Brad Paisley Is a Big Fan of Riley Green’s ‘I Wish Grandpas Never Died’ [Watch]
Brad Paisley is a big fan of his opening act Riley Green's new song "I Wish Grandpas Never Died." On Sunday (Aug. 11), in Bethlehem, Pa., Paisley invited the country newcomer to sing the song with him, singing its praises to the crowd.
"I'm in awe, and I love your new song. I want to be a backup guitarist for you on this song," Paisley said onstage to Green, who has been opening for him on his 2019 World Tour.
Green responded, "Just so y'all know...this is a nobody from Alabama, playing a song I wrote about my two granddaddies, with an idol of mine."
"I Wish Grandpas Never Died" went viral months before its official release in early August. Green's two grandfathers, Lendon Bonds and Buford Green—who died in 2018 and 2010, respectively¯have co-writing credits on the song.
"I wish even cars had truck beds / Every road was named Copperhead / And coolers never run out of cold Bud Light / I wish high school home teams never lost / And backroad-drinking kids never got caught," Green and Paisley sang onstage in the song's chorus. "I wish the price of gas was low and cotton was high / I wish honky-tonks didn't have no closing time / And I wish grandpas never died."
Watch Riley Green's Inspiring RISERS Performance:
Green's Granddaddy Buford is a major reason he has a music career today. "He was really into, like, Merle Haggard, Roy Acuff, Hank WIlliams...that was what I learned to sing and play," the newly named RISER tells Taste of Country. "I never sang when I played guitar until my grandaddy started pushing me, and me and him would sit around and he'd fiddle on the harmonica a little bit. That was where I got my traditional roots."
Granddaddy Lendon, meanwhile, partially inspired Green's song "Numbers on the Cars," which is about living with Alzheimer's disease, though the singer's Great Uncle Jess—Lendon's brother—was the relative with Alzheimer's in real life. "We were out on Lake Guntersville one night. I remember [Granddaddy Lendon] saying, 'Riley, reach over there in that third draw of the tackle box on the left, and get that blue spinner bait out with a yellow tail on it,'" the singer recalls. "And I'm like, 'If he was to get Alzheimer's, he would never forget that.'"
Fortunately, Green got to play "Numbers on the Cars" for his grandfather before he died. Lendon Bonds was in the audience when his grandson performed the song at the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium early in his career. When he died, Green wrote a song called "Half the Man He Was" for his funeral.
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