Arthur Freed was originally inspired to write the lyrics for this when he saw from his Seattle sheet music shop a man saturated by rain dancing past his shop window. Nacio Herb Brown wrote the music to this. It debuted in one of the first musical sound films, Hollywood Revue 1929
, in which Cliff Edwards performed the song. Some years later, Arthur Freed, now a producer for MGM, wanted to increase the revenue from his old lyrics so he commissioned Betty Comden and Adolphe Green to construct a musical around his songs, which became the film Singin' In The Rain.
Gene Kelly, who was sick with a cold, performed this famous rain drenched dance number in the movie over 2 days while struggling with a fever of 103 degrees. The rain was made up of a blend of water and milk to make sure it showed up on camera.