Granny Music Pap

Forgotten Treasures

Man and woman

Pap and Granny – Early 80s

A week or so ago I was wanting something different to listen to. I keep cds in my car, but decided I’d look for something I hadn’t heard in a long time.

I keep an old wooden box of cds under my desk.

I drug it out, poured all the cds out on the floor and started looking through them as I put them back in the box.

I was immediately drawn to one that said in black sharpie: “Momma & Daddy, Uncle Henry Truett, Aunt Grace or Aunt Pearl? Old reel to reel with kids in the background.”

The next time I was in the car I popped the cd into the player.

It’s mostly Pap and Granny singing together.

I smiled as Track 6 begin to play it was them singing “When I Stop Dreaming.” I’d obviously listened to the cd before, but it had been so long I really didn’t remember them singing that one.

Just as the song went off I got another pleasant surprise. Pap singing “Cash on the Barrel Head” by himself.

I got the biggest grin on my face. I could just see him sitting on the couch with Granny in the kitchen and us kids running around in the house.

In a serendipitous way the phone rings just as he starts singing about the telephone.

At the beginning you can hear some sort of smacking that almost sounds like its in time, but I’m thinking it was just one of us beating on something. I think I hear Steve clear his throat at one point and Granny says something just after the phone rings.

I love how Pap plays extra beats as he tries to think of the words.

Recently two people have interviewed us about growing up in a house filled with music.

Pap’s version of “Cash on the Barrel Head,” along with the other songs on the cd, are real life examples of what mine, Steve, and Paul’s growing up years were like. Just as you can hear us in the background of the song I shared today, you can hear us in the background of the other songs on the cd too.

In one someone has a bad cough and I think its me, but it could be Paul. At the end of one you can hear me saying “momma momma” trying to get Granny’s attention. You can hear doors opening and closing, dishes clattering around, and murmurs of voices. In other words, you can hear our family going about their daily lives as music was being made by those we loved the most.


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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 3, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Well I made it to 2020 but I can’t see ary bit better.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    My grandparents on Daddy’s side and all their kids couldn’t sing a lick. I never heard any of them sing. But on the Duvall side of the family, they could all sing. When Wade and Hazel, John and Pearly would come out to visit, it wasn’t long before they got on our old Ward Piano to sing. Wade would make a humming sound to get them in tune, and they sung “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” the best I ever heard. These were the Passmores. They lived near Canton. Grandma’s first husband died early after he had eight kids, and she re-married a Passmore. Hugh was Mama’s dad, and there was 16 of them in all. People had Large Families back then, probably to help with the chores and garden and all. …Ken

  • Reply
    Gina Lee
    May 5, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you sharing your life with us. Your narrative adds so much depth to the songs your family sings.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    I like the picture of your parents. The background noises made that tape! Lots of life going on.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    So enjoyed the song posted today! I love your Pap’s music. And the fact that he “played and sang anyway,” even with you three young kids in the background, reminds me of how my beloved late husband, the Rev. Grover D. Jones (1925-2011) used to try to find a quiet place to record his “Sunday School Lesson of the Air” which he started on the radio station in Copperhill, TN in the early 1960’s, and continued for more than 3 decades! He tried to “get away” from our two children, but sometimes he had to “re-record” because they just had to ask or tell their Daddy something, and I might not have been “around” to mind them–probably off on some job of my own! Or teaching at Fannin County High School. I need to find copies of those old tapes–of his SS Lessons of the Air, and also of is many recorded sermons–and hear them again!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 5, 2019 at 11:50 am

    The best recordings I have heard to date from any of the Wilson family are of Granny and Pap together! This one today, although without Granny, goes on that list. Pap’s Appalachian tonal quality and perfect pitch would rival those considered legends. His voice and style of picking remind me of Doc Watson. That’s some pretty good company. For both of them!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 9:08 am

    What a surprise! I didn’t know Granny could sing. The girls inherited their talent from many fine musicians in the family.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 5, 2019 at 7:53 am

    How special. Hard to take in the 80’s were so long ago but your find brought it back so close. Sounds like you found just what you were looking for.

    I had to smile that you ‘drug’ out the cd box. That is just the way I would say it to.

    Rain here yesterday evening and last night. Came at a good time for the little seedlings for sure.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    May 5, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Good memories. My oldest memory is my Grandpa Charlie Mauney taking his old fiddle down from the mantle and sawing our a tune. And my Grandpa Nick Byers and I would listen to the Grand Ole Opry on his battery powered radio.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 7:14 am

    No one in my immediate family played a musical instrument, I can remember Mama singing some but it wasn’t until after several years my Wife and I got married I started trying to play fiddle and guitar, and I haven’t picked up a fiddle or guitar in over a year now, her uncles and several cousins all played a lot in the early years, but only one Uncle now plays, they’ve all past away, one family of cousins still play some from time to time, so good you all recorded so many memories.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 5, 2019 at 6:41 am

    That’s lovely, Tip. The background children noises are a special treat! You had a very special childhood growing up with all that music.
    I don’t recall having any music as I was growing up.

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