Lyndel Rhodes was born into the musical family of Ruby and McKinley Tate on February 20th, 1924 in Perry County, TN. When she was 2 or 3 years old, her family moved to Lexington, TN in Henderson County. She remembers that when she was very young, her dad kept an old banjo hanging from a nail on the wall. He would take it down and play songs alone, but occasionally other folks who played instruments would stop by; and the music would ring out through their home.
Lyndel recalls that at some point her oldest brother, Dalton, learned to play guitar, then the fiddle, then the mandolin, and eventually he could play any stringed instrument that he picked up. Dalton had two friends, brothers Robert and Buford Todd, who were also musicians. The Todd boys would stay at the Tate house day and night and play music. Dalton began showing Lyndel how to make chords on the guitar and then the mandolin. Lyndel began to pick up whichever instrument that the boys might leave lying on the bed, and she began to play along with them. She said she knew she must be keeping good time and not messing up too bad or Dalton would have made her stop playing, as he was dead serious about his music.
When Lyndel was around 13 years old, one of her school teachers decided to start a harmonica band as an extra school activity. Lyndel along with several other students joined that band and began to learn to play the harmonica.
As her son Buddy Cannon began to learn to play the guitar at age 13, the sound of living room music once again began to be an everyday happening at their house. And now Lyndel is 91 years old and still playing the harmonica. Her son Buddy is a songwriter and record producer living in Nashville, and he comes home to Lexington every chance he gets. The two of them will break out the instruments, and once again, music fills the living room.
Recently Buddy made some iPhone video recordings of the two of them playing some old gospel songs and posted them on the Internet. One of those video clips, "Blessed Assurance," has now been viewed on Facebook more than 10 million times. Whenever Buddy and his mom get together now, they are both baffled by the way their video has touched so many people. They both wish that Dalton Tate were still here to play along; but they both believe that he is watching and smiling and proud of the Internet sensation that his little sister Lyndel has become.