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Luke Bryan, Peach Pickers Celebrate ‘I Don’t Want This Night to End’ in Nashville

Luke Bryan, Peach Pickers
Jason Merritt, Getty Images / Goldy Locks

Nashville’s Cabana restaurant was hopping Monday afternoon (March 6) as Luke Bryan and writing trio the Peach Pickers (Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson) celebrated their recent two-week stint at No. 1 with ‘I Don’t Want This Night to End.’ The chart-topping victory marked Bryan’s third trip to the top, while giving Davidson his 13th, Akins his ninth and Hayslip his eighth.

Like Bryan and the Peach Pickers all hail from the state of Georgia and have a long history with one another. Hayslip and Akins’ friendship goes back to when the two were only 13-years-old, while Bryan and Davidson were college buddies. It was Bryan’s encouragement that led Davidson to leave the Peach State and move to Nashville to pursue life as a songwriter.

While Davidson and Bryan have shared success in the past with the singer’s ‘Country Girl (Shake It for Me),’ this was the first radio hit the foursome have knocked out — and it certainly won’t be the last, based on the chemistry the team has when creating a hit song.

“When you take three guys who literally grew up an hour and twenty minutes from one another, a lot of times we know what the other is thinking,” Bryan tells Taste of Country. “We were joking because where I grew up, it was around peanuts, so when I’m in the room with them they’re going to be the Peanut Pickers. We’re enjoying it. We enjoyed writing it, and it’s just an amazing thing to watch night in and night out onstage, people going crazy.”

And that’s exactly the vibe the writers had intended when writing the song. “My publisher Rusty Gaston called me one day, and said, ‘Man, you and Dallas and Rhett need to write a song — either about or have it in the title — about get your hands up,’” recalls Hayslip. “He said all these pop songs and rap songs are doing that these days, and everyone who does it is going No. 1. It’s just a celebration of a good time.”

“The next time we got together to write, it just so happened that Luke was writing with us that day,” continues Hayslip. “I told Luke what Rusty had said. I had this other idea in my notebook of ‘I Don’t Want This Night to End.’ It had been sitting there for about two years. Every day I would look at it, and it didn’t mean anything. I don’t even think that song is about that idea … it’s about the feel of that song. It doesn’t matter what the title was at the end. When you hear ‘got your hands up’ in that song, you feel like you’re hearing a hit song and you want to do that. That song was all about get your hands up and have a good time.”

“It was a good song without that line, but I don’t know if you felt involved with the song,” adds Akins. “When he says, ‘you got your hands up,’  you can’t help but do that, even if you’re in the kitchen by yourself. You could be washing dishes [laughs]! It forces you to be involved in the story of that song.”

Following interviews with the media, Bryan and the Peach Pickers took the stage at Cabana, where they were awarded with plaques, trophies and even foam fingers — made specifically for the chart-topping success of ‘I Don’t Want This Night to End’ — done up with the Georgia Bulldog colors, red and black. Bryan was also presented with a one-of-a-kind fishing pole from the Peach Pickers donning his name, and again, the colors of their Georgia football team.

“This is especially cool today,” Davidson said after the trophies and plaques were handed out. “With Luke and I both being from the same area — Albany and Leesburg, which are right beside each other — and being friends since I was about 19, and [Rhett and Ben] being friends since they were 13. You’ve got a pair of Valdosta, Ga. boys and a pair of Albany/Leesburg boys on the same song … I thought it was cool when me and Luke got one, but this is even cooler. I want to mention how crazy this business is, but it has treated us so well.”

Other Peach Picker songs currently climbing the charts include Tyler Farr’s ‘Hot Mess’ and Craig Morgan‘s ‘This Ole Boy,’ as well as the title cut of Bryan’s ‘Suntan City’ EP that hit stores this week. Davidson also has Montgomery Gentry‘s ‘Where I Come From’ and Ronnie Dunn‘s ‘Let the Cowboy Rock,’ while Hayslip has the next single from both Bucky Covington and Glen Templeton.

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