January 29.2016 – Story behind “Make Me Wanna” by Thomas Rhett

Hear the story behind the song here!

Thomas Rhett told the story of this cut, which he penned with Jon Pardi producer Bart Butler and Ray Stevens’ bass player Larry McCoy. “This song came out because I had just been listening to ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees,” he explained.

Rhett wrote this the day after he’d watched the movie Airplane. He recalled: “My grandma used to love watching that movie, and Grease, with me. When I’d go to her house, she’d always try to teach me all the dances they used to do in the ’50s and ’60s. And so I’ve always been intrigued by that period of music.”

“So when ‘Make Me Wanna’ was written, it was written from that scene in Airplane when they are playing ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees,” he continued. “I was like, ‘I want to go write that melody with a country lyric,’ and that’s what we did.”

Rhett said “and I went into a room with a few buddies. We wanted to write a song with country lyrics, but we wanted it to have the old ’80s dance feel. That’s kind of why this song has such a funky groove and is a great song to play live.

Bart Butler told The Boot the story of the writing of the song: “Thomas was running late,” he recalled. “He shows up, and he says, ‘Guys, I’m sorry. But do you know who the Bee Gees are? I was watching the movie Airplane last night. You know that whole Saturday Night Live Fever thing?’ I go, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I like that feel, the disco feel. I’ve got this little riff.'”

“Of course, Larry’s sitting there, and [Rhett] started playing a chord,” Butler continued. “He goes, ‘Man, I can’t figure out exactly how to finish this chord, but I hear [hums chorus melody].’ Larry finished the chord with him, and they started working on that melody.”

“All of a sudden, I said, ‘What about “Make Me Wanna”?’ I’ve got this title laying around, and we went from there,” he added. “I think that whole energy that day was amazing because Thomas – he said the movie made him feel good, and he came in with a good idea, and boom.”

“I think we knew we had something,” Butler concluded. “But I think when I heard the official demo that they did, I knew we had a hit.” “It’s just a song that makes you feel good,” Rhett added. “You just want to crank the windows down and have a good time with it.”

It was released in August 2014 as the fifth single from his debut album, It Goes Like This. Billboard magazine chose this as their best country song of 2014. It reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart on March 7, 2015, his third No. 1 from his debut album

Lyrics:
Windows down, country sound, FM on the radio
Just me and you and the man on the moon
Cruisin’ down some old back road

Now baby don’t you look at me that way
‘Cause you know there’s only so much I can take
‘Cause you make me wanna

Pull this truck to the side of the road
Slide on over, let me hold you close and tell
You everything I’m thinking
Hop on out and let the tailgate fall
Get drunk on you with no alcohol
If you don’t stop I’m gonna
Girl you make me wanna

Yeah
Hm hm

You know better than to wear that dress
It oughta be against the law, yeah
Plain and simple, girl them dimples
Know just how to turn me on

Now baby don’t you look at me that way
‘Cause you know there’s only so much I can take
‘Cause you make me wanna

Pull this truck to the side of the road
Slide on over, let me hold you close and tell
You everything I’m thinking
Hop on out and let the tailgate fall
Get drunk on you with no alcohol
If you don’t stop I’m gonna
Girl you make me wanna

You make me wanna
Wake up with you
In the bed of my truck and start
Over again when the sun comes up

You make me wanna
Pull this truck to the side of the road
Slide on over, let me hold you close and tell
You everything I’m thinking
Hop on out and let the tailgate fall
Get drunk on you with no alcohol
If you don’t stop I’m gonna
You make me wanna

Pull this truck to the side of the road
Slide on over, let me hold you close and tell
You everything I’m thinking
Hop on out and let the tailgate fall
Get drunk on you with no alcohol
If you don’t stop I’m gonna
Girl you make me wanna

Yeah

Windows down, country sound, FM on the radioWriter/s: RHETT, THOMAS / BUTLER, BART / MCCOY, LARRY

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!