Riley Green’s Acoustic ‘I Wish Grandpas Never Died’ Will Move You [WATCH]
Riley Green and his record label knew he had something special with his song "I Wish Grandpas Never Died." It's why, after a video of Green performing the song live went viral, they changed direction, promoting the song as a single to country radio instead of continuing with Green's intended next single.
Green's acoustic performance of "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" proves them right. Armed with his guitar, the rising singer-songwriter delivers an emotional solo version of the song, as part of Taste of Country's RISERS series, which readers can watch above.
"I wish high school home teams never lost / And backroad-drinkin' kids never got caught / I wish the price of gas was low and cotton was high / I wish honky-tonks didn't have no closin' time / And I wish grandpas never died," Green sings in the song's chorus. It's a lament that pretty much every listener can get behind; after all, everyone has lost something -- or someone -- they wish could have lasted forever.
Green wrote "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" alone, but his two late grandfathers, Lendon Bonds and Buford Green, are listed as his co-writers. It's a nod to the pair's encouragement of their grandson's chose career path, and to the country music history lessons they gave him.
"My Granddaddy Buford was really into, like, Merle Haggard, Roy Acuff, Hank Williams. It was way before my time, but that's what I learned to sing [and] play," Green tells Taste of Country. "I never sang when I was playing guitar until my granddaddy started pushing me ... That was there I got my traditional roots."
The elder Green gave his grandson his reverence for the Grand Ole Opry, too. Buford Green also built a performance venue on his property -- the Golden Saw Music Hall, which was decorated with various taxidermy -- and encouraged local artists, both established and aspiring, to take the stage. Green did, but stuck to covers; he'd learn the power of his own material later.
“My Granddaddy Buford was a really witty guy. He was really into poems," Green tells Taste of Country. "I think I got a lot of my wit from him, coming up with things and he had a really good way with words. I think he would have enjoyed songwriting had I been into that when he was still alive.”
WATCH: Riley Green Leans Into His '90s Influences With This Acoustic Performance
These Country Stars All Draw Inspiration From Their Grandparents, Too