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ole Rides Taylor Swift/Liz Rose ‘White Horse’ to First Grammy Win


TORONTO – ole, one of the world’s fastest growing independent music publishers, is celebrating its first Grammy win as the Taylor Swift song “White Horse,” a co-write of Swift and Nashville-based, 2007 SESAC Songwriter of the Year, Liz Rose, was named Best Country Song at tonight’s 52nd annual awards ceremony held at the Staples Centre in Los […]

TORONTO - ole, one of the world's fastest growing independent music publishers, is celebrating its first Grammy win as the Taylor Swift song "White Horse," a co-write of Swift and Nashville-based, 2007 SESAC Songwriter of the Year, Liz Rose, was named Best Country Song at tonight's 52nd annual awards ceremony held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and televised by CBS.

"White Horse," one of three ole-published songs from the Liz Rose catalogue heard on Swift's quintuple platinum, Grammy Album of the Year Fearless along with the title track and "Tell Me Why," was also cited as part of Swift's Grammy win for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. 

Swift, named this month by Nielsen SoundScan as the top-selling digital artist in music history with sales of over 24.3 million digital tracks, picked up a total of four Grammys including Best Country Song ("White Horse"), Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("White Horse"), Best Country Album (Fearless) and the coveted Album of the Year (Fearless). 

It was a night for writer Liz Rose to bask in the reflected glow of Swift's "fairy tale" night. In accepting the Best Country Song Grammy and thanking Taylor Swift, Liz Rose recalled a curly-haired 14-year-old, who six years ago walked up to her and said: "Do you think you would write with me sometime?" "Thankfully, I said, 'Yes!'" Rose quipped. 

Swift noted that Rose had started writing songs with her when she had absolutely no reason to do so. "I didn't have a record label... I didn't have anything to offer her, but I'm so glad that she wrote songs with me anyway." 

"Liz Rose is a classic example of a great co-writer," says Michael McCarty, President of ole.  "She gracefully and humbly helps other people shine without seeking the spotlight herself, but deserves her moment in it." 

ole's relationship with Liz Rose began in the fall of 2008 when the company purchased the Jody Williams Music catalogue, which includes seven Taylor Swift/Liz Rose co-writes that appeared on Swift's self-titled, multi-platinum, debut album including "Tim McGraw," "Teardrops On My Guitar," Picture To Burn," "Tied Together With a Smile," "Stay Beautiful," "Cold As You" and "Mary's Song." To this point, 13 ole-published tracks have appeared on Swift's four albums including the two additional tracks, "Come In With the Rain" and "SuperStar," on the re-released Fearless: Platinum Edition set and the cut "Christmases When You Were Mine" on The Taylor Swift Holiday Collectionalbum. 

"I can't think of better people to have that catalogue in the hands of; they're taking good care of it," says Liz Rose, echoing the sentiments of Jody Williams, who expressed his desire at the time of putting his company up for sale to have it end up in the hands of a publisher who was looking for a stronger foothold in Nashville and as hungry to get songs recorded as he was. "With all the success of the catalogue after they bought it, they could have just gone on their merry way but they have always included me in everything. They have also celebrated my successes with me even when I was writing in another company. Most publishers just wouldn't do that." 

Rose notes that the song "White Horse" was initially intended for Swift's third album until it was featured during the two-hour premiere episode of the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy on Sept. 25, 2008. Swift told Billboard, which named her Artist of the Year in 2009, that as a long-time fan of the show, she actually cried when she got the phone call that they were going to use the song of which she was so proud because of its sparseness - guitar, piano and cello - and it's poignant message. "It talks about falling in love and the fairy tales that you are going to have with this person, and then there is that moment where you realize that it is not going to happen," she related. "That moment is the most earth-shattering moment." 

It's extraordinary that the song got written at all given the circumstances during which it was created on a chaotic afternoon in a Nashville studio where Swift was in doing a vocal fix on her first album. "We were in the lounge part of the studio with merchandise people coming in and out so she could look at T-shirt designs," recalls the song's co-writer, Liz Rose. "She told me she wanted to write this song about a white horse - I think some boy had upset her. It actually only took about an hour and a half but about every 15 minutes somebody would come in the room with some urgent business and interrupt us. It was fun though. 

"She was on the George Strait tour at the time and she was so excited... and this is so like Taylor. Here she was on her first major tour, her first or second single was out and when most artists would be basking in that, all she could think about was writing another song; as big a star as she is, she will always be a songwriter first. It's very important to her to express her feelings. She's having to write a lot by herself because she's on the road - and she can certainly write by herself - but we'll always have our co-writing connection; we're co-writing soul sisters. We'll always have that." 

The Grammy win is certainly a fine way to start the year and the new decade for ole which over the last few months has found itself on the receiving end of a growing number of prestigious honors including a SESAC award for "White Horse" and a pair of BMI awards for the Taylor Swift/Liz Rose co-write "Picture To Burn" and "Trying To Stop Your Leaving" by Brett Beavers and James Beavers from the Dierks Bentley 2008 album, Long Trip Alone.

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