“Rain makes corn / Corn makes whiskey.” And you know what whiskey does: It “makes my baby feel a little frisky.”
That playful chorus played out well for a couple of longtime friends Tuesday as Luke Bryan and his co-writer, Dallas Davidson, were honored at BMI in Nashville with a No. 1 party for “Rain Is A Good Thing.” From guitarist J.T. Corenflos’ pinging intro all the way through to the big pile of sound in the single’s waning moments, “Rain” is nothing but a good time.
Luke and Dallas know a thing or two about good times. They attended Georgia Southern University in Statesboro together, and they shared an apartment in Nashville when they first moved to Tennessee.
“It’s just a wild dream,” Luke said of the guys’ run from obscurity to the top of the charts.
The run of “Rain” is built in part on their shared history. Once they were living in Music City, the two friends were a bit surprised to hear meteorologists complaining about rain when they delivered the weather report on TV.
“It happened three or four times, and I’m goin’, ‘Wait a minute, where we come from, when it rains, it’s good. It’s a good thing literally,’” Dallas remembered. “We talked about that, and we talked about how when we would go fishin’ it would cloud up and we would say, ‘Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey.’ Then the frisky [rhyme] came later, and here we are talkin’ about it.”
“Rain just was a big part of the community, and it affected the whole mood of it,” Luke said of his youth in smalltown Georgia. “It was our life — watchin’ the sky and it would change the whole town’s mood. So to be able write a song that kinda tells that story, it’s 100% like we lived. To be a No. 1 hit and have everybody get it along with us makes songs like this even more speical. It’s a fun uptempo song. There’s nothin’ like kickin’ into it every night, watching everybody comin’ out of their seats and start goin’ a little frisky on us, if you know what I mean.”
The frisky part is key. The word is an unusual one for a hit song, and once the album came out last fall, fans started asking for “Rain Is A Good Thing” by calling it “the frisky song.” The rhyme is the twist in the song that made it memorable — and universal.
“What the frisky did was it took it from just a farming-oriented song to everybody,” Dallas said. “Girls dig it, guys — you can play that song in Chicago and still get the full effect with the frisky added in there. I’m not sure if we quite would have pulled it off [otherwise]. We might not be sittin’ here [at a No. 1 party] without the frisky part.”
Naturally, the “rain makes corn” line influenced the food table at BMI. There was plenty of corn and cornbread available along with fried chicken, potatoes and gravy — and whiskey — as scads of of Music Row agencies paid homage to Luke, Dallas, producer Jeff Stevens and the publishing companies. The Country Music Association and Country Radio Broadcasters served up No. 1 honors, as did Capitol Records, which also gave Luke plaques for having a gold single with “Rain” and surprised him with a gold album for Doin’ My Thing.
Appropriately, Luke will be back in Georgia later this month for a four-day run on his second Farm Tour, raising money for local communities in his homestate. The tour begins Sept. 28 and takes him to Valdosta, Statesboro, Carrollton and Macon.
Dallas, meanwhile, goes from partying to chart-watching. He’s also on the country singles chart as a writer of Blake Shelton’s “All About Tonight,” Josh Turner’s “All Over Me,” Frankie Ballard’s “Tell Me You Get Lonely” and Joe Nichols’ “The Shape I’m In.”