When I first started as a staff writer for Kim Williams, Garth Brooks had already taken off. And, he had recorded several of Kim’s songs. They were flying high and selling MILLIONS of records, as in 10-20 million per album. Crazy numbers. But I was soon to find out that Kim was so much more than a frequent Garth Brooks Co-writer.
At that point, we had people calling our office weekly trying to write with Kim for Garth, or to get Kim to take an idea to Garth. Everyone in Nashville had “Garth Fever”.
Garth already had a circle of people that had believed in him before he had anything going on and he was loyal to those people.
He gave them a shot at a cut on every record. It was hard to break into that group. Many tried without success. The train had left the station and the early believers were riding in first class. Those who tried to catch the train when it was flying down the tracks didn’t have a chance.
One day, I asked Kim how his relationship started with Garth. He said that Garth’s manager, Bob Doyle, introduced them. Every label in town had passed on Garth. And, Garth was selling boots at a tourist shop down on lower Broadway where all of the honky tonks are. Kim told me that he and Garth would write at night after Garth got off at the boot shop since Garth had to work the day job to get by.
Is it any wonder why Garth remained loyal to Kim? Not every hit writer takes the time to do that with a struggling artist.
Kim had already had a lot of success before he met Garth. In fact, Kim beat Garth to 100 Million records. Kim had songs on 100 million records before Garth did! In songwriter language, Kim was “writing down” in a big way. A hit writer. now a co-writer of Garth Brooks, a nobody artist that every label had already said “no” to. But, he believed and he helped Garth become GARTH.
When I asked Kim why he wrote so much with Garth early on, he simply said “I thought he was great.”
He saw talent in Garth before many people did and he loved the determination and drive Garth had to succeed. Plus, they had a lot of fun together when they wrote. All of those things made Kim want to keep creating music with Garth.
Kim showed me the power of believing in someone and the power of treating people well whether or not they could help him. When he was writing with Garth, he didn’t know if he would ever make a penny from the songs that they wrote. Garth had nothing to offer Kim in the beginning. No record deal. No mega tour. No gold or platinum awards. But Kim invested heavily in him anyway because he believed in him.
So many people believe that succeeding means pushing everyone else out of the way and climbing upward on the wreckage left behind.
Kim was a believer in people and in bringing his friends with him as he rose in stature as a writer. That made Kim so much more than a Garth Brooks co-writer.
And if he believed in you, he gave all he had to make YOU successful. In the process, he succeeded himself. Isn’t that kind of success more appealing? When you succeed on the backs of others, you find yourself standing on top of the mountain, alone, and hated by many.
When you succeed hand in hand with people you believe in, you have loyal company at the top.
I’ve never had a #1 party for a song I wrote alone, but I would imagine that the party would have a much different feel than standing on the stage with people that wrote that hit with you! That’s a proud and joyful moment. Sharing success does not diminish it. It amplifies it!
I want to succeed by helping others instead of by trying to do it alone. How about you?
Write on! MD
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Author: Marty Dodson