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Bill Anderson Singer Songwriter

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Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson - Nashville country music recording artist, singer / songwriter from Georgia
Photo Courtesy of Bill Anderson


There's an old saying... "If you want someone's attention, whisper."

The unique monicker of "Whisperin Bill" was originally bestowed upon Bill by Comedian Don Bowman.  At
the time it was used merely to describe Bill's breathy style of singing and his warm soft approach to singing a
country song. Little did Bill know it would become a defining factor in his career as a legendary singer -
songwriter.

Bill Anderson has been capturing the attention of millions of country music fans around the world for over
fifty years, en route to becoming a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and one of the most popular,
most enduring entertainers of our time.

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. His first job in radio was at WGAU AM in Athens,
GA from 1956 - 1957. In 1957 he helped "sign on" WJJC in Commerce, GA for its first broadcast.  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,”, recorded by Ray Price in 1958, shooting to the top of the country charts. It
was then that Bill 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.” His compositions were recorded by such diverse musical talents
as Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, James Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Ivory Joe Hunter, Kitty Wells, Faron Young,
Lawrence Welk, Dean Martin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Walter Brennan and many others.

The first time Bill performed on the Opry stage, before he became a member, was in the fall of 1958.  He
sang his first Decca recording of "That's What It's Like To Be Lonesome".

Bill has been voted Songwriter Of The Year six times, Male Vocalist Of The Year, half of the Duet Of The Year
with both Jan Howard and Mary Lou Turner, has hosted and starred in the Country Music Television Series
Of The Year, seen his band voted Band Of The Year, and in 1975 was voted membership in the Nashville
Songwriters Hall of Fame. Ten years later, the State of Georgia honored him by choosing him as only the 7th
living performer inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
 
View Bill Anderson's Full Discography Here

In 1993, he was made a member of the Georgia Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame. In 1994, South Carolina
inducted him into their Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. And in 2001, he received the ultimate honor,
membership in Nashville’s prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame. An entertainer in every sense of the
word, Bill Anderson was the first country artist to host a network game show, starring on ABC-TV's, "The
Better Sex." He also appeared for three years on ABC's Daytime soap opera, "One Life To Live."
 
For six years he hosted a country music game show on The Nashville Network called, “Fandango,” later an
interview show called “Opry Backstage,” and somehow found time to be co-producer of another TNN Show
called, “You Can Be A Star.” In addition, Bill has appeared frequently as a guest star on television’s top
variety and game shows, including The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Match Game, Family Feud, Hee
Haw and others. He currently hosts "Bill Anderson Visits With The Legends" on XM satellite radio.
 
Bill Anderson’s autobiography, “Whisperin’ Bill,” was published by Longstreet Press in 1989 and relates the
fascinating details of his life and lengthy career in show business. The book, which Bill personally wrote over
a period of three years, made bestseller lists all across the south. Bill’s second book, a humorous look at the
music business titled, “I Hope You’re Living As High On The Hog As The Pig You Turned Out To Be,” was
published in 1993 and is currently in it’s fourth printing.
 
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 record, his latest album,
"Whispering Bluegrass," has been released with an accompanying DVD. The package contains sixteen
acoustical performances divided equally between secular songs and gospel favorites. Guests appearing on
the project include Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, and Willie Nelson.

Despite his hectic schedule and the demands of his multi-faceted business enterprises, Bill has made a
renewed commitment to his first love – songwriting. “I feel like I’ve come full-circle,” he smiles, "because
songwriting is what got me to Nashville in the first place.” In 1995, Billboard magazine named four Bill
Anderson compositions – “City Lights,” “Once A Day,” “Still,” and “Mama Sang A Song” – among the Top 20
Country Songs of the past 35-years. No other songwriter had as many songs listed.

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.

In 2002, Broadcast Music, Inc. named Anderson its first country music songwriting Icon, placing him
alongside R&B legends Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and James Brown as the only recipients of
that prestigious award. His compositions can be heard on recent or forthcoming releases by Kenny Chesney,
Vince Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Joe Nichols, Sara Evans, Tracy Byrd, and others, serving notice that the past fifty
years may well have been only the beginning.

A Country Music Hall of Famer and Opry legend, Bill Anderson began hosting "Country's Family Reunion"
on RFD-TV over 15 years ago and still remains on that highly rated show today. The show features country
music legends gathering around reminiscing about the glory days, remembering those that have passed on
and singing.

You can visit Bill's website @ Bill Anderson





Bill Anderson is a prolific songwriter, writing hundreds of songs recorded by  numerous
artists over the years. 
The song in the video below was written by Bill Anderson, Jamey
Johnson and Buddy Cannon and recorded by
George Strait. The song  scored  Bill's  first 
ACM  Song of the Year award and awarded him his fourth Grammy
nomination.


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