Did Miranda Lambert Order a Hit Song, Straight Up?

Songwriter Could Earn Six-Figure Tip

You know that song “Little Red Wagon” Miranda Lambert did at the recent Grammy Awards in Los Angeles?

Miranda Lambert ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images


Well, so does the bartender from the Theatre at the Ace Hotel a few blocks away from the Grammys. He knows that song inside and out.

Because in a twisted sense of only-in-the-music-business irony, that song’s writer, Joe Ginsberg, was tending the bar at a Grammy party while Lambert was onstage singing his words.

But Ginsberg is not just a bartender who happened to put pen to paper one day and wake up the next to find Lambert belting it out at Staples Center. He’s more of a musician-and-songwriter-turned-bartender. Sometimes.

“When I’m not on the road, I work at the Ace because it’s great part-time work to make a little extra cash while I’m home. I’ve lived on the road for the past 10 years,” said the LA-based upright bass player and (obviously) songwriter.

Ginsberg wrote “Little Red Wagon” with Oklahoma singer-songwriter Audra Mae. When Lambert’s friend John Eddie heard the song, he immediately brought it to Lambert’s attention.

Lambert says she then stalked Mae until she mustered up the courage to ask, “Do you care if I cut ‘Little Red Wagon,’ if I have the balls to do it, of course, because your version is so good?”

Ginsberg and Mae wrote the song — rhyming wagon with an axel draggin’– while driving down Sunset Boulevard in her Dodge Dart “Goldie.” (No relation to Dierks Bentley’s tour bus of the same name.)

Now that Lambert has not only cut it, but released it to country radio and performed it live on the Grammys, it could very well hit the top of the charts. And if that happens, Billboard estimates Ginsberg could earn more than $100,000.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.