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Legend's Corner - "Whispering" Bill Anderson -December 2007

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Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson

Shelly Fabian

When James William Anderson III was born on November 1, 1937, no one had a clue the impact he would have on the country music world. Although he was born in Columbia, South Carolina, he was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He started writing songs in high school and by the age of nineteen he had written "City Lights."

Bill worked as a disc jockey at local radio stations which helped him go to college at the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a degree in journalism. He first got a job at the Atlanta Constitution, where he continued to work until signing with Decca Records under the legendary producer Owen Bradley.

From this point on Bill Anderson's story seems more like a dream than reality. When Bill sings, you only hear a whisper, he proves you don't have to yell in order to be heard. His first single "That's What It's Like To Be Lonesome" was released in 1959, but in 1960 he recorded his first Top 10 hit "Walk Out Backwards."

The 1960's should have been called "The Bill Anderson Decade." He was everywhere from television to radio, and showed no signs of slowing down. In 1961, "Po' Folks" was released, which later became the name of his band and a chain of restaurants he sponsored. 1963 would deliver his "signature" song "Still." This tune reached No. 1 on the country charts and went all the way to number eight on the pop charts. It is one of country music's biggest hits as it continues to remain a fan favorite on every stage he performs.

Not only was Bill having a ton of success as a singer, but his songwriting skills were being put to good use as well. His songwriting credentials are nothing less than impressive. Roy Clark, Eddy Arnold and Steve Wariner have all recorded "The Tips Of My Fingers" while Martina McBride, Connie Smith and even Van Morrison have recorded "Once A Day."

Once the 1960's were over, Bill embraced the idea of some new projects. Becoming the host of the game show "Fandango," which aired on The Nashville Network, he also co-produced "You Can Be A Star," hosted by fellow Opry member Jim Ed Brown. If this wasn't enough, Bill decided to try his acting card, which landed him a role on ABC's One Life To Live. He also made appearances on shows such as "Family Feud," "The Today Show," "Match Game" and "Hee Haw."

Now at the young age of seventy, Bill continues to perform all over the world, while writing songs for country music's top stars like George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. After forty six years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Bill is also a member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame, and in 2002 BMI crowned him as the first country music Songwriting Icon. Bill has said "I feel like I have come full circle, because songwriting is what got me to Nashville in the first place."

His latest project is a Bluegrass album with special guests like Vince Gill, Dolly Parton and Jan Howard. Bill Anderson is a country music legend and if you have not heard him sing, you're missing out.

Top Songs:

  • Still
  • For Loving You (With Jan Howard)
  • Mama Sang A Song
  • Sometimes (With Mary Lou Turner)
  • The Corner Of My Life
  • Three A.M.
  • Wild Weekend
  • I Got You Drops
  • Walk Out Backwards
  • 8x10
  • I Get The Fever
  • Five Little Fingers
  • Double S
  • Mama Sang A Song
  • Po' Folks
  • The Tips Of My Fingers

Album Recommendations:

  • The Definitive Collection Compare Prices
  • 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Bill Anderson Compare Prices
  • The Way I Feel Compare Prices
  • No Place Like Home On Christmas Compare Prices
  • A Lot Of Things Defferent Compare Prices
  • Fine Wine Compare Prices

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