Author Jake Brown is releasing his new book, BEHIND THE BOARDS: NASHVILLE, on July 21st with behind the scenes interviews from 30 of country music’s top producers. This marks Brown’s 50th book to date. One of the featured producers in the new project is Tony Brown, who started his career playing gospel music. In the book, Tony talks about the making of George Strait’s #1 hit song, “I Saw God Today.” Tony recently took a trip down memory lane with us to revisit the impact of “I Saw God Today” and his early career in southern gospel music.
Did you realize while recording “I Saw God Today” that this was a single you would be talking about over 12 years later?
No. I knew it was an important song for George, but having done 37 number one’s with him, I had my favorites. This wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but I knew it was an important song because it won “Single of the Year.”
What do you think resonated most about the single with fans and critics?
I think it spoke to what a parent feels when they have a baby. It shows how deep and important the moment a baby is born is, and it spoke to both moms and dads.
What impact did “I Saw God Today” have for you, personally?
Anytime you win a CMA award for “Single of the Year,” it’s a pretty big deal. The song itself resonated with me, but the thing about it that resonated the most was that it was “Single of the Year.”
You started out your career as a southern gospel musician. What prompted your transition to producing?
When I finally realized my limits as a musician. I still wanted to be in the creative part of the business, so I moved into producing because in a sense, you’re still in the creative area of being in the music business. People ask me all the time if I miss playing and I say ‘no’ because when you produce, you’re still creating but you’re living through the musicians you hire. I still feel as though I’m part of the band, even though I’m actually directing them on how to play.
[Tony Brown Photo Credit: Dead Horse Branding
Jake Brown Photo Credit: Jake Brown]