Known for his breathy vocal style that earned him the pen name Whisperin’ Bill, Anderson will celebrate his 55th Anniversary as a member of the legendary Grand Ole Opry in June 2016.
“The first time I was on the Opry, I was 21 years old,” Anderson toldThe Boot in an interview. “You never forget the first time you sing there. I was at the Ryman in January 1959. I was on the 10:45 p.m.show – they had me on late — and Porter Wagoner introduced me. I sang ‘That’s What It’s Like To Be Lonesome.’ It had been less than five years from the first time that my mother took me to the Opry when I was a teenager, to sit in the audience and see it, so it was an amazing experience. I still sometimes can’t really believe it,” he said.
BMI Icon Award and multiple CMA/ACM Award winner Bill Anderson sat down with Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame DJ and radio host, Keith Bilbrey to talk about his remarkable journey from his early days working as a college disc jockey in Atlanta, Georgia to becoming one of the country music genre’s most prominent songwriters and legendary performers. This in an episode of “Reflections,” scheduled on Heartland TV.
“Reflections” is a weekly half-hour interview series where Bilbrey leads one-on-one insightful interviews with country music’s legendary artists. Bilbrey’s long-time relationships with iconic artists who are featured on “Reflections” translate into intimate and candid conversations with each guest. Viewers can also find “Reflections” on Blue Highways TV, Sky Angel Two, The Family Channel or AMG TV.
As a nineteen-year-old college student at UGA in 1958, he got his first real chance at mainstream success in 1958 when Ray Price recorded his self-penned song, “City Lights,” and ever since, he’s been making history. The only known songwriter in history to have had an entry on the country charts for seven consecutive decades, Anderson has given his fans memorable songs like ‘Po’ Folks,’ “Still,’ ‘Mama Sang A Song,” and “I Get The Fever.” He received a GRAMMY nomination for Steve Wariner’s “Two Teardrops,” and won CMA Vocal Event Of The Year for “Too Country” in 2001 (recorded by Brad Paisley, Buck Owens and George Jones. Other mega-hits he has penned include “A Lot Of Things Different” (Kenny Chesney), “Give It Away,” (George Strait, Jamey Johnson),” “Whiskey Lullaby” (Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley). Anderson also hosts the national TV show, “Country’s Family Reunion.”