Ask Bill – June 1

1) Has there ever been a song you could have recorded and didn’t…or a song you have turned down…that charted top ten or even gone to #1??

Yes. I had first crack at “Funny How Time Slips Away,” before it became a big hit for Billy Walker. Willie Nelson, who wrote it, sang it for me one day up at Tree Publishing, and I thought it sounded too much like “Hello Walls,” which Willie also wrote, and which was a hit at the time for Faron Young. I realized later that it was just Willie’s phrasing that made the two songs sound alike. Ben Peters told me that he wrote “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” for me, and he sent it to me first, but I had just finished a session and wasn’t needing a song at that time. Before I could get back in the studio, Charley Pride heard it, recorded it, and the rest is history.

2) Where can I find the ‘Nanner song you sing on the Opry now and then?

So far as I know, Roy Drusky is the only person who ever recorded “Peel Me A ‘Nanner,” and his recording might not be easy to find these days. It was a hit for him back in early 1964. As many times as I’ve sung that song…and as much fun as my friends have had teasing me about it…I have never actually recorded it myself. One of these days, though, I probably will.

3) I have a question about Bobby Bare instead of you. Does he still sing “All American Boy” bearing in mind the mix-up with names when it was first released?

Now that Bobby and I are working some shows together, I had the chance to ask him that very question a few weeks ago. He said he does it from time to time, but not on all his shows. There was actually not a mix-up on the names. Bobby deliberately recorded it under the name of his friend, Bill Parsons, because Bobby knew he was about to go into the military, and wouldn’t have a chance to promote the record if it were to come out under his own name.

And some quickies:

4) If a person gets VIP tickets for a show, will they get to meet you?

Yes, usually at a meet ‘n greet prior to the concert.

5) We love you in your birth city of Columbia, S.C. Any appearances around here in the near future?

There’s nothing on the books right now, but that can always change. I’m glad to know y’all aren’t ashamed of me down there! Thank you.

Keep your questions coming. You can send them to me at or at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076. I’ll be back here with more next month. Stay curious.