Lee Miller told the story behind the song's inspiration for the book Nashville Songwriter: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music's Greatest Hits:
by Jake Brown. "You look for the phrase that gives you a reason to write a song," he said. "And I was telling Jamey a story about some event that I'd been to, and it was a story … about Nashville back in the '60s and some pictures in black and white … I'm talking, and he's kind of zoned out … and he said, 'There's your idea. You think that's somethin', you should've seen it in color.'"
He added "Those ideas are hard to come by … At that point, just don't mess it up; just write it correctly."
Miller and Johnson, along with James Otto began talking about their own grandparents, and the song stemmed from memories of their grandfathers. "In a lot of ways, it's a song about our grandfathers," Miller said.