92-Year-Old Woman ‘Couldn’t Stop Smiling’ While Listening to Willie Nelson Sing Her Song

Lyndel Rhodes can’t stop tapping her toes!

The 92-year-old Lexington, Tennessee, native was “overcome with excitement” when her son, famed record producer Buddy Cannon, played a recording of Willie Nelsonsinging a song she wrote years ago.

“She couldn’t believe it,” Cannon tells PEOPLE. “My mom is a very bashful, very shy person, but she was excited to no end. She never thought someone would sing something she wrote.”

Rhodes composed “Little House on the Hill” on the car ride home from a trip to Nashville to visit Cannon. The catchy country tune is about returning to the comfort and familiarity of her beloved Lexington home, where she’s lived for 60 years.

“It’s a very personal song, so she was thrilled to hear it done right,” says Cannon. “She couldn’t stop smiling and her feet wouldn’t stop wiggling!”

Cannon filmed the moment his mother heard her song come to life and posted the video to YouTube, where it’s been played over 368,000 times.

“What are you listening to?” Cannon asks in the video.

” ‘Little House on the Hill!’ ” she replies.

“Whose song is that?” he asks.


“And who sings it?” He chides.

“Mr. Willie!” responds Rhodes. “Mr. Willie Nelson!”

Cannon says the house is very significant to his family – and immediately recognized the sentiment in his mother’s lyrics.

“She saw me and my sisters grow up there and graduate,” he says. “My stepfather passed away in that house. It holds a lot of memories.”

So, about a month and a half ago, Cannon made a guitar vocal demo of the song and emailed it to Nelson.

“He responded in 15 minutes saying he loved the song,” says Cannon. “He was like, ‘Let’s record it!’ ”

A few weeks later, they put Willie’s vocals on the track.

“Then I made a trip to her house, it really is little, and played it for her,” he says. “It was such a thrill for her to hear a song she wrote.”

“To get to see my mom’s face as she heard it was unbelievable.”



The Guardian Video of 92-year-old woman listening to Willie Nelson song she wrote goes viral

When a country music producer sent his mother’s song to Willie Nelson, he got an enthusiastic reply: ‘I love it. Let’s cut it’

Lyndel Rhodes, 92, was all smiles as she listened to Willie Nelson’s new song. The reason? She wrote it.

Buddy Cannon, a country music songwriter and producer, shared the video of his mother singing along to the song on Saturday. Rhodes’s red-shoed feet stuck out from beneath a green blanket, tapping along to the music. The video of her listening to the song has earned 1.3m views on Facebook and more than 30,000 on YouTube.

Cannon has produced songs for numerous country musicians, such as Kenny Chesney and Reba McEntire as well as Nelson. He sent the song to Nelson, who loved it and immediately recorded it, Nelson’s publicist told the Guardian.

On Facebook, Cannon wrote that his mother had shown him her song a few years ago. He emailed a version to the singer a few weeks ago. “A few hours later I got a reply from Willie saying, “I love it. Let’s cut it”. Well we did cut it and my 92 years old mom now has herself a song on Willie’s upcoming album. Willie nailed it too. How about that folks!!”

Nelson’s publicist could not confirm that the song would be on his album at this time.

On Nelson’s own page, he said it was, “such a sweet moment to witness and share. Thank you Buddy”. The famous 83-year-old country musician has been busy lately: he’s currently on tour, next stopping in Oklahoma, recentlyreleased a new album as a tribute to the late singer Ray Price, and wrote a Christmas book called Pretty Paper, based on his song of the same name, which goes on sale on 25 October.

The song, Rhodes said, is called Little House on the Hill. According to the video’s description, it’s the first song she has ever had recorded. In a separate video on Cannon’s Facebook, Rhodes said she wrote it seven years ago, “not realizing what was fixing to take place years down the line”. “Well my Little House on the Hill song has been recorded by Mr Willie Nelson and who would have thought it,” she said.

This wasn’t Rhodes’s first brush with internet fame. Cannon has posted multiple videos of him and his mom playing together, with him on the guitar and her on the harmonica, on his YouTube channel and on his Facebook. Some have amassed millions of views.

Last year, Rhodes released her debut album, Gospel Harmonica, which is for sale on iTunes. According to The Tennessean, Cannon originally intended for it to be just for family, but released it to the public based on the popularity of his mother’s videos.

According to Rhodes’s personal website, she was born into a musical family in Tennessee and began to play the harmonica at age 13.

The Guardian has asked representatives of Cannon for comment.

Nicole Puglise


The Guardian

Lyndel Rhodes Featured In The Tennessean

Buddy Cannon's 91-year-old mom finds Internet fame

Producer and songwriter Buddy Cannon has worked with some of the biggest stars in country music, including Willie NelsonReba McEntire and Kenny Chesney. However, the artist he’s currently working with might be his favorite.

In 2014 Cannon filmed a short video on his iPhone of his 91-year-old mother, Lyndel Rhodes, playing the gospel song “Blessed Assurance” on a harmonica while he accompanied her on the guitar. He then uploaded the video, which was shot in Rhodes’ living room in Lexington, Tenn., to YouTube “as a kick.”

Ten months after that, a Brazilian website called Maringa Alerta posted the video, which only had a handful of hits, on its Facebook page. Viewership exploded, and earlier this week, the video passed the 10 million views mark, and its stars can't quite believe it.

Read more on the Tennessean website