The Yodeling Walmart Kid is influencing the global music charts. Hank Williams’s 1949 song “Lovesick Blues,” the star song in last month’s viral video, hit the charts this week at number 22 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 music rundown. It follows a whirlwind month for 11-year-old Mason Ramsey, whose rendition of the hit in a Harrisburg, Illinois, store propelled him to stardom.
Ramsey has been known in his area for some time, but it wasn’t until his performance in the hardware aisle went viral last month that he became known worldwide. When he appeared on Ellen earlier this week, he was awarded a $15,000 scholarship from Walmart, and he was offered an invite to perform at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, April 14. Spotify streams for “Lovesick Blues” have soared in popularity alongside Ramsey, increasing by 2,452 percent from March 26 to April 9. The 69-year-old song is now listed among big hitters like Drake, A$AP Rocky, Azealia Banks, and The Weeknd.
“Lovesick Blues” was a hit in its own time, securing Williams his first number one hit. The song was originally performed in the 1922 musical Oh, Ernest. Much like Ramsey, Williams’s rendition earned him a spot at the Grand Ole Opry, debuting on June 11, 1949. Unfortunately, he was dismissed in July 1952 for his alcoholism, five months before dying from heart failure. Williams’s version received newfound attention in the Nineties when it was included in Forrest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption.
Ramsey is such a well-known name in his town that touring celebrities normally ask him to perform in their shows, and he’s opened for people like the Bellamy Brothers, Kenny Rogers, and Gene Watson. Known as “Little Hank” to his fans, Ramsey’s performance of “I Saw The Light” at the Carson Center earned him a standing ovation.
Next step for Ramsey is the Grand Ole Opry, the legendary country music concert that first started in 1925 as a radio broadcast. Other than Williams, Ramsey will be following in the footsteps of such greats as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, and more. Ramsey’s show will feature big names like Ricky Skaggs, David Ball, and Point of Grace.
The sensation has brought newfound attention to the art of yodeling, a skill that demands specific voice box movements to accomplish.