How did Richard Marx choose Hazard, Nebraska for the setting of this song? When we asked him in a 2012 Songfacts interview
, he explained: "That's the funniest part of the whole song. Because the song was all written except for those two syllables. So I had the opening two lines of 'My mother came to duh-duh,' and the rest of the song was finished except for the Nebraska line. And then the Nebraska line actually came because the syllables of it and the sound of it sang so well: 'and leave this old Nebraska town.' They sang so well to me that I was like, Okay, I'm sold on Nebraska. This is way before the Internet, so what I did was I called the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and got some very nice woman on the phone and I said, 'here's my fax number.' I was in Los Angeles, and I said, 'Can you fax me a list of every town and city and municipality in the state of Nebraska.' So all of a sudden just page after page after page is coming through my fax machine. And I took the pages, I think there were 16, 17 pages worth of tons of names on each page. And I threw them up in the air and picked a random sheet and literally put my finger on the page, and it was Hazard."