05/12/2010 at 01:00 AM EDT
Before "Rain Is a Good Thing" was ever a song, it was just part of Luke Bryan and good friend Dallas Davidson's positive attitude. "Any time we had something planned where a rainstorm would come through and interrupt maybe a fishing trip or a hunting trip, we'd say, 'Well, rain makes corn, and corn makes whiskey...' It was a fun little way to make it something positive," says Bryan, 33. "So one day Dallas and I started working around that whole idea, and one of us threw out the frisky line, and that was the inception of it all."
Aside from the rain helping his "baby feel a little frisky," Bryan says it also played a critical role in his childhood home in Leesburg, Ga. His father had a peanut mill and agriculture business (where he also grew cotton, corn and soybeans), and "I always remember him looking up at the sky hoping for rain," says Bryan. "He'd do that about a hundred times a year. Whether it was raining or not dictated the whole mood of the household. If there was a lot of rain, everything was fine. A dry year, and things were a little scary."
Even so, Bryan credits the weather with setting the backdrop for some of his favorite memories. "In college, we would go find dirt roads that would get all muddy in the rain and just go try out our trucks on them. Dallas and I grew up living the same kind of life, and we were able to write a song that explains what we grew up doing," says Bryan. "The rest is kind of history."