92-Year-Old Woman 'Couldn't Stop Smiling' While Listening to Willie Nelson Sing Her Song
"It was such a thrill for her to hear a song she wrote," Buddy Cannon says of his mother
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 Nelson singing 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.
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“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.”