Today in Country Music, April 4th, featuring Bill Anderson
Today in Country Music, April 4, featuring Bill Anderson.
On this day in 2011, Dierks Bentley gushed about his daughter Evie to People magazine saying, "when I'm at home, Evie likes to pick out my clothes".
Today in 2006, Rascal Flatts' Me And My Gang hit stores… the album sold an astounding 250,000 copies its first day of sales alone.
Kenny Rogers had the most popular song in the country today in 1977 with "Lucille"… Kenny duets with Lionel Richie on his new Album Tuskegee.
And on this day way back in 1959, "Whispering" Bill Anderson made his debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
“Whispering Bill,” a nickname hung on him years ago as a result of his breathy voice and his warm, soft approach to singing a country song. His credentials, however, shout his prominence: One of the most awarded songwriters in the history of country music, a million-selling recording artist many times over, television game show host, network soap opera star, spokesman for a nationwide restaurant chain, and a consummate onstage performer. His back-up group, The Po’ Folks Band, has long been considered one of the finest instrumental and vocal groups in the business.
Bill Anderson was born in Columbia, South Carolina, but spent most of his growing-up years around Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, having worked his way through college as a disc jockey on nearby radio stations. It was while he was still in school that he began performing and writing songs. At the age of nineteen he composed the country classic, “City Lights,” and began rapidly carving his place in musical history.
He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, secured a recording contract with Decca Records, and began turning out hit after hit with songs like “Po’Folks,” “Mama Sang A Song,” “The Tips Of My Fingers,” “8X10,” and the unforgettable country and pop smash, “Still.”
Bill Anderson continues to paint a broad stroke across the Nashville music scene. He has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1961 and performs there regularly. He continues to tour and to record, his latest album being the self-descriptive, "Songwriter." In the fall of 2011, Bear Family Records released Bill's first box set, "Bill Anderson - The First Ten Years," a 126-song collection of works initially released between 1956 and 1966. The 4-disc package is accompanied by a 64-page hard-cover book full of stories and timeless photographs.
Anderson closed out the 20th century with a pair of #1 hits, “Wish You Were Here,” by Mark Wills and the Grammy nominated “Two Teardrops” by Steve Wariner. His song, “Too Country,” recorded by Brad Paisley along with Anderson, Buck Owens and George Jones, won CMA Vocal Event Of The Year honors for 2001. The following year saw Kenny Chesney soar with his version of the Anderson-Dean Dillon masterpiece, “A Lot Of Things Different.”
But in a period of twenty-five months between November, 2005, and December, 2007, Anderson enjoyed perhaps the most fertile period of his songwriting life. He won CMA Song of the Year honors for his and Jon Randall’s poignant ballad, “Whiskey Lullaby," recorded by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association for co-writing with Tia Sillers the Country/Gospel Recorded Song of the Year, "Jonah, Job, and Moses," sung by the Oak Ridge Boys, and his first ACM Song of the Year Award for "Give It Away," recorded by George Strait and written with Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson. "Give It Away" went on to win the CMA Song of the Year as well as affording Anderson his fourth Grammy nomination.
Bill lives on Old Hickory Lake outside Nashville where he spends as much time as possible with his three children and eight grandchildren.