It’s hard to think about working and playing music and smiling onstage right now following the terrible destruction that tore through Nashville earlier this week, but I guess at some point we need to get back to doing the things we normally would be doing. So I sat down this afternoon to write to you.
Thanks for all your messages of concern and your prayers for me, my family, and all of us in Music City. As I wrote in my Journal and on Facebook, I was personally very fortunate to have suffered no damage here in Whisperville. It’s been a real nightmare for many others, though, but Tennessee folks are tough and resilient and we will survive.
The band and I fought and survived the snows up in Wisconsin back in February, then came home and worked the Opry a few times before the month was out. I wrote a couple of new songs, and began laying the groundwork for some exciting things coming up later this month and beyond.
We have our first meeting with the Hall of Fame folks regarding the Bill Anderson Exhibit on March 11th as we begin planning what the exhibit will look like when it opens in November. I’m recording some new songs on March 19th, then hoping to get away from it all the next day when I head south to make sure my Atlanta Braves are doing everything right in Spring Training. Gotta get them into the World Series this year!! I’ll head back into the studio when I get home on the 27th
I have been asked to host and co-produce the pilot episode for a new country music television game show (sound familiar?) called “Name That Country Tune.” I can’t tell you much about it at this point other than to say it’s an interesting concept and I’m looking forward to being involved. We had our second meeting today. When I have more details, I’ll pass them along.
They say life repeats itself and comes full circle at times, and I’m experiencing a couple of examples in my world right now. First, the radio station in Commerce, Georgia, where I started my career, has gone from being known as WJJC Radio to being branded as Whisper 95.1 which, of course, is in my honor. I’ll be going to Commerce on May 1st for the official dedication. And as we speak, I am in the process of purchasing the copyright to “City Lights,” the song that I wrote in Commerce and which jump-started my career years ago. This means I will not only own the writer’s share of the song from here on in but the publisher’s share as well.
I go back to remembering when I wrote the song and begged everybody in the country to publish it. And back to when I tried to talk every radio station in Georgia into hiring me as a disc jockey. Now I’m owning the song and the radio station is being named for me. God sure is good, isn’t He??
My son, Jamey, will agree with that last statement. He just learned he will be moving up the ladder at Delta Air Lines, going from piloting the MD88 airplane to flying the much newer and larger 757 later this year. He’ll be flying longer trips, coast-to-coast, but says he’ll have more time at home than before. I can’t tell you how proud I am of all my children and grandchildren. They make ol’ PawPaw smile every day!
By now most of you have heard that Ziggy Johnson, our longtime keyboard player and vocal arranger, got married on Valentine’s night backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. It was a brief but beautiful ceremony as he exchanged vows and rings with his longtime girlfriend, Irene Kelly. I’m sure you join me in wishing them both many happy years together.
I hope this month is good to each of you, and we’ll look forward to seeing many of you when we hit the road again in April. Check out our schedule and come see us if we’re anywhere close. And thanks for continuing to be the best friends and fans a guy could ever hope to have.