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By CRYSTAL CAVINESS, United Press International  |  Aug. 1, 2002 at 4:37 PM
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NASHVILLE, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- It's no secret around Nashville that Brad Paisley loves to fish. So when his song, "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)" made it to No. 1, Paisley invited industry friends to meet him on the dock to celebrate.

The fishin' party was held July 30 on the outskirts of Nashville at Percy Priest Lake where fried catfish was plentiful and guided bass boats awaited eager fishermen.

"This is my kind of party," Paisley told the crowd of several hundred. In addition to the fish-themed activities, Paisley received the traditional trappings of a No. 1 party, including plaques and accolades from industry honchos.

After receiving a plaque from his publishing company for co-writing the song, Joe Galante, chairman of RCA Label Group, where Paisley is an artist on the Arista roster, took the stage.

"We don't have any plaques," Galante told Paisley, "but we have a bunch of fish for you." He then presented Paisley with an elaborate customized mobile of colorful fish with a personalized inscription recognizing his accomplishment.

"I'm Gonna Miss Her" is from Paisley's second project, "Part II." The traditional country tune laments a fisherman's decision of choosing his favorite outdoor activity over the love in his life. The tongue-in-cheek single is a departure for Paisley, who has scored top hits with ballads, such as "He Didn't Have To Be" and "We Danced" from his quadruple-platinum debut album, "Who Needs Pictures" and "Two People Fell In Love" from "Part II."

"I've always been a fan of this song," Paisley said, explaining that he and his producer, co-writer and fishing buddy, Frank Rogers, wrote the song when they were seniors at Belmont University in Nashville eight years ago.

Once Paisley was signed to a publishing deal, the song started its rounds among established artists. At different times, George Strait, Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson each had the song "on hold," an industry term indicating that they would like to take it off the market and consider recording it for an upcoming project. Though Jackson had the song on hold twice, none of the superstars recorded it. When Paisley got his record deal, he decided to keep the song for himself, he said.

In addition to the song becoming No. 1, the video for "I'm Gonna Miss Her" was No. 1 on cable's Country Music Television (CMT). CMT executives were on-hand to praise Paisley, as well as make another announcement.

"It's time for CMT to get in the business of taking its show on the road," said Brian Phillips, CMT's senior vice president and general manager. "I'm here to announce the first 'Most Wanted Live Tour' hitting 44 cities this summer and fall and headlining Brad Paisley."

The tour is based on CMT's popular one-hour live show, where a guest artist sings a song or two and the top videos of the day are broadcast. Each city will feature a rotating set of newer artists, with Paisley serving as the anchor.

"I'm so proud to represent CMT on the road, along with a bunch of artists I'm honored to call my friends," Paisley said.

Steve Azar, Chris Cagle, Tammy Cochran, Andy Griggs, Steve Holy, Shannon Lawson, Pinmonkey, Rascal Flatts, Tommy Shane Steiner and Darryl Worley are the other country artists on the "Most Wanted Live Tour" bill.

The tour is scheduled to kick off Sept. 19 in Phoenix, making its way across the U.S., and ending in Las Vegas with three shows on Dec. 12-14.

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