How The Band Perry’s ‘If I Die Young’ Almost Never Happened

Check out this video experpt from Jake Brown's new book, 'Behind the Boards: Nashville.'

How The Band Perry’s ‘If I Die Young’ Almost Never Happened
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Musicians Neil Perry, Kimberly Perry, and Reid Perry of The Perry Band pose for a portrait during the 2010 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/AMA2010/Getty Images for DCP)

A new book by music biographer Jake Brown takes fans into the recording studio to tell rarely-heard stories of their favorite hits, and today (May 26), Sounds Like Nashville is premiering the inside tale of The Band Perry’s breakout smash, “If I Die Young.”

Collecting thoughts from 30 of Nashville’s top producers like Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Michael Knox, Joey Moi, Buddy Cannon and more, Behind the Boards: Nashville arrives June 23 (with an audio book version coming June 20). In it country fans can discover the secrets of over 300 hits by names like Taylor Swift, George Strait, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and others — and it turns out that without the input of producer Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum), “If I Die Young” may never have happened.

In this video Worley explains how the sibling trio got their start as a pseudo-punk band, and how with his seasoned advice, they would soon top the country charts. But like any good story nothing was written in stone, and things could have been much, much different for The Band Perry. “I looked at [Kimberly’s] mom and dad and said ‘That’s an important song, that song needs to be recorded, and if you want to be a country act, you need to throw everything else you’ve got away,'” Worley explains in the clip. “They did not take that advice at first.”

That’s just one of the many stories included in Behind the Boards: Nashville, which the author describes as a 600 page literary journey which was two-years in the making. There’s much more to discover, all based around giving fans “the stories behind the studio creation of their favorite hits by their favorite stars, how those stars worked behind-the-scenes in the studio, and most importantly, the personal stories behind how each of these multi-platinum producers first found their way to Nashville, onto Music Row and into the recording business.” Behind the Boards: Nashville is Brown’s 50th published book, and joins projects like Nashville Songwriter: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits, Kanye West in the Studio: Beats Down! Money Up! and more.