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Songwriters claim that before you can truly know your craft, a little bit of suffering is required. If that's true, no one knows the craft like D. Vincent Williams.
In a span of three years, D. Vincent had lost practically his entire family and most of his money. One night, with tears streaming down his face, he contemplated his fate.
"My wife left, I hadn't seen my baby daughter in six months and I had put myself several thousand dollars in debt," says D. Vincent. "I was at the bottom. All I wanted to do was run away."
Instead, he went to the piano next to his bed and wrote the beginning melody to a song. The following morning, he brought that melody Ã¢ÂÂ and his sad tale Ã¢ÂÂ to a writing session with Phillip White.
"I had never met him before," recalls Phillip, "but when he walked in, I could tell that something was wrong. Then he just started pouring his heart out. He said, 'I'm just trying to move on,' and I thought, that's what we're going to write about, moving on. And that became the title."
And they moved with rapid-fire speed. "I had the first couple of lines already, from another song that I was trying to write," says Phillip. "And D. Vincent had the melody. We started writing, and we just went from one line to the next. It was almost like having a conversation. In about an hour, we were done."
Adds D. Vincent, "Phillip and I shared the different kinds of scars and triumphs we had acquired over the years." And after this emotional outpouring, he and Phillip let their feelings flow.
"We just started crying after we finished it," says Phillip, drawing out a heavy sigh. "From that point, I knew I had made a very good friend."
He wasn't as certain about the song's potential. "A lot of times, when a song is that personal, it doesn't get cut," says Phillip. "And that's what we thought would happen. Of course, Rascal Flatts cut it, but then we were told that it probably wouldn't be a single."
Once again, though, odds were defied. "I'm Movin' On" hit the charts in 2001, and cracked the Top 5 last spring. For both writers, it was the biggest hit of their careers. "We know that a lot of fans have been touched by this song," says Phillip. "And that has touched us."