Country star John Rich will always treasure a sweet voicemail message he once received from late U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

The singer reveals America's 41st leader, who died last week (30Nov18), was a big fan of his music, and they once exchanged phone calls for the former World War Two heros 85th birthday in 2009.

"There's a song I wrote called The Good Lord and The Man, and I wrote it about my grandfather, who was a World War Two vet, and the President had heard about the song, so for his birthday, I called and he was busy jumping out of an airplane! His 85th birthday!" John recalled on U.S. breakfast show Today.

"So I left (a message) on his voicemail and sang the whole song (for him) and then he listened to it, and then called me back, and I missed his call, so I played phone tag with the President!"

Although John was upset he didn't get to speak directly to Bush, he is thrilled to have his own special keepsake from their exchange.

"I'm almost glad I missed the call, because now I have that (saved voicemail)," he smiled.

In the message, Bush thanks John for the personal phone performance, and tells the musician, "I'm very touched by it and I love your music, and I love this song particularly so you're guaranteeing me a happy 85th birthday."

Bush was laid to rest in his home state of Texas on Thursday (06Dec18) following a memorial service featuring performances by Reba McEntire and the Oak Ridge Boys, a day after he was mourned at an official funeral in Washington, D.C., attended by the Bush family, current leader Donald Trump, and his predecessor Barack Obama, among others.