Hit Maker Gordie Sampson tackles 'Halloween costume' country scene

For years Gordie Sampson has been writing hits for some of country music's biggest stars. He joins Shad to share how he avoids the assembly line of Nashville.
Gordie Sampson of Big Pond, N.S., has penned songs for the likes of Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Martina McBride and LeAnn Rimes. (Mat Dunlap/The Canadian Press)

Gordie Sampson didn't have much of a background in country music before he moved to Nashville. Now, more than a decade later, the Cape Bretoner has penned hits for the likes of Faith Hill, Willie Nelson and Carrie Underwood.

"We get to live out these fantasies in the verse of a song that we can say and do whatever we want and be transported there for three minutes and thirty seconds," he says, on the thrill of being a songwriter for hire.

Sampson tells Shad about the role of "Target Writing" and the use of fantasy in the country music industry. "You can tell these people didn't necessarily grow up immersed in country music but they're out there with the boots and the hats and the cut-off jeans. That's where the fantasy is, because they're kind of buying into it. It's a little bit like Halloween." 

Sampson joins us for our latest instalment of q's Hit Makers series, where we look at the unsung people behind today's big songs. 

WEB EXTRA | Dive into the world of Gordie Sampson below. 

Jesus Take the Wheel, Carrie Underwood

The Songwriters, Willie Nelson

Paris, Faith Hill

Everybody Wants to be Loved, Martina McBride 


Better in the Long Run, Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton


Any Other Day, Bon Jovi


Walk on the Moon, Great Big Sea


You or Somebody like You, Keith Urban 


Sampson is an accomplished performer in his own right. Sunburn, is the title track off his 2004 album.

This segment is part of q's ongoing series, The Hit Makers. With it we reveal the creative minds behind the songs you know and the surprising ways pop music gets put together today. We talk to the Grammy-winning producers, chart-topping songwriters, rising young beat-makers, top-liners and hook-writers who contribute key ingredients to today's hit songs. 


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