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

@nicolepuglise

The Guardian