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Loyola University New Orleans professor's song released by Jason Aldean

Loyola press release - September 9, 2016

Songwriter Jim McCormick writes closing song to AMC Entertainer of the Year’s new album released today; teaches Loyola students the business and craft of songwriting.

Nashville songwriter, New Orleans native and Loyola University New Orleans associate professor of Music Industry Studies Jim McCormick adds another credit to his catalogue of major label recordings with a new song released by ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean. Co-written with Nashville songwriters Jaron Boyer and Josh Mirenda, the song, “When the Lights Go Out,” is the closing song on Aldean’s seventh studio album, “They Don’t Know,” released today, Friday, Sept. 9, by Broken Bow Records. Aldean is one of the biggest artists in country music, with top record sales in the country genre.

Nashville songwriters contributing to the album include band members Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy, who are also co-founders of New Voice Entertainment; Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, Keith Urban’s longtime guitarist Jerry Flowers, and other leading Music Row songwriters including Rodney Clawson, Dallas Davidson, Wendell Mobley, Tony Martin, Michael Dulaney and Jason Sever, among others. Creation of the album was led by producer Michael Knox, who has produced all seven of Aldean’s albums.

“Creating a successful album is a long process involving many hands and much thought, work and deliberation,” McCormick said. “And it’s an enormous honor – not to mention a thrill - to have a song cut by one of the nation’s leading country artists and be credited among so much talent. Being a part of Jason’s albumsis always especially exciting because of the energy and unique sound he brings to all of his work.”

For the last five years, McCormick has taught undergraduate courses on the craft and business of songwriting at Loyola University New Orleans. The course examines the business of songwriting and incorporates a creative writing workshop, in which students write and perform one song each week and receive feedback from their peers and from McCormick.

“We work together in a very intimate setting, working through themes, lyrics, melodies and ideas, much the same way I do in my work as a professional songwriter,” McCormick said. “The course always attracts a very bright group of students who over the semester form a bond with each other as co-writers and critics, the result of which is a very nurturing environment for aspiring songwriters.”

The rapidly growing Music Industry Studies program at Loyola is the most popular on campus and has a 93 percent student retention rate, said department chair, John Snyder, who aims to create an environment where students learn to be successful in creative professions. Snyder is a musician and independent producer who holds a degree in entertainment law and serves as the Conrad N. Hilton Eminent Scholar in Music Industry Studies and director of the Center for Arts and Music Entrepreneurship at Loyola. Of the 350 new recordings that Snyder has produced, 32 have been nominated for Grammys and five have won.

McCormick, a New Orleans native and resident who graduated in 1986 from Jesuit High School in New Orleans and received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in 1990, is a staff songwriter at BMG Chrysalis Music Group in Nashville, Tenn. Top-line country music stars regularly seek him out as a collaborator, due to his lyric-writing abilities and the high volume of successful work that he has produced.

McCormick has written top hits performed by Harry Connick Jr., Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, Keith Urban, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Trisha Yearwood, Randy Travis, Ronnie Milsap, Rodney Atkins, Jamey Johnson, Anders Osborne, Amanda Shaw and many others. He writes more than 150 songs per year, working from a notebook of thoughts, titles and ideas extending more than 600 pages, and cuts major publishing deals for his songs about six or seven times a year.

His song, “(I Do) Like We Do,” was the first single released by Connick from his 2015 album, “That Would Be Me,” released worldwide by Columbia Records. Connick, who debuts his new television entertainment show “Harry” on Sept. 12, served as keynote speaker at Loyola’s 2016 Commencement, where he received an honorary doctorate in music from Loyola’s acclaimed School of Music in the College of Music and Fine Arts.

In 2012, “Take a Little Ride,” written by McCormick, Dylan Altman, Rodney Clawson and recorded by Aldean, was named the No. 1 country song in America and appeared on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, where it spent 3 weeks in the top position. The same year, his song “You don’t Know Her Like I Do” co-written with Brantley Gilbert topped country music charts and was the second most-played song of 2012 on country radio, according to Billboard. Twice in six months, McCormick saw two of his songs top the country charts.

And more good news lies ahead. Several weeks from now, McCormick will see his song “I Do All My Dreaming There,” co-written with Craig Wiseman, appear as the leadoff track on country music artist Luke Bryan’s forthcoming album, Here’s to the Farmer.

McCormick, a poet, singer, songwriter and producer who has released three albums of his own, serves as Vice President of the board of governors for the Recording Academy, the Grammy organization, a U.S. organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. He is a graduate of Leadership Music’s class of 2013 and is a former board member of Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts is proud to have him as a member of its faculty.