This whimsical country song was penned by Browne as an assignment to write something for an art installation that was happening in Winslow, Arizona. He explained to UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph: "Lots of people were involved, including the conceptual artist Doug Aitken, and I wrote about my late mother's husband, who used to go dancing with an oxygen tank on his back. He loved western swing and Zen and it fitted a country song."
Jackson Browne's connection with Winslow originates from a line ("Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona"), he wrote for the Eagles song "Take It Easy." The lyric brought the small Arizona town national fame and in 1999 the Standin' on the Corner Park was opened commemorating the song. The park has become a popular tourist destination (Winslow is on Route 40 in northern Arizona, making it easily accessible) and hosts an annual festival.