actually had to rewrite the bridge,

because if you could envision where she goes on that bridge,

it was just impossible for me.

And that's okay. It's okay.

And this is actually was inspired by my husband,

then boyfriend, giving me space

when I was trying to get the courage

to move from my beloved New York to Los Angeles.

And we long-distanced it for three years until I finally

listened to somebody when they said, "If you're happy,

you take it with you wherever you go."

So I went, and we are still together, and...

And yeah.

Are you going to play this with me?

I'm gonna give it a go.

So when I speed up, just speed up with me.

You got it. Okay, okay.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I want to thank you for giving me time to breathe ♪

♪ Like a rock you waited so patiently ♪

♪ While I got it together

♪ While I figured it out

♪ I only but I never touch

♪ Because in my heart was a picture of us ♪

♪ Holding hands, making plans

♪ And it's lucky for me, you understand ♪

♪ Yeah, it's lucky for me you understand ♪

♪ What a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever makes me happy sets you free ♪

♪ And I'm thanking you for knowing exactly ♪

♪ What a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever keeps me in your arms ♪

♪ I'm thanking you for giving it to me ♪

♪♪

♪ It was a time I was blind, I was so confused ♪

♪ I ran away just to hide it all from you ♪

♪ But you knew me better

♪ Than I knew myself

♪ They say if you love something, let it go ♪

♪ If it comes back, it's yours, and that's how you know ♪

♪ It's for keeps, yeah, it's for sure ♪

♪ And you're ready, you're willing to give me more ♪

♪ Yeah, you're ready, you're willing to give me more ♪

♪ Than what a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever makes me happy sets you free ♪

♪ And I'm thanking you for knowing exactly ♪

♪ What a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever keeps me in your arms ♪

♪ I'm thanking you for giving it to me ♪

♪ What a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ You're my airflow when I can't breathe, yeah ♪

♪ You're my hold on when I let go ♪

♪ You're my yes man, you never say no ♪

♪ No, you never say no, no, no

♪ You're what a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever makes me happy sets you free ♪

♪ And I'm thanking you for knowing exactly ♪

♪ What a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever keeps me in your arms ♪

♪ I'm thanking you for giving it to me ♪

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Shelly Peiken.

Thank you. Thank you.

Awesome.

That's amazing.

What an amazing time in music that was, too,

at the turn of the millennia.

Crazy, and the video for that

held all the other chick singers up to a standard.

It's true.

Christina Aguilera knows how to move and dance.

And I was in Nashville making my videos,

and my label kept saying, "Can you do more like sexy?"

I was like, "No."

"Can you take off more clothes?"

Right.

You know, that was kind of part of the thing.

We were kind of pinup girls, too.

But at the heart of who we are is people who sit in a room

and like to write songs.

And I just have to say,

I'm so glad to finally meet Shelly Peiken in person.

Aww!

You're, you know, amazing. It's a Shelly lovefest.

It is. And Victoria and I, we do go way back. Feeling is mutual.

Love it. We go super far back.

During the ACM awards when we were up against each other,

we had to do a shoot for a magazine,Country Weekly.

Right. So we were up, there were three of us nominated.

It was Vic, Lisa Brokop, and I.

And I think back then they wanted to see

if we girls were going to fight about something.

And Vic and I just hung out.

We were like -- we just totally fell in love.

She did my hair for the shoot. She was like, "Oh, yeah."

That was the first time I'd ever heard that expression.

"The higher the hair, the closer to Jesus."

I did.

But Victoria and I hit it off, and, you know,

I was talking about Victoria behind her back earlier today.

I've never met a person who doesn't meet Victoria

and fall head over heels in love with who she is.

Oh, please. Stop. She's the best.

And... [ Cheers and applause ]

We'll be editing this part out.

And I'm honored to be here with a great local musician

that I love playing with.

His name is Chris Biesterfeldt. Please make him welcome.

He's going to play a little bit with me.

Yeah, go grab your guitar.

So Nashville is kind of a tricky town.

You know, everybody goes there to make a record and write songs

and not everybody gets a chance.

And I got really --

my first couple of records that were on Mercury

and A&M and Polydor Records,

like, didn't go gold or platinum.

They went cardboard. Nobody bought them.

And then something just kind of unusual happened in that

I got signed to another record deal and a major label.

And, you know, that just didn't happen back then.

It was kind of one and done.

And I lucked out and got to sign a record deal with MCA Records.

And I worked with the great Tony Brown and Buddy Cannon

and Norro Wilson and some legendary producers.

And I had an idea for a song that I wanted to write

with a hit songwriter that Vic and I know very well, Gary Burr.

So this was the first song --

and Gary's written a thousand hits that you know,

and I've recorded several of his songs.

But this is the only one he and I wrote together

that I actually recorded.

It's called "I Already Do." Yes, ma'am.

You know what's so funny? I even learn things on my show.

Gary's my best friend. Didn't know he wrote that song.

You didn't? No, I just learned something.

Yeah, so, I mean, Gary, back then,

everybody wanted to write with him.

And, you know, he's a genius and a generous writer.

And I think about the things I learned writing with Gary

every time I write a song. And Pat Alger.

I think they both taught me a lot of different things.

But Gary, every single time I write a song,

he crosses my mind.

And it's a song I'm really proud of.

It wasn't a huge hit.

I think it went to 20 on the charts,

but it's a hit in my heart.

It's called "I Already Do."

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪ Caution's in the wind

♪ The hardest part is through

♪ You don't have to try so hard to make me fall for you ♪

♪ I've surprised myself

♪ With what I've gone and done

♪ But just today I heard myself swear you were the one ♪

♪ Laugh, I just have to laugh

♪ I really thought you knew

♪ I can't believe that you're asking me ♪

♪ When I will love you

♪ I already do

♪ I already do

♪♪

♪ You've been doing fine

♪ Please don't change a thing

♪ But it's too good to hide away ♪

♪ So I might as well come clean ♪

♪ I didn't shout it out

♪ But everybody knew

♪ Funny, you're the only one who didn't have a clue ♪

♪ Laugh, I just have to laugh

♪ I really thought you knew

♪ I can't believe that you're asking me ♪

♪ When I will love you

♪ I already do

♪ I already do

♪ I gave you my heart

♪ Can't you feel the power?

♪ You want to see the light?

♪ Baby, the sun's been up for hours ♪

♪ Laugh, I just have to laugh

♪ I really thought you knew

♪ I can't believe that you're asking me ♪

♪ When I will love you

♪ I already do

♪ I already do

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

Thanks so much. Thank you.

That's a beautiful song. Thank you.

That's a gorgeous song.

We're going to -- Shelly's going to play the piano on this one.

I am. You are.

I love that. We've got multiple instruments.

You look awfully pretty. Well lit there.

So tell us the story behind this song.

This song I'm going to play is a song I wrote with Guy Roche.

And I wrote "What a Girl Wants" with Guy Roche as well.

And it's about a guy that I was head over heels with in college.

And he almost loved me. He almost said it.

He almost got there and never did.

And this was years after college,

Guy and I would get together and just have "song sex,"

we called it, and see what we came up with,

and we came up with this idea --

I made a list of things that this guy almost did,

but it never happened.

And thankfully we finished it that day, and Brandy recorded it

and had a semi hit with it, which I'm happy about it.

And then Mark Wills recorded it in Nashville.

So it wasn't meant to be in a box.

And it's called "Almost Doesn't Count."

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Almost made you love me

♪ Almost made you cry

♪ Almost made you happy

♪ Didn't I? Didn't I?

♪ Almost had me thinking

♪ You were turned around

♪ But everybody knows almost doesn't count ♪

♪ Almost heard you saying

♪ You were finally free

♪ What was always missing for you ♪

♪ You found it in me

♪ But you can't get to heaven

♪ Half off the ground

♪ Everybody knows almost doesn't count ♪

♪ Well, I can't keep on loving you a foot outside the door ♪

♪ I hear a funny hesitation

♪ Of a heart that's never really sure ♪

♪ I can't keep on trying when you're looking for more ♪

♪ Than all that I could give you ♪

♪ Than what you came here for

♪ I'm gonna find me somebody

♪ Not afraid to let go

♪ I want to no-doubt-be-there kind of man ♪

♪ You came real close

♪ But every time you picked me up ♪

♪ You only let me down

♪ And everybody knows almost doesn't count ♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I can't keep on trying

♪ When you're looking for more

♪ Than all that I could give you ♪

♪ Than what you came here for

♪ Maybe you'll be sorry

♪ Maybe you'll be cold

♪ Maybe you'll come running back ♪

♪ From a cruel, cruel world

♪ Almost convinced me you're gonna stick around ♪

♪ But everybody knows almost doesn't count ♪

♪ So maybe I'll be here

♪ Maybe I'll see you around

♪ Well, that's the way it goes

♪ Almost doesn't count

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you. Thank you.

What a great, great song. Oh, my gosh.

And keeping with the piano theme, Chely,

you're going to play piano on this one, right?

Wright: I am.

[ Cheers and applause ]

So you're all ready? You're all set?

I'm ready. Great.

Take it away and tell us a story.

Tell us a story, Chely.

Well, so I come from a military family.

My grandfather was in the Big Red One in the Army,

my father was in the Navy during Vietnam,

and my brother was in the Marine Corps.

And I wrote this song about 17 years ago,

And I just want you to know I've never played it on piano

since the day I wrote it.

This is the first time since that I've played it on piano.

But it...

So I got lucky enough to go play for the troops

after I first started having success in music.

And it was always something that was kind of who I --

I just wanted to make my family proud

and really support those military folks

because it's a hard life they live

and hard what their families do.

So I'm as, you know, patriotic as the next gal.

And I was lucky to get to go over

to to Iraq and Afghanistan after -- in 2003,

right when, you know, that conflict began.

But right before I went over there,

my brother was about to be deployed,

and he called me and said, "Sis, I sent you a letter."

And I was like, "What?"

My brother has never mailed me a piece of mail ever in his life.

And I did, after he was gone to the Middle East,

I did get an envelope, and I opened it up,

and there was a round red Marine Corps sticker in it.

So I went down and put it on the back of my vehicle.

Then I went to Iraq,

did a run of shows over there for the troops,

and then came back with, you know, a lot --

That's a lot of experience.

It's one thing to watch a war zone on CNN,

but it's quite another -- or PBS.

But it's quite another to be there

and to feel it and smell it

and taste it and hear it and know it differently.

So I got back to Nashville and a woman flipped me off.

She pulled me over at a red light,

and she pointed to the back of my vehicle.

I had just one sticker on it.

And she said, "Your war is wrong.

And I was like...

But I wanted to talk to her

and tell her about the questions I had about the war,

but I wanted to tell her about my brother

and I it was my brother's sticker.

And anyway, she sped off,

so I went home and I wrote this song,

and I didn't do anything with it for 16 months

until I went back over to Iraq,

and I started playing the song over there

and asked the guys and gals over there,

"You guys want to hear a song

I've never played for anybody before?"

And they were like, "Yeah!" and I did it.

And every night till about 2:00, 3:00 in the morning,

I'd stay up and sign autographs

and visit with these guys and gals.

And they all said, "You got to record that song."

And I was like, "No, I want to keep it between us.

I don't want anyone mistaking my affection for the troops."

And at that time, there were a lot of country artists

recording songs about patriotism that had never recorded it --

had never done a show for the troops before.

So I liked this thing I had with the troops.

And then we were playing a place called FOB Summerall,

and it was, oddly enough, the home of the Big Red One,

my grandfather's infantry division.

And a young man, after the show,

it said Josh Henry on his fatigues,

and my grandfather was Harold Henry.

And I said to him, "Hey, we could be cousins."

He said, "Don't say that. We won't be able to date."

[ Laughter ]

Anyway, he said, "You got to record that song.

My mom would love it."

And we flew the next day on two Black Hawks

to what would be our last show of that run at Camp Taji.

We got a phone call as we landed at Camp Taji

that Josh Henry had been killed in the line of duty.

So I went home and recorded this song.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I've got a bright red sticker on the back of my car ♪

♪ Says "United States Marines"

♪ And yesterday a lady in a minivan ♪

♪ Held up her middle finger at me ♪

♪ Does she think she knows what I stand for ♪

♪ Or the things that I believe

♪ Just by looking at a sticker for the U.S. Marines ♪

♪ On the bumper of my SUV?

♪ See, my brother Chris

♪ He's been in

♪ For more than 14 years now

♪ Our dad was in the Navy during Vietnam ♪

♪ Did his duty, and he got out ♪

♪ And my grandpa earned his Purple Heart ♪

♪ On the beach of Normandy

♪ And that's why I've got a sticker for the U.S. Marines ♪

♪ on the bumper of my SUV

♪ But that doesn't mean that I want war ♪

♪ I'm not Republican or Democrat ♪

♪ But I've gone all around this crazy world ♪

♪ Just to try to better understand ♪

♪ And yes, I do have questions

♪ But I get to ask them because I'm free ♪

♪ That's why I've got a sticker for the U.S. Marines ♪

♪ On the bumper of my SUV

♪ 'Cause I've been to Hiroshima ♪

♪ And I've been to the DMZ

♪ I've walked on the sand in Baghdad ♪

♪ Still don't have all of the answers I need ♪

♪ But I guess I want to know where she's been ♪

♪ Before she judges and gestures to me ♪

♪ 'Cause she don't like my sticker for the U.S. Marines ♪

♪ On the bumper of my SUV

♪♪

♪♪

♪ So I hope that lady in her minivan ♪

♪ Turns on her radio and hears this from me ♪

♪ As she picks up her kids from their private school ♪

♪ And drives home safely on our city streets ♪

♪ Or to the building where her church group meets ♪

♪ Yeah

♪ That's why I've got a sticker for the U.S. Marines ♪

♪ On the bumper of my SUV

♪ Da-da da-da da-da-da da

♪ Mm-mm-mm mm-mm-mm-mmh

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

Semper Fi. Semper Fi.

That's a hard one to follow. [ Laughs ]

Thank you, Chely. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

[ Applause ]

Ah! So emotional.

All right, so everybody has to leave the stage now

because I'm going to bring up --

you know, last season I was doing another hit songwriter

surprise jumping up.

But this season I decided to talk about emerging artists

because it's kind of cool to see,

you know, these professional iconic writers

and then see tomorrow's stars, songwriters and artists.

And I get to work with a lot of

young talented people, and I really enjoy it.

So I wanted to share it with you guys.

Now, four years ago in New York, I was at Birdland.

And on a Monday night there's an event called Cast Party,

which is like a Broadway open-mic night,

and lots of different people come in.

And these twins came in and they sang that night

and they were really talented and very nice.

They were 14 at the time.

And we exchanged -- and they knew who I was,

and we exchanged e-mails, and I introduced them to my daughter,

and they became friends, and they live in Chicago.

And they started to e-mail me alot.

"We'd like to write with you. We'd like to write with you.

We'd like to write with you."

I mean, they were very persistent.

They actually weren't obnoxious.

When I give lectures at schools and stuff,

I always say if you can learn the art of being persistent

without being annoying, that's the most important thing.

And they weren't annoying, but they were persistent.

And about a year went by and they would start to talk about,

you know, "We're writing now.

We're writing with these people, writing with that people."

And really I could tell they were really doing their work,

and I decided to give it a shot.

So I'm going to let them tell the rest of the story,

but we have been writing ever since.

I'm very proud of them.

They are a big 18 now. Very talented.

Like I said, they are twins. They are lovely.

And please put your hands together for Carly and Martina.

[ Cheers and applause ]

I didn't know where you were.

Say hello to the nice people.

Hello, nice people. How are you?

I'm gonna get out of your way.

Okay. Go do your thing.

Thank you so much, Victoria, for having us, by the way.

This is so cool.

All right.

[ Applause ] Oh, thanks. [ Laughs ]

So we wrote with Victoria first

when we were 15.

And we were so nervous.

We had like this giant sheet of concepts

and song titles and little hooks

because we wanted to show that we were prepared

and that we were like ready to go.

And she was really polite.

She listened to all of them. She liked some.

And then she gave us her idea, and it was awesome.

We were like, "Oh, this is perfect.

This is so relatable to us, to all of our friends,

to like every girl in the entire world."

And then Martina come up with this really cool bass line,

and Victoria and I started riffing off of that.

And the song just happened really fast after that.

And then several months later she took us to Radio Disney,

and we were at the meeting with the big Disney executive,

and we had to perform in front of him to show him,

"Oh, yeah, like this is song, we can play it."

And this is like the scariest thing

to ever happen in a meeting.

The piano stand broke.

My heart, like, dropped. It was so bad.

If we can't set up a keyboard,

we cannot perform for this guy.

He is waiting. He is ready.

And she's like, you know, making conversation with him.

And we're just sitting here like, "Hey, Victoria.

This is broken." And we couldn't fix it.

And somehow she was able to, like,

maintain conversation with him, saw the problem,

somehow, like, in one swift motion, fix it.

And the meeting went super smooth,

and it ended up being

the number-one most requested song

on Radio Disney's "Total Request Now" chart

for six weeks straight.

So thank you, Victoria. Thanks, Victoria.

[ Cheers and applause ]

And this is the song. All right.

♪♪

♪ In the middle of the night he calls you ♪

♪ Trying to apologize, but he's just drunk ♪

♪ Yeah, he's playing with your head ♪

♪ Like a spider in its web

♪ You know the minute you give in after a while ♪

♪ Every time you give an inch he'll want a mile ♪

♪ Brings you up, brings you down ♪

♪ Like a merry-go-round

♪ How Long you gonna let him play this game? ♪

♪ We should be pulling an all-nighter at the beach ♪

♪ Or kicking at Coachella in bare feet ♪

♪ Party hopping like we're famous ♪

♪ Making all the A-lists

♪ It would be a shame if you stayed home ♪

♪ So block his number and enjoy the summer ♪

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Oh, he's colder than the slushie in your hand ♪

♪ Gonna fade away faster than your tan ♪

♪ Yeah, he's cute, but so what? ♪

♪ Haven't you had enough?

♪ This guy is just so bad

♪ Bad at being good

♪ There's other guys who'll treat you like he should ♪

♪ Pulling an all-nighter at the beach ♪

♪ Or kicking at Coachella in bare feet ♪

♪ Party hopping like we're famous ♪

♪ Making all the A-lists

♪ It would be a shame if you stayed home ♪

♪ So block his number and enjoy the summer ♪

♪ Block his number

♪ If you're scared of being alone ♪

♪ Doesn't he already make you feel that way? ♪

♪ We should be pulling an all-nighter at the beach ♪

♪ Or kicking at Coachella in bare feet ♪

♪ Party hopping like we're famous ♪

♪ Making all the A-lists

♪ It would be a shame if you stayed home ♪

♪ So block his number and enjoy the summer ♪

♪ Pulling an all-nighter at the beach ♪

♪ Or kicking at Coachella in bare feet ♪

♪ Party hopping like we're famous ♪

♪ Making all the A-lists

♪ It would be a shame if you stayed home ♪

♪ So block his number and enjoy the summer ♪

♪ Block his number

♪ Enjoy the summer

♪ Go to Coachella

♪ Don't be a bummer

♪ Enjoy the summer

♪ So block his number and enjoy the summer ♪

♪ Block his number

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo-doo doo-doo

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you, guys.

Thank you. Thanks, guys.

Carly and Martina!

Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Well, I don't want the party to end.

So we'll keep a couple more songs going, okay?

I'm so excited about this next one. Hi.

What did you do? Get a cappuccino back there?

We talked.

We got it all figured out backstage

Oh, good. Because I needed some answers. We're gonna be pals.

You know, I was thinking,

people who are watching this show out in TV land

are going to be going, "Wow, look, they're all women.

Look, they're all women."

No. They're all songwriters. you know?

It's like they're just all songwriters.

They happen to be women. You know?

It's got to be like we're gonna get past

that point where it's like, "It's an all-female show."

No, you know, we are no sex. We're musos.

We're songwriters. That's right.

Yeah. We're song-sexual.

[ Laughs ]

Just happens to be that we can write songsand make babies.

You try that. You try that.

And do it in heels, right?

That's right!

We're so lucky to get to do this.

And it's one of the things that, Vic,

I've always admired about you --

your passion for songwriting and telling stories

has never waned.

It's just like still --

There was a week it waned.

Trust me. There was a waning week.

But for the most part, no, I agree.

But you're born to tell stories, and the world

is a better place for it.

Just thank you for having us on this show.

[ Applause ]

All these lovely comments.

Am I sick? Is there something I don't know.

No, you're fine. Okay, good. Okay, good.

[ Laughter ]

All right.

So you want to tell a story about this song?

Sure. Great.

This is a song I happened to write after 10 years

of writing what we used to call album cuts.

And this was back in the time where you could write album cuts

and make a living on album cuts

and without ever having a song on the radio.

You didn't have to write a big fat single

because albums sold, and for every record,

every physical copy that sold, a songwriter,

if they wrote a whole song on it

and published a whole song -- which was unusual,

but if you did and the album went platinum,

which was not unusual, you could make

like $80,000, $90,000.

What?!

Come on, you know that. So -- You were there.

I don't remember the 80s.

If you co-wrote a song, that was cool too,

because if you had a few of these,

you could sustain a livelihood.

I was living in New York. I was having a grand old time.

Physical copies aren't happening anymore,

which is a whole other conversation

on how songwriters sustain livelihoods.

You really need the big single.

But my ego needed the big single too

after 10 years of writing album cuts.

And it just felt like everybody around me

was having these big singles except for me.

And I was introduced around this time

to a gal named Meredith Brooks and...

[ Applause ]

A dear friend.

And she had a band together in L.A., she was playing around,

I went to see her, and I thought, "Duh!

She needed a song.

And I needed to write a song with a gal

who would not take no for an answer

because she wanted to get that record deal.

And I saw her play, and I thought,

"This is a no-brainer."

So I was driving home one night from a session,

and I was in a real funk.

And I was thinking about all the rejection and the competition

and that everybody was getting lucky except for me.

And I had this thought in my head

as I stopped at a light

and blew a couple of smoke rings out the window.

I stopped smoking when I had you.

[ Laughs ]

And I had this thought, and the thought was,

"I hate the world today.

[ Cheers and applause ]

And I'm going home to this great guy,

and God bless him, he loves me no matter what,

even though sometimes I can be such abitch."

Then I thought, "Wait a minute."

I called Meredith in the morning.

She was over in the afternoon.

We sequestered ourselves into a little writing room.

And we didn't come out until we were finished.

I'd say it was the best song sex I ever had with a woman.

Maybe the best song sex I ever had.

And she called me the next day

and said that she got a record deal

because of our song.

Oh, wow. And that...

[ Cheers and applause ]

...Capitol Records were getting all their ducks in order

and we were going to have a big fat hit,

and she must have thought I was the biggest Debbie Downer

because I didn't believe her.

Until six months later,

I'm driving down the canyon listening to KROQ

with you in my tummy...

Aww.

...and I hear the words, "I hate the world today."

And it was surreal.

So to this day, every time I hear a song

that I wrote on the radio,

which is not that often

because I can't stop listening to yacht rock...

[ Laughter ]

...I pull over

and pay attention

like it's never gonna happen again.

Will you play with me?

I will give my best. Yes.

Thank you. That's my story.

That's a good one.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I hate the world today

♪ You're so good to me

♪ I know, but I can't change

♪ I try to tell you

♪ But you look at me like maybe I'm an angel underneath ♪

♪ Innocent and sweet

♪ Well, yesterday, I cried

♪ You must have been relieved to see the softer side ♪

♪ I can understand how you'd be so confused ♪

♪ I don't envy you

♪ I'm a little bit of everything all rolled into one ♪

♪ I'm a bitch, I'm a lover

♪ I'm a child, I'm a mother

♪ I'm a sinner, I'm a saint

♪ I do not feel ashamed

♪ I'm your hell, I'm your dream ♪

♪ Nothing in between

♪ You know you wouldn't want it any other way ♪

♪ So take me as I am

♪ This may mean you'll have to be a stronger man ♪

♪ Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous ♪

♪ And I'm going to extremes

♪ Tomorrow I may change

♪ And today won't mean a thing

♪ I'm a bitch, I'm a lover

♪ I'm a child, I'm a mother

♪ I'm a sinner, I'm a saint

♪ I do not feel ashamed

♪ I'm your hell, I'm your dream ♪

♪ Nothing in between

♪ You know you wouldn't want it any other way ♪

♪ Just when you think you've got me figured out ♪

♪ The season's already changing ♪

♪ I think it's cool you do what you do ♪

♪ And don't try to save me

♪ I'm a bitch, I'm a lover

♪ I'm a child, I'm a mother

♪ I'm a sinner, I'm a saint

♪ I do not feel ashamed

♪ I'm your hell, I'm your dream ♪

♪ Nothing in between

♪ You know you wouldn't want it any other way ♪

♪ I'm a bitch, I'm a tease

♪ I'm a goddess on my knees

♪ When you hurt, when you suffer ♪

♪ I'm an angel undercover

♪ I've been numb, I'm revived

♪ You can't say I'm not alive

♪ You know I wouldn't want it any other way ♪

♪ Doo doo doo

♪ Doo doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo doo-doo-doo

♪ Doo doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo doo-doo-doo

♪ Doo doo-doo doo-doo

♪ Doo doo-doo-doo

♪ Doo doo-doo doo-doo

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you so much. Shelly Peiken.

Thank you. Thank you, band.

Thanks, Vic.

Thank you. Fun. That is such an iconic song.

It is just an anthem.

You didn't even know you were writing an anthem.

You were just writing your feelings.

Just writing to write. Don't ever have a plan.

And when it came on the radio you were thinking,

♪ I love the world today

♪ Ka-ching

♪ Da da-da-da

[ Laughter ]

It was a good year. Itwas a good year.

Oh, my God. You've had a lot of good years.

Wow, that's amazing. What a great song.

All right. This leads us to the last song.

This has been so much fun.

I knew it would be fun with

Shelly, Chely, Shelly, Chely, Shelly, Chely.

It was just too perfect. I had to do that.

And Chely, I'm going to let you take us home.

I requested a song that Chely did not write, actually,

but it is just synonymous with you.

It's your song.

Yeah, I mean, the thing about Nashville

is there's such a rich songwriting community.

And I knew that when I moved there in 1989,

I was 18 years old.

And got to hang out with Harlan Howard

and Hank Cochran and Bobby Braddock.

And these were staff songwriters.

They weren't artists themselves.

They were writing

for these great artists that would come to town.

So I pretty -- I knew early on that I was going to be an artist

that wrote some of my songs

but also kept my eyes and ears out for the great songs

that were being written on Music Row.

So what happens is artists really --

and A-and-R folks and label folks,

they're pitched songs by publishers and songwriters.

So we end up having, you know -- I'd get in off the road,

off of my bus, and I'd go to the label,

and there'd be a huge box of CDs that artists and publishers

had pitched to me for me to consider to put on my record.

So we had a whole team of people listening.

I took a box home, and it was about midnight

and I pulled a song out that

had been pitched by a publisher, EMI,

and I listened to it.

I looked at the songwriters,

and it's like Shaye Smith, Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

I had never heard of them.

They hadn't really had any hits at that time.

But I feel like I'd met Shaye,

and I was like, "Oh, that's cool."

So I knew it was a hit.

I called Tony Brown, the head of the label, the next day.

I said, "I'm coming in. I want to play you this song."

And we all agreed this was going to be the song

that we would cut, you know, for the first single.

So we recorded it,

and then that day I had the engineer make a rough,

basically a rough mix so I could take it with me,

which isn't always the case.

You leave after a long day of recording and you just go home.

But I was so excited about this recording,

I wanted to take --

I wanted to have it to listen to.

I was meeting a couple of friends

at Granite Falls for dinner,

and before we ate dinner, I said, "Come out to my car."

And I'd parked my car way out on the edge of the parking lot

on purpose, not close to the restaurant,

but strategically out in the middle of the parking lot,

because I was going to play it for my friends

and I wanted no distractions.

So they got in the car.

I made them silence their shoe phones.

Yes, it was the big shoe phone back then.

I made them silence their cellphones,

and they listened in earnest.

Because when you have good friends,

they understand that there's no talking

when you first listen to a brand-new song

or a new recording.

So they were being good friends and really listening.

And the car was just kind of thumping.

I had it turned up. [ Imitates bass line ]

And then I kind of opened my eyes a little bit,

and I look and I see a woman across the parking lot

and she's going like this, and she's jumping up and down.

And I'm like, "Oh, God,

please don't let her come over and bother this first listen

as my friends listen to this,"

what I believe is going to be, you know, my big hit.

And so I close my eyes,

just kind of trying to will this crazy person away.

And I was sure she was a big fan of mine or whatever, right?

So I close my eyes, and I open them again,

and she's getting closer, and I'm like, "Ah!

I'm gonna have to hit pause on this thing."

She comes up to my window yelling at me,

and I turned it off.

I was a little bit agitated, but I'm always kind of nice.

And I rolled down the window, and I said, "Hi.

And she said, "[ Panting ]

That's my song.

I'm Carolyn Dawn Johnson. I wrote that song."

[ Audience "awws" ]

That's cosmic.

Wow. I never heard that.

And I said, "Get in."

And she got in, and we listened together,

and we called Tony Brown and he said,

"I'll meet you at the restaurant."

And we had a beautiful dinner together.

And Tony said, "Chely Wright,

that's going to be your first hit number-one record."

And it was.

♪♪

So Martina and Carly and I were kind of hanging out

a little bit back backstage.

And, you know, I'm almost 50.

This song was a hit 21 years ago.

And they said, "Oh, my God!

We love 'Single White Female' so much.

We were so obsessed with that song..."

And then "...when we were eight,"

is what they said.

Which is exciting to me. It really is.

And I swear, I know that artistry

and songwriting and musicianship and loveliness

is in good hands with these two.

I wish you guys a lot of love.

I think you're going to be incredibly successful.

So great to be here with you tonight.

♪ I know that every morning

♪ You go thumbing through the personal want ads ♪

♪ You grab the latest copy, a cup of coffee ♪

♪ And settle in for a good laugh ♪

♪ I've been trying to get your eye, but I'm so shy ♪

♪ I'm hoping and praying that

♪ Today's edition is gonna catch your attention ♪

♪ That there's a single white female ♪

♪ Looking for that special lover ♪

♪ To put it in a nutshell

♪ A one-woman man who doesn't want no other ♪

♪ Oh, you never can tell

♪ She just might be your dream come true ♪

♪ A single white female

♪ Is looking for a man like you ♪

♪♪

♪ Yeah, I'm a little nervous

♪ I'm not sure if I should have put it in writing ♪

♪ It might have been a little reckless ♪

♪ A little desperate

♪ But I think I did the right thing ♪

♪ Couldn't go on living, keep it hidden ♪

♪ So I'm telling you everything ♪

♪ It's my confession

♪ I hope you get the message

♪ That there's a single white female ♪

♪ Looking for that special lover ♪

♪ To put it in a nutshell

♪ A one-woman man who doesn't want no other ♪

♪ Oh, you never can tell

♪ She just might be your dream come true ♪

♪ A single white female

♪ Is looking for a man like you ♪

♪ Oh, yeah

♪♪

♪♪

♪ It's my confession

♪ I hope you get the message

♪ That there's a single white female ♪

♪ Looking for that special lover ♪

♪ To put it in a nutshell

♪ A one-woman man who doesn't want no other ♪

♪ Oh, you never can tell

♪ She just might be your dream come true ♪

♪ A single white female

♪ Is looking for a girl like you ♪

Ah!

♪ Yeah, I'm looking for a girl like you ♪

♪ Uh-huh

♪ All right

♪ Hey, yeah

♪ Yeah, I'm looking for a man like you ♪

Here we go.

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Chris Biesterfeldt.

Chely Wright! Shelly Peiken!

Carly and Martina!

I love you, Ruby! I love you, Mom!

Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

I have talented friends. I'm very lucky.

Thank you so much.

Peiken: ♪ Yeah, you're ready, you're willing to give me more ♪

♪ Than what a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever makes me happy sets you free ♪

♪ And I'm thanking you for knowing exactly ♪

♪ What a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever keeps me in your arms ♪

♪ I'm thanking you for giving it to me ♪

♪ What a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ You're my airflow when I can't breathe, yeah ♪

♪ You're my hold on when I let go ♪

♪ You're my yes man, you never say no ♪

♪ No, you never say no, no, no

♪ You're what a girl wants, what a girl needs ♪

♪ Whatever makes me happy sets you free ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

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