Songwriters who move to Nashville dream of having a story like Bridgette Tatum’s. She co-wrote a song that became number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The year was 2008. “She’s Country” got in the hands of Jason Aldean. While we were jamming to the song on the radio, Tatum’s life was changing before her eyes.
She was slinging T-shirts on the road when she caught the attention of songwriter Danny Myrick after performing “Whipping Post” and some of her originals with her iconic raspy vocals. She and Danny started writing together at Jeff Steele’s office. She was pitching idea after idea, shooting her shot, but they were all “blanks.” Until one day she was running errands with the windows down on Moores Lane, she felt a tune coming that made her bob her head and blurt out, “She’s a hot little number in her pick-up truck, daddy’s sweet money done jacked it up.” She pulled over into the Target and wrote out the lyrics on her phone. Danny immediately saw the song’s potential and started working on a hooky riff and finished out the lyrics with her.
They submitted the demo and Michael Knox, Jason Aldean’s producer, put it on hold. Bridgette says, “It was like waiting for a baby to be born because it was a nine month process before they said ‘yes, we’ve recorded it, it’s going to the CMAs, he’s going to perform it, it’s going to radio the next day, goes for downloads that night, and we’re shooting a video next week.’ Luckily, I was sitting down when he told me that.” Jason studied the lyrics for months and only sang the song a few times before it debuted at the CMAs. At the time, the phrasing Bridgette used was fresh and raw to country music. She recalls the night of the CMAs, waiting for her song to be heard nationwide, “I never wanted George Strait to shut up so bad in my life and I love George Strait, but I knew Jason was coming on right after him.” This hit ultimately influenced the sound of Jason Aldean and the genre of country music.
This recognition allowed her to go on to write songs for country favorites like Gretchen Wilson and Randy Houser. She recently wrote “Jealous of the Sky” with and for Ashley Cooke, who is currently touring with Cole Swindell. Catch Bridgette Tatum and Friends performing these songs monthly at Fozzy’s Spring Hill for their #1 songwriter series.
In the midst of various musical projects, Bridgette developed a mentoring service for aspiring songwriters so that they too could achieve success. Songwriting isn’t something you can master, but it’s important to study and hone your craft when you’re trying to stand out from the other extremely talented musicians piling into Nashville. She organizes a plan for them and helps them find their unique voice. Together they’ll create a collection of songs that fits the student’s personality and audience, and then she’ll produce the music.
Bridgette is becoming a leader in the music industry. Launching soon, she and her business partner and fellow songwriter T-Ray, established their own music publishing company, SoNash. Upcoming artist, Emma Zinck, is the first to sign, with more artists and songwriters coming soon. It’ll be exciting to hear what’s created there and see how they will impact the music scene.
That’s not all Bridgette is working on. Something huge is coming close to Downtown Nashville. A venue like Nashville’s never seen, and it’s all Bridgette’s concept. Expect an elevated restaurant lounge feel with live music and delicious fusion southern food. She says, “It’s going to connect the people of the Johnny Cash days to the people of today.”
It’s tough work building an empire. Bridgette’s able to find peace and prayer in her chaotic schedule at her Maury County meets Williamson County farm with her two horses, Jack and Buttermilk. She’s grateful to have been part of the Williamson County community for nearly 25 years.