On-Air Now
On-Air Now

Story Behind the Song: Jake Owen’s “Beachin’”

Performed by: Jake Owen
Written by: Jaren Johnston / Jon Nite / Jimmy Robbins

Before he was having hits with his band The Cadillac Three, Jaren Johnston was making a name for himself as a songwriter, having penned hits like Keith Urban’s “You Gonna Fly” and Tim McGraw’s “Southern Girl.” That success helped Jaren quickly build friendships with many of country music’s hottest stars, including Kenny Chesney.

So when Jaren caught wind that Kenny was getting ready to do a beach-themed record, he turned to two of his frequent writing pals, Jon Nite and Jimmy Robbins, to see what they could create along those lines.

“Jimmy had this little beat going, and I said, ‘What if I just talked over it like a cool Lou Reed or Shawn Mullins type thing?’” Jaren recalls. “They thought it would be cool too, so I just started free-styling the verses over the beat.”

When they reached the second verse, Jaren decided to take things an extra mile with some creative lyrics. “We all started dying laughing when I said the line there’s a reggae band just sittin’ in the corner laughin’ … playing a little ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy,’” Jaren says with a grin. “We all got a kick out of that. That was funny.”

When they had finished “Beachin’,” Jaren sent it along to Kenny Chesney, who loved the song but had already finished his island-inspired album. “I kind of went back in and changed up the song a bit because I also knew that Jake Owen was cutting his album at that time,” says Jaren, who already had a couple songs on hold for that particular project. “I thought the changes we made to the song made it perfect for Jake.”


Jake agreed after giving it a listen and added “Beachin’” to his Days of Gold album. Jake released the tune as the album’s second single and it became a perfectly timed Top 10 for summer 2014. It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart on July 19, 2014.

“And now, here we are!” beams Jaren. “Jake has been so good to me and my songwriting. I am super blessed to have as many songs as I do on that album, and I’m so glad it all worked out the way it was meant to be.”