There’s an old saying that says, “You can’t go home again,” but I’m about to try.
I started my major label recording career in 1958 with Decca Records, which became MCA Records in the early seventies, then somewhere along the way took on the name of its parent company, Universal. The label is now known as UMG Records (for Universal Music Group), and they are about to release some new Bill Anderson music for the first time since 1981. After 60-plus years, I am about to “go home” to where it all began. And I’m thrilled about it.
It’s the same company with new folks in charge, of course, and instead of label mates named Ernest and Kitty and Conway and Loretta I’ll be alongside Alan and Carrie and Dierks and Keith. Instead of singing duets with ladies named Jan and Mary Lou, this time I’ll be harmonizing with an icon named Dolly. I can’t tell you all the things UMG has in store for me and my music, both new and old, but they will be coming out with a press release later this month containing all the details. I feel so blessed to be able to continue writing and recording and performing new music…while re-releasing older music from across the years….with the help of one of the biggest and best record labels in the world. Thank you, Lord, for helping me find my way “home.”
And speaking of writing, I’ve been back in the writing rooms with some of my favorite co-writers lately and, hopefully, we’ve been creating some new music that you’ll soon be hearing. In fact, one of the new songs has just been released, “He Even Brought Her Flowers,” by our Sirius/XM radio buddy, Dallas Wayne. Dallas asked Buddy Cannon and me to help him finish writing the song, and then he asked me to recite one of the verses on his record. I was honored, and I’m proud of the result. It’s an honest-to-goodness country song, the kind Dallas plays every day on Willie’s Roadhouse. I hope you like it.
Out of necessity, I wrote by myself a lot during Covid, and for the most part I enjoyed it. But returning to in person co-writing is a totally different type of enjoyment. Seems I laugh a lot more when I’m in a room full of creative types who are just as crazy as I am!!
And speaking of creative types, I hope lots of you were listening to the Opry on March 19th when I hosted a laid-back songwriter segment with two of my most creative friends, Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson. I gave my band the night off, and Jamey, Buddy, and I played as though we were doing a songwriting round at the Bluebird. When our spot ended, I got to extend an invitation to Jamey to become an Opry member, and he was thrilled. The crowd gave him a couple of standing ovations, and he said to me, “If I had known all this was going to happen, I’d have ironed my shirt.” Somehow, we managed to keep it a secret from him.
Jamey loves the Opry. He loves country music, and he will make a great Opry member. He won’t be one of those who signs on then disappears for a year. He will show up, perform to the best of his ability, and the audiences will love him. His actual induction date is tentatively set for Saturday night May 14th. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.
And speaking of the Bluebird (notice how I’m tying everything together so neatly here today!), we had a great Tin Pan South night there last Friday in spite of the fact that Jeannie Seely had to cancel her appearance due to illness. Teea Goans came along to sing some of the great new songs she and Jim “Moose” Brown have written for her new album, and while we missed Jeannie, Teea did a great job and the show went on. It had been several years since I had taken part in TPS, and it brought back some really good memories.
I’m hoping to sneak a little vacation time into the last part of April, so if you don’t see or hear from me for awhile you’ll know why. I’ve got a feeling things are going to get extremely busy over the next few months and I need to get rested up. I hope you enjoy these early days of Spring as I plan to, and that your garden sprouts nothing but beautiful flowers.
Thanks for everything you continue to do for me and my music, and hang on. We’re about to have a lot more fun!