Gala held Nov. 5.

'Tis the season for performing rights organizations to honor their own and SESAC did just that at a ceremony held at its Music Row headquarters on Nov. 5, the night before this year's Country Music Assn. Awards.

This year one song, "If You're Going Through Hell (Before The Devil Even Knows)," as recorded by Rodney Atkins, dominated the SESAC country awards.

Husband and wife songwriting team Sam and Annie Tate were named SESAC's country songwriters of the year on the strength of "If You're Going Through Hell," which was also named country song of the year.

In addition, Carnival Music, the publisher of the four-week No. 1, was named SESAC's country publisher of the year. Frank Liddell and Travis Hill of Carnival were in attendance and accepted the honors.

SESAC also recognized the impact of the Americana format during the night's festivities, handing out awards to several top artists and songwriters in the genre including Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kevin Welch, Buck Jones, Kieran Kane and Walt Wilkins.

Among the evening's many highlights was a standout performance by Americana award-winning group the Greencards. A spirited version of "If You're Going Through Hell" was offered up Atkins, who was joined by songwriters Sam and Annie Tate.