LOOKING BACK: The Songwriters who Visit a Place Called Hippie Hill - On the Outskirts of Rutherford County, TN

Aug 28, 2022 at 08:17 pm by Voice Wire

By Scott Walker

(RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - Looking Back) While at Hippie Hill on a cool October day (October 13, 2016), I ran across a man named Wayd Battle. In a small and cramped cabin of sorts, we talked.  

Hippie Hill is deep in the woods of Middle Tennessee, at the edge of Rutherford, Coffee and Cannon Counties, which is about 45-minutes from Nashville. Needless to say, music and freedom are alive in the hills.  

Battle said, “Well, I’ll tell ya this… I’m the son of a Baptist minister and I started playing honkytonks when I was 14-years-old.” As the conversation continued, Battle told me that he was born in Alabama, eventually moving to Nashville.  

While in the Music City, Battle met a man named Jamey Johnson. Battle traveled with Johnson who was growing in popularity while playing guitar, singing background and writing songs over a seven-year period.  

As far as hits go, Battle stated, “We were lucky, we had the ACM / CMA song of the year called 'In Color' and that was an awesome thing [laughing] - my girls go to college because of that.” When discussing albums, Battle said, “We sold, I guess to date, 4-point something million on that.” 

The hit song “In Color” was released on Mercury Nashville Records in 2008, the same year it won both the Academy of Country Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards.

In 2009, the song became Jamey Johnson’s first Top Ten country hit.  

The song is about an older man who shows his grandson black and white photos from his past. Some of the photos, according to the lyrics, were of the grandfather fighting in World War II. 

Wayd Battle no longer tours with Johnson. However, he still writes, travels, plays and loves music. I’m sure you can Google him. 

See the original story by Scott Walker and hear the audio interview on SmallTownBigWorld.com - HERE.