1) On some of the Country’s Family Reunion shows they show the guests signing posters during the break. Are any of these posters available or were they just for the guests to pass among themselves?
The posters originally had a two-fold purpose: A copy was given as a souvenir to each artist who participated in that particular taping, and the ones that were left over were donated to various charities to be used in their fundraising efforts. Larry Black tells me that they still have quite a few of the posters in their offices, but he has no idea what they might do with them…if anything.
2) Before XM and Sirius merged, you had a program called Bill Anderson Visits With The Legends on XM. I really enjoyed it. Are there plans to release that program on CD or bring it back to satellite?
I had two letters this month asking about those shows, and I appreciate your interest after all these years. Three of the programs, my visits with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and The Oak Ridge Boys, were packaged together on CD’s and sold back in the day, but I have no idea where you might find one of those sets today. Perhaps try on E-bay. A few of the episodes, such as my visits with George Jones and Glen Campbell, were aired on Willie’s Roadhouse when these great artists passed away. But so far as I know, there aren’t any plans to take the others out of the vault, at least not anytime soon.
3) Was Connie Smith ever asked to sit in on Country’s Family Reunion? And did you ever do lots of shows with her?
I have been told by our talent coordinators that they reached out to Connie’s people every time we were set to record a CFR show, but that her schedule never seemed to match up with ours. She would have been a wonderful guest. No, we didn’t do “lots” of shows together because in the beginning I did not want people to think of her as the “girl singer” in my band. Then after “Once A Day” hit, I didn’t want to be the “boy singer” in her band!! We did play a few shows together in her early days, but not as many as you might think.
Quickies: I’m just wondering if you’ll ever do a UK tour. I would love to see one of your shows. Thank you. I have toured in the UK several times over the years and always enjoyed my visits over there. Maybe I can explore the idea again when all the coronavirus concerns are behind us. What is your favorite hymn and your favorite Christmas song? If you know me, you know I’m reluctant to name my “favorite” anything because my favorite on Tuesday may not be my favorite on Friday. But I’d say “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Silent Night” probably fill the bill as my favorite hymn and favorite Christmas song. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon. How do you keep your singing voice in shape during the times of being unable to perform? I walk around the house whispering a lot! No, I’m kidding. That’s actually a great question, and I’ll admit to having been worried about it when I first went back on the Opry after seven months. I do play and sing at home quite a bit, particularly when I’m writing new songs, and while that’s not exactly like performing in public, it helps. You have a million dollar smile, but don’t you have to force it sometimes? How in the world can you keep smiling over and over again for pictures for so many fans? First, thank you. I am basically a happy person, and most of the time smiling comes easy for me. I’m honored when people want to take my picture, and I try to show my appreciation by smiling. Somewhere someone is bound to have a picture of me with a big ol’ frown on my face, but hopefully they’ll keep it to themselves and not spread it around.
I always smile when you send me your questions, and I appreciate every one of them. I’m looking forward to starting off 2021 with a batch of new ones, so please send me yours. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076. Thanks, and I’ll see you back here next year!