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Story Behind the Song: Josh Turner, ‘Why Don’t We Just Dance’

Josh Turner‘s 2009 single “Why Don’t We Just Dance” — the lead single from his 2010 album Haywire — was written by Jim Beavers, Darrell Brown and Jonathan Singleton. In February of 2010, the song became Turner’s third No. 1 hit, and in May of 2010, the single was certified gold. Below, Beavers, Brown and Singleton tell The Boot about how the hit tune came to be.

Darrell Brown: I’d written with Jonathan before, but this was my first time writing with Jim, that day. We expended everything, and that different groove came out.

We came up with the idea of writing a song about not caring about anything else in the world, and Jim mentioned “Why Don’t We Just Dance.” Jonathan and I looked at each other and said, “I love that!” It turned into a song about just throwing all your cares away and [being] happy.

Jonathan sang on the demo. He’s so soulful; it was so much fun.

Jonathan Singleton: After Jim and I wrote “Don’t” [for Billy Currington], we were interested in doing more R&B groove stuff in our songs. The song kind of ended up being a line dance by the end of it, but we never set it out to be that way.

The idea was, all this stuff is happening, and it’s bad. I thought it was nice that we had ideas in there about things going on in the world; we were able to sneak those ideas into a kind-of dance tune.

Jim Beavers: I do distinctly remember wanting to write a cool, greasy kind of shuffle feel [song]. It was a challenge to write a song with that vibe but make it modern sounding.

For me, second verses are always the real “sticking point” of writing a song. I remember us slaving over which direction we should go. I’ve learned that “keeping them in the moment” is usually the right direction, so I just asked, “Well, what would that guy say next?” We thought him telling her to get dressed up and then changing his mind was an interesting angle.

The funniest thing I remember is realizing that we rhymed the word “on” with the not-very-different-sounding word “on” in that verse … but somehow we got away with it!

This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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