Though many country fans may not know that the song actually wasn't recorded first by Brooks. He wrote the song, and then Tanya Tucker decided to record it. She had a different third verse on the song than we know today, it's about shooting her husband: "She reaches for the pistol // in the bottom dresser drawer."
But because Tucker never released it or put it on one of her albums at the time, Brooks decided to go ahead record it and release it to fans. Obviously fans know now how that worked out for him.
In the later years of the song, Tucker did end up releasing her version as part of a box set. And Brooks ended up recording a version of "Thunder Rolls" with the different third verse when he recorded his live album in Central Park.