On episode #205 of his podcast the BobbyCast, Bobby Bones chatted with hit country songwriter, Rodney Clawson, who has written countless songs for artists such as Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton and many more. Bones and Clawson chatted about some of those songs, but first, they dove into his background.
Although he is a well-known country hitmaker now, Clawson revealed that he didn’t write his first song until he was about 28 years old. At the time, he was working on his family farm in Gruver, Texas, and he wrote that first song at the urging of a friend who had moved to Nashville to become a songwriter.
“She randomly called me one night and said, ‘Hey, you’re a songwriter and you don’t know it,’” Clawson says.
She then invited him to write a song and send it to her, and he says it took him about a year to do so. From there, he started getting song ideas while working on his tractor, and eventually secured a publishing deal while still living in Texas.
Another friend that influenced Clawson’s career was John Rich, who originally knew Clawson as his middle school basketball coach.
“He was 12, and I was 20,” Clawson says. “I went to West Texas A&M. I would go to class and then I would go coach at this Christian school. I coached John for three years.”
Eventually, Rich moved to Nashville to start his music career, but he kept in touch with his Junior High basketball coach, always giving him updates on the rise of his career. Clawson then made his first trip to Nashville when Rich invited him to come watch himself and his band Lonestar record one of their first albums.
Since those days of writing songs on his tractor in Texas, Clawson has written many influential No. 1 songs. He says he feels an especially strong connection to the hits he has written for Jason Aldean, which include “Why,” “Take A Little Ride,” and “Burnin’ It Down.”
“He wants to cut those kind of rock-tinged, redneck, driving down a backroad, out in the country, tougher songs,” Clawson says of Aldean.
“This was one of those unicorn songs that you don’t see coming, and you’ve never written a song like that, and no matter how hard you try afterwards, you can’t write another one,” he says. “When we finished that song, we were like, ‘Holy crap. We need to be very strategic about who we send it to first.’”
To hear more from the interview, including Clawson talking about a Nickelback song he wrote, his wife and fellow songwriter Nicolle Galyon, and projects he’s currently working on, tune into episode #205 of the BobbyCast.