“Old Dogs, Children, And Watermelon Wine” is considered to be one of the best songs Tom T. Hall has ever written. Clear enough, it was inspired by his trip to Miami Beach in Florida way back in 1972. But what was the real deal with the song?
About the Song
A song that hit in the 1970s, “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine” was penned and first recorded by American singer-songwriter and novelist Tom T. Hall. It was earlier recorded on July 12, 1972, and later released as a single on November 13 in the same year. American songwriter and record producer Jerry Glenn Kennedy produced the song under the Mercury Records label.
In addition, “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine” was the second and last single from Hall’s album, The Storyteller. To note, it became Hall’s third no. 1 song to enter the Billboard Hot Country Singles. It spent a total of 13 weeks on the chart with one week at the top. Moreover, Canadian RPM Country Tracks also ranked it no. 1 while the song reached no. 21 on the Australian Go-Set in 1972-1973.
In 2014, the Rolling Stone Magazine placed “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine” at the 93rd spot in their list of 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time.
Hall Reveals the Story Behind the Song
Not a common title of a song, “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine” was based on a true account of Tom T. Hall’s experience at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. The event was the presidential nominating convention of the Democratic Party for the 1972 presidential election. In the event, he met an old janitor with whom he had a conversation with. The old man shared with Hall that there are only three worthwhile things in life, of which are mentioned in the title of his song.
After the show, Hall headed back to his hotel and proceeded to stay in the lounge. Those words uttered by the old man he had met flashed clearly to him and he thought of writing a song about it. The next day, he wrote the lyrics on his way back to Tennessee. He started the song with the three most important things about a person’s life where he had taken the title of the hit. Hall then continued to write a story about it.
When asked about the story of his song, Hall immediately replies,
“The rest of it,” he says, “is in the song.”
Watch Tom T. Hall narrates the story of his life with his 1972 hit “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine”: