On March 6, 1947, Redd and Pee Wee were traveling by truck from a performance in Henderson, Texas. The radio was turned to WSM's Grand Ole Opry. As they listened to Bill Monroe sing 'The Kentucky Waltz,' Pee Wee jokingly said to Redd, 'Why haven't you written a song about your home state of Tennessee?'
At that moment, with pencil in hand and nothing but the cover from one of those large boxes of wooden matches on which to write, Redd began scribbling the words to the 'Tennessee Waltz.' Upon returning to his home in Nashville, he transcribed what he had written onto paper and penciled in the notes. The rest is history.