History in a 7-inch record
Updated: Apr 7
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
It was music that hit home, in more ways than one.