Party Like a Rockstar

The Crazy, Coincidental, Hard-Luck, and Harmonious Life of a Songwriter


By J.T. Harding

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This fun and fast-paced rock-and-roll memoir from hit singer-songwriter J.T. Harding shows what it takes to go from South Detroit to the top of the Nashville charts.

In PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR, J.T. Harding charts his life from a kid growing up in Michigan to a chart-topping songwriter living in Nashville and working with country music stars like Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney. As a kid playing rock n' roll in his parents' garage, Harding's was a world in which every taste of new music—from KISS to Prince and everyone in between—was a revelation. Inspired by his favorite artists, Harding abandons the classic "American Dream" and runs away to Los Angeles, where he forms a band and becomes part of the music scene there, all the while selling records to his favorite artists and producers at Tower Records.

A story of youth, rebellion, and determination, PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR is a memoir for music lovers and an invaluable how-to guide for anyone who wants to learn how to write a hit song. Fun and heartfelt, Harding's memoir is the story of one man's unshakable love for rock and roll, how it guided him through some of the greatest tragedies—and greatest triumphs—of his wild and unvarnished life.



An American and an Australian Walk Into a Men’s Room

The first country hit I ever had was a song Kenny Chesney released called “Somewhere With You.”

As the song was climbing the chart, one day my friends started calling me, saying, “Dude, Keith Urban is talking about your Kenny Chesney song! He’s telling his fans to buy it.”

Keith had made an iTunes playlist of songs he recommended to his millions of fans. I had never met Keith Urban. He had no idea who wrote the song, but apparently he liked it. And with me being a huge Keith fan, you can imagine what a great feeling that was.

Keith’s song “’Til Summer Comes Around” was one of the reasons I wanted to write in Nashville. The imagery was like a three-minute movie and his melodies were simple yet infectious.

“Somewhere With You” went to number one on the Billboard chart and stayed there for three weeks. Even though he was already a superstar, it was Chesney’s first song to sell a million copies. A few months later, I was given an award for the song at a black-tie event in Nashville. Washing my hands in the men’s room, I looked up in the mirror and, at one of the urinals behind me, I saw Keith Urban taking a leak. So I waited for him.

As he stepped up to a sink and waved his hand under a faucet I said, “Hey, Mr. Urban. My name is J.T. I wrote ‘Somewhere With You’ and I wanted to thank you for telling your fans to buy it. You really helped us have a hit.”

Keith’s eyes widened and in his Australian accent that could melt butter he said, “Shit, mate, what a song! If I’d have heard that song first I would’ve put it on my next album.”

“Whoa,” I said in disbelief. He continued washing his hands. “In fact, if I’d have heard that song before anyone else, I’d have put it on my next five albums.” I said, “That is so crazy—because I sent that song to your record company, to your publisher, and to Erika at the Bluebird Cafe, who I think knows you?”

Keith laughed, saying as we walked to the door, “Do you have your phone on you? My wife loves that song.” With the speed of Luke Skywalker arming his light saber when Darth Vader appeared, I handed Keith my phone. Surely I was about to meet Nicole Kidman right there by the hand dryer.

Keith punched his number into my phone, saying, “Next time you have a song that you love, don’t do anything with it, just call me right away.” We gave each other a bro hug and went back to our candlelit tables as the awards continued.

At seven o’clock the next morning, I texted him: Hi Keith, it’s the guy from the bathroom.

I felt myself turn into the “slapping your own face” emoji. He never texted back.

Then one day, as Forrest Gump says, “out of the blue clear sky,” Keith’s name lit up my phone.

Keith and I got together and wrote a song called “Somewhere In My Car.” It was a two-week number one in the USA and number one for several weeks in Canada.

By the time it was released it was my fourth number one hit. This book tells the stories behind those songs and hits I’ve continued to have. It takes you down the many paths I have traveled, from Toys “R” Us Big Wheels to rock star tour bus wheels around the world and back.

Along the way you will meet the characters that have made up the memoir of my life so far and see how an unbridled passion for music led me to become a hit songwriter.

This is a story about a kid from Michigan who loves ’80s hard rock and dreams of being on the radio. With no music business connections whatsoever, he winds up in Nashville, Tennessee, writing giant country hits. If this was a movie, it would seem too good to be true, but it is true.

This is my story. It all began when I was brought into this world by a young couple. A man and a woman who loved me so much they decided to give me away.


Born and Raised in South Detroit

Just like in the iconic Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’,” I too was born and raised in South Detroit, and I like to think the universe did a mic drop when I appeared. More specifically, I was raised in Detroit, but I was born in Tennessee and lived there for my first years before we moved to Detroit’s east side. There’s no such thing as South Detroit. South Detroit is actually Canada.

I grew up thinking I was an orphan. However, I was born and adopted shortly thereafter. I would later find out that my biological father was a young DJ playing records on the overnight shift at a rock station. He’d met my biological mother over the request line—she and a few girlfriends attending a local college would call up and request songs while they were up late and dance around their dorm.

Since it was late at night and no one else was calling, my biological father began to recognize the voice of one girl who called regularly. She had a nice laugh and seemed fun. He would play songs she requested, dedicate them to her with some funny one-liners, and they eventually fell for each other over the air.

They started dating, and she became pregnant with me. Having an almost-cosmic Hollywood-style meet-cute like that, I’m surprised I didn’t wind up a superstar on Elvis Presley’s level. Either that or a college counselor handing out free condoms paid for by local radio stations.

My biological father, I later learned, had had big dreams of his own: A lifelong restlessness in him to be in entertainment. My biological mother thought they were going to get married, but he knew it was not to be.

“We have to give him up for adoption so he can be cared for properly,” he said as calmly and as caringly as possible. My biological mother cried and worried what would happen to me. He told her, “He’ll be fine. He’ll be determined, like me. He’ll figure it out.”

So while Jon Terrell was in Tennessee, his heart and head were in New York City. My biological parents lived together that early 1970s summer before I was born, through football season, past Christmas and into the New Year, until one fateful night in March.

Hitting the back of his head repeatedly against a hospital wall, he closed his eyes in panic as he heard my biological mother screaming like a devil in church, “Look what you’ve done to me, look what you’ve done to me!” Nurses took me from her as I took my first breath. That’s how it was done. No kisses or congratulations, no matching hospital bracelets with all our names on them.

That same night, Jon Terrell started driving his beat-up Volvo in the pouring rain straight to New York City. He had managed to land a nighttime radio job there so he could pursue an acting career by day.

One of his windshield wipers was broken. As the working wiper slapped against the window, he could barely see the road through the downpour coming not only from the rain but from the tears in his eyes.

As his headlights cut a path over the Tennessee state line into Kentucky, the car radio played “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel. Salt from his tears mixing with sips of truck stop coffee on the thirteen-hour drive, he repeated out loud the new name the radio station had given him: “It’s midnight in the Big Apple. This is the Scorpion. Call me on the request line.”

The sunrise was reflecting off the Empire State Building like a scoop of orange sherbet as he pulled into Manhattan. A few years later, on a Thanksgiving weekend he saw moms and dads out Christmas shopping. As they spun, smiling, through revolving doors at FAO Schwarz toy store, Jon Terrell felt overwhelmed with sadness wondering about me. He was certain God would curse him for giving up a child.

Drop-Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goalpost of Life

An announcer yelling “Touchdown Lions!” blasted from the football game on a cardboard-box-sized wood-frame RCA TV in the den. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream was served while cranberry-sauce-stained dinner dishes clattered as they were being taken away. Grown men ate a few more pieces of turkey from a serving plate in the kitchen even though they were stuffed. Children sat at a blue plastic table in blue chairs that only reached their parents’ knees. They sat quiet and obedient, then licked their lips, smiling as a piece of pie was placed in front of each child. One chair, however, was empty—mine.

“We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine…” Singing as loud as a trumpet, off-key but full of confidence, my three-year-old rock-star self was belting out my favorite song.

I stood on a grown-up chair waving my arms like an orchestra conductor I’d seen in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, until my parents, their parents and friends, and all the kids were singing along. A room away, the refrigerator was covered in bright colored Fisher-Price magnets shaped like letters from the alphabet. The plastic letters held up pictures of my brothers and me next to a piece of construction paper showing dripping green and yellow flowers in bloom made by my tiny hands and feet, which had been dipped in paint.

I sang even louder when my grandmother swatted at me like she was swatting a fly, telling me to get down, as I was sure to fall and hurt myself. I sang the song over and over until my dad picked me up from the chair and gave me a playful dinosaur roar that sent me running back to the other kids.

It was the first of many performances to come.

My name, the only name I’ve ever known or ever wanted, is John Thomas Harding. I was named John after the man who raised my Grandpa Thomas. My parents called me Skipper for years until I started grade school and in an early moment of marketing I changed it to J.T. John and/or Thomas seemed too plain. “Besides, it’s easier to spell in the snow,” I said as I tap-danced, pumping my eyebrows up and down like a comedian I’d seen on The Gong Show.

I’m not overly religious but I truly feel like I was taken by the hand of God and given to the greatest parents ever.

Their names are Larry and Kendra Harding, and I wouldn’t trade them for anyone in the world. They never met my biological parents or had any knowledge of who they were. My mom used to complain that my dad, Larry, would carry me under his arm like a football. I don’t remember that, but my dad seemed as tall as the Jolly Green Giant, so tall he literally had to duck through doorways to get into most rooms.

He caught a touchdown in the Rose Bowl for what I thought for years was the only college on the planet: Michigan State University. No other schools were allowed to be mentioned in our home. He met my mom at Michigan State. “Another damn stuffed animal” was what she angrily said when a dishwasher-sized box wrapped in a green bow arrived for her a few years into dating him. Inside the giant box was another, and she opened that to find another box. Five shrinking boxes later, she came to a minuscule velvet carton that contained an engagement ring.

He wasn’t only a professional romantic, he played professional football with the Los Angeles Rams for a hot second until a knee injury changed those plans. Larry Harding lived and breathed sports.

As a child, at night I’d wake up in the dark and run to my parents’ bedroom. Stepping on their bed’s box spring like a ladder, I’d climb up on their mattress, then curl up in a ball, pressing my head against the back of my dad’s warm T-shirt with a smile, and drift to sleep. I’ve never felt safer in the presence of a human being than I felt all my life with my dad.

My mom, Kendra, deserves to have her picture in every dictionary next to the word beautiful—a true living angel. She was caring and fun. My earliest memory of her is baking a cake and decorating it with red licorice for fire hoses and Oreos for fire truck tires. She brought me with her to deliver the cake to the firefighters at a new fire station near our house. Giving personalized gifts to my friends is one of my favorite things to do, and I got that from my mom. From the first second she held me in her arms, she told me there was no doubt in her heart I was hers, no matter how I got there.

There’s no one else I’d ever want to be looking over me when I was home sick with a cold, going through a breakup, or especially when I went back-to-school clothes shopping. She would drive me to the farthest mall to find a Merry Go Round clothing store I had heard sold checkerboard tennis shoes or neon-colored shirts with zippers on the sleeves.

Once I got into music and wanted to dress the part, she did her best to help. Before the days of Instagram, school was the place to show off my outfit, and I made a habit of walking to the pencil sharpener. For as long as I can remember, I always liked to stand out in a crowd. I tried to be normal once—it was the worst two minutes of my life.

“If the barber doesn’t get it I’ll take you to the beauty school to get your hair cut wild. They love to experiment,” my mom said, pulling the electric cigarette lighter out from under the car radio and lighting a Virginia Slims, while my brothers and I bit into McDonald’s salty chicken nuggets as we drove in her station wagon. From grade school all the way through high school and beyond, my parents always made me feel understood. Growing my hair long and bleaching it? No problem. Using so much hair spray sometimes you could taste it on the sloppy joes that had been bubbling on the stove? No problem—just shut the bathroom door next time.

Covering every inch of my bedroom walls with posters of rock stars (mostly men in makeup, and one of David Lee Roth in leather pants, without a shirt on, chained to a fence), sure—“It’s your room,” they’d say, “but use tape. Staples crack the walls.”

As understanding as my parents were, every teenager pushes the envelope now and then. Sneaking out at one a.m. to try to meet Van Halen at a hotel in downtown Detroit was too far. I tightened a blanket around some pillows in my bed to look like I was in it, sleeping, and I think my never-worn penny loafer dress shoes I used as fake feet were sticking out of the blanket. My dad realized I wasn’t in my bed and I got grounded for that. They never stayed mad for long. At least I wasn’t chaining myself to a fence without a shirt on.

My brother Lee was adopted a few years before me. He seemed much older even though he was only a few years my senior. Lee was great at sports and with animals. Always in a baseball hat over his honey-blond hair, he could destroy any opponent’s pride with his pitching and just as easily nurse an injured bird back to health. He had a hamster cage with a maze of yellow tubes that twisted like a dozen Slinkys set up in his room that he cleaned without being told.

My younger brother, Lance, was born nine months after me. My mom was told by doctors she couldn’t get pregnant, but the moment I arrived she was unexpectedly expecting.

Lance is the spitting image of our dad. We shared a bedroom growing up, and to this day he’s my best friend. He was huge too, even as a kid—Lance also carried me around like a football.

Music was always close at hand. While my brothers devoted themselves to athletics, wearing their baseball gloves like championship rings, my prized possession was a red Donny and Marie record player that folded up into a Cheerios box–sized suitcase with a white handle. I would carry it around, plug it in, and let it spin a 45 record of “Disco Duck,” “Silly Love Songs” by Paul McCartney, and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” my go-to favorites. Saying “cheers” when my brothers and I clicked our pieces of pizza together at dinner, putting a Band-Aid on the back of my hand to pretend I was wearing a watch, and Thanksgiving table concerts at age three weren’t my only early claims to fame…

After splashing around in a bath full of Mr. Bubble one Sunday before bedtime, my brothers and I somehow managed to escape from the house completely naked. We ran outside, streaking around the front yard doing bare-naked somersaults, gyrating and yelling, “Helicopter!” at mortified families in passing cars, then we climbed a neighbor’s tree.

She was completely freaked out, enough to call the cops on a few children. Our bare-assed adventure caused such a furor the story made it into the local newspaper. So the first time I got press was for swinging upside down from a tree branch, naked.

Pyros “R” Us

The sounds of Mr. Coffee coffee gurgling into mugs, women gossiping, and Bob Barker yelling “Come on down!” from a yellow astronaut-helmet-shaped TV filled our kitchen as the screen door slapped shut behind me. Bouncing past my mom and her friends sitting at our kitchen table, I climbed up on the counter to reach the strawberry Nesquik I loved to mix into my milk.

My mom put her hands under my arms to help me get down, when suddenly she looked at me, shocked. Pressing her nose to my hair, she said, “Why do you smell like smoke?” I hadn’t done anything wrong so I told her the truth. “Fisher barbecued his Big Wheel,” I replied, then gulped down my sugary milk with a satisfied sigh.

Fisher was the neighborhood kid with greasy hair and a lopsided smile like a see-saw that no one was playing on. When we played army, most kids brought sticks or squirt guns. Fisher brought a box of his older sisters’ tampons. He would pull the string, dip the cotton in RC Cola, and then throw it while yelling “Grenade!”

Fisher would wake up early on Christmas morning and open all of his family’s presents while they were still asleep. Not just his presents—everyone’s.

That morning, he’d poured his dad’s lawn-mower gasoline all over his Big Wheel, then lit a Blue Tip match, the kind you could strike against any surface. He loved sparking them to life on the zipper of his cutoff jeans. (He had showed me that trick a dozen times, but usually blew the match out immediately.)

Today, after yelling “Don’t touch that dial!” he purposely dropped the match on the gasoline-drenched Big Wheel, and we watched flames engulf it like Cookie Monster devouring a cookie. A black smoke tornado rose over it as the red, yellow, and blue plastic melted into a swirl of colors like Superman ice cream.

A cluster of young neighbors, barefoot, in shorts and striped shirts, stood around openmouthed like the cast of a hillbilly A Christmas Story. A Big Wheel was a big deal. It was our main mode of transportation at the time. “Y’all, a Big Wheel costs a thousand dollars, I seen one at Toys ‘R’ Us,” a young girl said, between nibbles on a candy necklace that stained her neck pink. Fisher disappeared into a tree house as his mom was hosing it off, dressed in a bathrobe and slippers, her cheeks sucking in like a fish as she took a drag from a Kool cigarette, and I walked across their lawn back to my house.

As my mom pulled my smoky Popeye shirt over my head to throw it in the laundry basket, her friends around the table all laughed and echoed in their Southern accents, “‘He bar-be-cued his Big Wheel!’”

It’s the first time I remember making a roomful of people laugh. It felt good, so I sang it over and over. “He bar-be-cued his Big Wheel he bar-be-cued his Big Wheel,” smiling and waving my arms around like Grover from Sesame Street.

I liked the alliteration of that “B” sound even more. Barbecue and Big Wheel—it’s something my ears still latch onto. Think of “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna, and my own song “Smile”—“you make me smile like the sun.”

I don’t know what happened to Fisher. I haven’t ever seen him on Facebook. Are people allowed to use Facebook in prison? In my fresh shirt and a strawberry mustache, I ran back outside as the Price Is Right theme drifted through the screen door.

Wide-Awake and Dreaming

We left our ranch-style house in Nashville, with its sweet smell of honeysuckle bushes in the yard, for a three-story brick house in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with a seemingly funhouse-sized basement and skyscraper-tall Dutch elm trees in the yard with leaves that changed color in the fall as if Mother Nature had sprinkled Fruity Pebbles cereal on them. In winter, there was more snow outside than in the Rudolph the Red-Rosed Reindeer animated Christmas special we watched on TV. When the movers unloaded us in Michigan, the ’70s were in full swing. Star Wars was dominating the movie theaters, and posters of Farrah Fawcett in her swimsuit smiled at virgin teenagers from bedroom walls. Reporters standing under spinning mirror balls described the disco music craze on the nightly news as the Bee Gees ah, ha, ha, ha-ed “Stayin’ Alive,” and John Lennon was still alive.

Like James Bond delicately deactivating a bomb, my new best friend, Marty Westervelt, slowly slid his library card behind the channel dial on a digital alarm clock–sized black box sitting on top of his TV set. Most TVs had channels 2 to 13; you clicked through them, turning the clunky dial by hand, and some channels were nothing but electric snow, but his father had ON TV, the first-ever cable box that showed dirty movies on Saturday nights. My friends and I had lots of weekend sleepovers. Marty’s birthday sleepover had been specifically planned to be on a Saturday night so we could hack into ON TV.

After his parents had fallen asleep, six other kids and I excitedly sat like kittens about to pounce, staring at the blurry green-and-blue scrambled images on the TV that flashed to a full picture once every few minutes for a second. “I saw a nipple!” somebody screamed. “Shut up!” Marty scolded in a whisper. “Don’t wake up my parents.”

It was no use—the cable box was too tough to hack—but we had other things of great importance to discuss as we dug into a tinfoiled exploded Jiffy Pop pan. Mind-boggling questions such as: How can the Professor on Gilligan’s Island make a radio out of two coconuts but he can’t fix a hole in the boat? Why is the kid talking to the wise old owl in the Tootsie Pop commercial not wearing any clothes? We traded survival tips for one of life’s most treacherous dangers certainly awaiting us all someday: falling into quicksand.

The latest news we’d heard from the older kids in town was shared between sips from Faygo soda cans wrapped in tinfoil to keep them cold, things like how if you ate too many Pop Rocks they’d get stuck in your throat and kill you, or if you wanted to French-kiss a girl you had to give her green M&M’s because they make you horny.

Another friend at the sleepover, nicknamed Beaker due to his fire-red hair and twitching, manic demeanor, like the scientist’s assistant on The Muppet Show, said excitedly, “Every cent of my allowance would be spent on green M&M’s for Princess Leia if she visited Earth.” “Dude, she died. Star Wars is from a long long time ago, duh!” came Marty’s retort.

I don’t know how these urban legends got started or how they managed to spread seemingly across the entire universe. Who needs the internet when you have older sisters and brothers you can eavesdrop on?

It Takes a Village to Raise the Roof

It was at a birthday sleepover for Jake Saad, when the late-night TV lit up with yellow sparkly words appearing in cursive like someone writing them with Cheez Whiz. They spelled out The Best of the 70s. I was pulling cherry Twizzlers apart and handing strands to my friends, while trumpets blasted a triumphant melody over a disco drumbeat and a line of men all from different walks of life paraded onto the screen. A leather-jacketed motorcycle man, a Native American, a construction worker, and a sailor in all white marched in place behind a grinning, singing police officer.

It was a song I had heard on the radio, but I didn’t realize you could spell the title with your arms by moving them in triangles and half circles like an airport runway flagger.

Jumping up out of my Boba Fett sleeping bag, I began talking like a used-car salesman trying to sell my friends on an idea. “Guys, let’s do this for the school talent show! Everyone knows this song. I can borrow a leather jacket from your mom, Jake. I could be the motorcycle man.” Pointing and assigning roles like a casting director, I was possessed by the thought of performing. “Someone must have a cowboy hat and cap guns in a toy chest—they could be the cowboy. We could get a tool belt and a hammer from my dad’s workshop for the construction worker.”

Two cups of Hulk-green Kool-Aid and a pack of Twizzlers later, “The Star-Spangled Banner” began playing over an American flag waving in the wind on the channel, letting us know TV stations would be shut down for the night. My friends dozed off as I flipped my pillow to the cool side, imagining our show in my head.

I convinced my friends, and every day after school for a week we rehearsed, and it was an epiphany. I didn’t mind going over the routine, trying to get it perfect. In fact, I loved it. I hated yard work, I despised washing the family station wagon, I gagged changing the litter box, and I secretly pressed a thermometer to a lightbulb, then showed my mom my “fever” to get out of doing the dishes after dinner. But rehearsing, making up moves, and lip-synching to a 45 record, spinning round and round like a clothes dryer, was more exciting than finding a dusty Playboy magazine in someone’s garage. Almost.


  • "The stories behind J.T.'s songs are some of my favorites in music, but I didn't know his true backstory until now. It's surreal. His life is Forrest Gump meets Entourage. I laughed out loud, I Googled stuff to see if it was legit (it always was). I know what I'm getting everyone for their birthday this year: this book." —TY Bentli, international country music expert and host of the "TY Bentli Show"
  • “You’ll definitely get great stories about songwriting from J.T. Harding—his heart gets broken more than the ice cream machine at McDonald’s.”—Josh Osborne, Grammy award-winning songwriter
  • “What a great read! Super stories, like meeting Keith Urban in the men's room! Very moving family stuff. Every aspiring songwriter should read this for inspiration.”—Jim Vallance, songwriter
  • “From the inventive chapter titles to the stories they contain—compelling true accounts of the incredible life of one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known, and one of the best songwriters of his generation—J.T. Harding’s PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Do yourself a favor and enjoy.”—Bart Herbison, executive director, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)
  • “PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR may be a memoir, but it could just as easily be classified as a self-help book for those of us who struggle to be ourselves. J.T. Harding is the epitome of the American rock-n-roll dream and a true testament that anything is possible if you’re brave enough to dream it."—Shane McAnally, three-time Grammy award-winning songwriter and star of NBC’s “Songland”
  • "I've loved J.T.'s stories since the first time I heard them at The Listening Room in Nashville. I knew that he would write a wonderful book. I love to be proven right. J.T. is a master storyteller—PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR reads like one of your very favorite songs. You can actually see and hear the scenes he writes. This is an American story of the unconditional love of parents, big dreams, hard work, and joy. His words become choruses that turn into chapters that write the story of his life so far, and I couldn’t put it down. I proudly recommend this book to readers or all ages. PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR is a hit!"

    Dana Perino, New York Times bestselling author of EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY: Life Lessons for Young Women (From a Former Young Woman)
  • "As a songwriter, JT Harding knows how to tell a story. Turns out he has one of his own -- and quite a good, and moving, one at that.  In a life filled with twist, turns and adventures, what shines through PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR is Harding's genuine and consuming passion for music (and entertaining), a plus-size personality that's powered him to become a top-shelf collaborator responsible for so many hits we find ourselves humming at random times.  The man behind those is every bit as interesting as the songs themselves, and you can't put this book down without wanting to party like a rock star a little yourself."—Gary Graff, award-winning music journalist for MediaNews Group
  • "It’s a rare gift in terms of informing the recipient that writing songs is not a part-time thing. It’s a constant art that must be practiced and maintained every single day of the year.”—Portland Book Review

On Sale
Feb 22, 2022
Page Count
288 pages

J.T. Harding

About the Author

J.T. HARDING was born and raised in South Detroit. While other kids were on the baseball field, J.T. was in his basement jumping around to MTV and trying to write his own songs. He put together several bands in high school and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream. J.T. made his first demo tape with prize money he earned by winning the VH1 game show Rock & Roll Jeopardy!. He has written several chart-topping hits, including the three-million-copy–selling “Smile” with Uncle Kracker, “Somewhere In My Car” with Keith Urban, “Somewhere With You” and “Bar at the End of the World” for Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley’s “Different For Girls,” Jake Owen’s “Alone With You,” and superstar Blake Shelton’s number-one song “Sangria.”

Learn more about this author