Jim McBride, who co-wrote this with Alan Jackson, told AOL the story of this song: "I knew about the Chattahoochie River, because I was raised in Alabama. Sydney Lanier was this poet who had written a poem called 'Song of the Chattahoochie' that was in high school literature books. I was sitting in my home office one day, and I had just read a book about the Chattahoochie. I started playing a little melody and then I got the first two lines of the song. By that time, Alan was a big star so there was no more writing on 16th Avenue anymore - we wrote on the road. I'd go out with him on his bus, and we would write out there. I kept a separate notebook, and any time I had a song idea I thought Alan would like, I'd put it in that notebook. I got a map and found out how close the Chattahoochie was to Noonan, Georgia, where Alan was raised. I stopped right there and I put the song idea in that notebook. I went out on the road shortly after that with Alan, so I showed the song idea to him. I sang the first couple lines, and he was all over it. We stared working on it in Tallahassee and then we finished it the next afternoon in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. We finished it before sound check, and he showed it to the band. They actually worked it up in sound check and performed it that night!"