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  • Writer's pictureTimothy Davis

History in a 7-inch record

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

In which our intrepid author comes to love his hometown a little more after a chance discovery of a secret bit of Lebanon history

I’ve lived in Lebanon for about 10 years now, and I had only viewed this town a decent

place to live. I felt no strong personal connection that made me very proud to live in Lebanon.

However, during a Saturday afternoon outing around the town square, my neutral feeling about Lebanon changed.

I have an extreme passion for music history in the country and western genre, but

more specifically I have interest in the obscure local bands/musicians of this genre, from

Tennessee. I’m familiar with many of the small labels such as San Records (Bon Aqua, TN),

Delta Records (Nashville, TN), and Logan Records (Madison, TN), that cut primitive, but

genuinely enjoyable music. While I daily pursued my hobby of listening to this music through

Bear Family Records CD compilations, I began to think that Lebanon was left out of the rich

quantity of western swing and country bands, as I could find no songs in the Bear Family catalog that were from Lebanon. But, I made a discovery in The Butter Churn Antiques and Collectables, on the square in Lebanon, that disproved my apparently hasty assumption.

In a booth, I found a lightly worn 45rpm record presenting a country vocal duo, Graham

and Wilson, The Tennessee Buddies on Lynn Records of Lebanon, Tennessee. Of course I

couldn’t wait to get home and toss it on the turntable to find out exactly what I had found. The

stylus lowered, and through the sizzling surface noise of a poorly engineered and recorded

45rpm record, I heard a ballad style electric guitar riff, with a whining lap steel joining in, and

then the vocal harmony of Graham and Wilson completing the pleasant mood projecting from

this little record.

Since there was likely a quantity around a couple hundred copies pressed, I consider this

incredibly rare record by Graham and Wilson to be the most important disc in my collection, as it also serves as physical proof that Lebanon did have the kind of music history that I was

interested in.

It was music that hit home, in more ways than one.

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