Appalachia Music

Two Baby Blue Eyes

picking and grinning in the kitchen in appalachia

Music of one form or another has literally been the sound track to my life here in the southern mountains of Appalachia-that’s no secret to anyone who’s a regular reader of the Blind Pig.

I’ve written about it more times than I can shake the proverbial stick at-songs that make me instantly feel like a shy skinny freckle face girl standing behind Granny’s legs or hiding behind Pap’s shoulder as he picks out a lonesome tune.

Once Chatter and Chitter were big enough to sing I started listening to all songs with a new ear-an ear that listened to see if the song would be right for them to perform. The Nashville Bluegrass Band is one of my all time favorite bands-I mean bluegrass just doesn’t get any better than those guys. They have it all-the voices-the music-the harmony-and the songs they choose are outstanding (doesn’t hurt that banjo player Alan O’Bryant once told fiddle player Stewart Duncan that Chitter and Chatter were cute as bugs).

One of my favorite songs done by the Nashville Grass is the old country song Baby Blue Eyes written by Jim Eanes. And even better, the song turned out to be one the girls were willing to sing.

I’ve enjoyed the Nashville Grass’s version of the song for years-but I totally fell in love with the song once Pap told me it was his one of his father’s favorite songs.  And it only made my love for the song grow stronger when Pap said every time he heard Chatter’s clear bright voice singing it-he could close his eyes and be just a boy in overalls standing in a mule plowed field on the banks of the Hiwassee River.

Give it a listen and see if you’ve ever heard the song.


I hope you enjoyed the song as much as I do. I like knowing that Chatter will be the 4th generation of our family with memories connected to the old song. One day she’ll look back and remember those pickin’ and grinnin’ Sunday afternoons her and Chitter spent with their Pap, their Uncle Paul, and their Mother.

Wade Earl Wilson Aug 17, 1915-Dec 2, 1992

19 years ago today Pap’s father-my Papaw-Reverend Wade Earl Wilson died. I cannot fathom that its been almost 20 years. He never got to see the girls-he did meet The Deer Hunter just a few months before he died. I know Chatter singing one of his favorite songs would put a smile on his face. Someday I’m going to introduce you to Papaw-let you hear his voice-let you see how his eyes sparked like fire-let him tell you about his life.

Don’t worry-I haven’t went off the deep end. I’m not going to try and conjure him up for you-I have a videoed interview of him and someday I’ll share it with you.


p.s. I’m the little girl in the yellow shirt behind Papaw-we were at a Baptizing-I’m thinking it was my brother Steve’s.


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  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    August 18, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Tipper, it’s August 18, 2019…..Just read your post dating back to 2011 about Chatter singing Baby Blue Eyes and your Papaw, Reverend Wade Earl Wilson…..Please tell me how I can find your post on your Papaw as I’m sure it has been written by now…..I am interested in how a man of God lived part of his life, especially in relation to his music…..Going back to listen to Chatter’s song….Thank you for sharing it!
    ps…..Would you please email me your reply also?

  • Reply
    barb Johnson
    December 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Cried~ again. You should always put up a disclaimer~warning for those of you who are menopausal or just emotional this post may make you cry!
    lol. I enjoyed the song too!~Barb

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    December 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    You sure were a cute kid. That’s one touching post. I don’t know the song in your video, but I enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Just beautiful! her voice is maturing and getting better and better.

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    December 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Tipper: loved chatters delivery of baby blue eyes. my grandmother used to sing it to me. but like the other ken, my favorite is “beautiful star of bethlehem” blessings to all you mountain folks. k.o.h

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Our computer has a bad speaker on it (too low a volume ), still Chatter did a great job! If I could have heard it better it sure would have been good. Those girls are talented beyond words.
    I know you must be so proud.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Hey, I never used to like that song but now I do! And, Chatter, it’s all down to your singing. Much appreciated!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    That is a song I’ve never heard before. But it sounded so wonderful and almost familiar before it ended.
    Music has always been a bit part of my parents and their families. Dad used to sing bass in a quartet and Mom played the piano for them. Can’t begin to tell you how many “Sunday Singin’s” and “All Night Singings” I went to as a child.
    Around Christmas I miss them more than ever. So along with Christmas carols, I’ll fire up some good old-fashioned gospel by Vestal Goodman, the Speers Family, the Blackwood Brothers and many more. Listening to them brings me back to my childhood and I can feel the music around me.
    Thanks for sharing this lovely song. If my daughter could sing like that I would make her sing all day long.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    December 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Beautiful! As the sole untalented kid in a family of musicians I really admire such talent. Looking forward to hearing about Papaw.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    December 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Tipper, why is it your blog almost always makes me cry???? Dadgum you, woman! 😉
    ANYWAY, I stopped by to tell you, I was making a Christmas playlist so we could have Christmas music here at work, and when I was looking for a version of Go Tell It on the Mountain, can you guess who I found??? I’ll bet you can!!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    What can I say? Chatter is one talented girl with an awesome voice! Really like her version of one of my favorite Bluegrass songs. Really looking forward to hearing Papaw Wade’s voice and learning about his life. Thanks for making us all feel like a part of the BP family!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Chatter did a wonderful job on the song. Both of your girls are so talented! I know you’re one proud mama. Can’t wait to see the the interview of your papaw.

  • Reply
    jackie shound ringersma
    December 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Great job Chatter!! I lost my baby blue eyes, my soul mate, my hero, two years ago this past Oct. He loved this song too. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    December 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Great job and lovely voice. I, too, look forward to “meeting” your Papaw. Grandfathers are so very important and leave such lasting, cherished memories — mine certainly did and I see the same think happening with Roy and our grand & great-grandchildren.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    December 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Tipper, I am truly so thankful your family is carrying on our mountain music traditions. We lost local legend Benny Messer this week & the thought of all that beautiful, beautiful music being lost is heartbreaking. Benny is pickin’ that banjo with the angels now, & how wonderful it is to know young folks like your gitls are carrying it on!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Beautiful song and a beautiful
    girl. It does my heart good to
    see a family enjoying their talents. I wish you all would do
    “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”, my
    favorite Christmas Song…Ken

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    December 2, 2011 at 11:14 am

    ohh tipper i sure love the way chatter sings this song.. her voice is beautiful and singing those songs that bring such memories.. im sure it brings back fond moments of ones long gone. wishing you big hugs and love this holiday season.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Just beautiful!

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    December 2, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I think if she sang Jingle Bells I’d still get tears in my eyes! Absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to see the interview with Wade. He preached my grandpa’s funeral. Over the years, at funeral after funeral, your family and your music have given immeasurable comfort to other families-including mine.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Such a beautiful memory and tribute!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 2, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I loved the song…Chatter did a great job singing it…All I could think of were the “chinquapin eyes”…wonder if the lyrics could be changed someway to “chinquapin (brown) eyes…LOL Guess it just wouldn’t be the same…Are there blue eyes in your family?
    Music sure does add to the “carousel of life” and you have such a talented family all around!…
    And I can see Pap in the picture of your Grandfather Wade…
    Waiting for his story some day…
    Thanks Tipper for a great post,

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 9:21 am

    ~Thanks for sharing such a special song~ I’m looking forward to hearing more about your papaw!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 2, 2011 at 8:45 am


  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 8:41 am

    That was awesome Tipper, the story, how music touches our very soul and listening to Chatter. Thank You

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Your girls are as cute as bugs! They look a lot like the cute little girl in the yellow shirt. Chatter did a wonderful job singing this song. She has a beautiful clear voice and I can see why Pap is so proud of them. They will treasure these times as they grow older and will want to pass this tradition on to their children. I am looking forward to your post on your Papaw.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I never heard the song before, but I enjoyed it! She did a beautiful job!!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

    your papaw reminds me of my dad, I am thinking they were a lot alike. love the baby blue eyes video..

  • Reply
    Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings
    December 2, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I grew up listening to bluegrass and it still holds a huge place in my heart.
    Loved the song!

  • Reply
    Rose C
    December 2, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Papaw-Reverend Wade Earl is looking down and smiling on the family! Wonderful how many generations have kept the traditions alive! Keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 7:50 am

    First thing I saw on FB this morning. What a lovely wake up call.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    December 2, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Beautiful song and a beautiful girl from a family that’s just as fine as fine can be.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    December 2, 2011 at 7:44 am

    I truly do love to listen to bluegrass just as much as my mother. That type of music always tells a story and who doesn’t like stories.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    December 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

    beautiful memories, beautiful song. As always thanks for a great start to my day.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Enjoyed Chatter’s song. Love her clear voice and the way she hits the high notes. She has a real talent like your other family. Love to start my day reading your site.

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