MANILA, Ark. —An Arkansas teen's recording of a song his grandmother wrote 30-years ago has gone viral and so has her reaction to hearing it for the very first time.
Robert Smith suggested that his son Travis Smith record the song his mother wrote after Travis began recording some of his own work. Travis loved the idea and went to work.
A few months later, Travis and his dad recorded Tommie Sue Wilkey as she listened to the finished song on Christmas Eve. Wilkey's reaction is priceless.
The Facebook video has been viewed more than 16 million times on social media.
"When it started playing, by the third word I knew it was mine. And the rest is history," said Wilkey, writer of Fishing In The Sky.
When Wilkey wrote Fishing In The Sky back in the 80's, she recorded it acappella on a cassette tape.
She never dreamed her grandson would put music to her lyrics.
"I know my grandmother. I know how she is. I know when I presented her with this song, she was going to be emotional, " Travis said.
Travis and his father enlisted a hometown friend in Manila, Arkansas to arrange the music and add some background singers.
"We were sitting down and he was picking on the guitar and he was just singing it, like in the melody, and I was like, 'man that sounds good,'" Smith said.
Travis' version of Fishing In The Sky has soared its way up on social media.
Travis says he never dreamed the song or his grandmother's reaction would blow up the way it did. And after all these years Wilkey's song about streets of gold and mansions on high still resonates from one generation to another.
"You know how you work so hard and nothing seems to get better? And you're just kind of up against the wall and you wonder if life's always going to be like it is?", said Wilkey
Smith says the social media popularity he's enjoying has only made him more anxious to make music.
He plans on releasing an extended play CD in the coming months.