Luke Bryan, ‘Country Girl (Shake It for Me)’ — Story Behind the Song
In 2011, Luke Bryan soared up the charts with his single ‘Country Girl (Shake It for Me).’ The tune, a sharp deviation from his previous hits, hit No. 4 on the Billboard country charts, went triple platinum and is the third best-selling song by a male country solo artist. Bryan tells The Boot about the inspiration behind this career-changing song.
Me and my co-writer, Dallas Davidson, often times we’ll sit in a songwriting room, and we’ll pull up fun rap and dance songs. I’ve been in so many honky tonks where, right when I get off stage, they put on rap music, and the dance floor fills up.
I’ll never forget, I played a private party one time, and it was a pool party for some young kids who had some money. Their parents wanted Luke Bryan to surprise them, and the time I got done playing, they put on dance music and rap, and the pool party was just rocking! I was like, “I’ve gotta try to write some music that maybe some kids like that will want to rock at their pool party or play at a honky tonk.”
I told that to Dallas, and we went on that. We didn’t have a title. If you had told us the title, ‘Country Girl (Shake It for Me),’ we’d have said that’s too cheesy.
I’m not naive. I get the song. It’s just a simple, fun little song. But I will always stand behind how cool the verses are on the song … all that stuff is really fresh. Dallas and I were really excited about what we had. We did the chorus … I was like, “Dallas, is it just this? It just seems kind of cheesy and not right.” We wrote it, and I still wasn’t sold on it, but Dallas was like, “It’s it.” After going home and humming and singing, “Country girl, shake it for me,” I knew it was it.
[When I was] out with [Tim] McGraw [on the 2011 Emotional Traffic Tour], I watch[ed] him do ‘Please Remember Me’ and songs like ‘Angry All the Time’ that are just masterpieces, and then I watch[ed] him do ‘I Like It, I Love It’ and ‘Indian Outlaw.’ So this is my chance, when I can do a simple, fun song that lets people have a good time, and then I’ll have my day when hopefully I’ll have a Song of the Year, ‘House That Built Me’-type song. That’s what’s fun in country. You can have all those and put them in a show and take your audience on a fun ride.