Darryl Wade Worley was born October 31, 1964, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Tommy and Bonnie Worley. His family moved to Pyburn, Tennessee, when he was young and he was raised there. His father was a Methodist preacher and his mother sang in the church choir. Worley attended the University of North Alabama and earned a degree in biology and chemistry. He worked in the chemical industry prior to pursuing country music, and wrote for FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. One of his first cuts as a songwriter was a track on Archer/Park's 1994 debut album.