1) I remember watching The Bill Anderson Show every week when I was about 12-years old. I wouldn’t miss it for anything. Is there any chance of ever seeing reruns? I’ve been a fan for over 50-years.
Thank you. Sadly, most of those old shows, which I hosted for nine years, have been erased or the tapes have been destroyed. There are about 25 of the programs that have managed to survive, however, and I would like nothing better than to make them available to our fans. But….there are multitudes of legal issues surrounding payment to the musicians and guest stars who appeared on those shows, and I’ve been advised to not try and release them at this time. Maybe someday.
2) I just read your comment in the last newsletter about the song, “At The Time.” How come and why did you mention Big Spring, Texas? I was born and raised and still live there, and wonder why you mentioned it in your song.
Weldon Myrick, one of the greatest steel guitar players of all time, was in my band years ago and he was from Big Spring. (He used to get mad when people added an “s” and called it Big Springs!) When I was writing the song, I needed the name of a town that was a complete opposite in character to Paris, France…and one whose name was four syllables in length. I remembered Weldon and Big Spring and it just seemed to check all the boxes ….even if Johnny Carson didn’t like it!
3) When your exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame ends in September, what happens to all the items after that? Will they not still be on display or what?
I did not GIVE my memorabilia to the Hall of Fame. I only LOANED it to them. So, technically I can ask for it back when the exhibit closes. Frankly, I plan to let them keep many of the items to use as they see fit, although I would like my guitars and a few of the more personal things returned to me. Some of the items will be taken back Commerce, Georgia, where they will be on display outside the entrance to the Bill Anderson Performing Arts Center there. Other items belong to the University of Georgia special libraries collection and will be moved back there. It’s been such an honor to have had the exhibit open for almost the past two years, and I’m so happy to know that over a million people have seen it. I’m sure I’ll feel a twinge of sadness when it comes down.
4) Our Question Of The Month comes from Kenneth in Utah and is a good one: Since you are an amazing songwriter, which of the following qualifications are required in order to be a solid songwriter: 1) Extremely high IQ; 2) An excellent vocabulary; 3) A gift from God; 4) A special talent for writing; 5) A great imagination; 6) A college degree or other formal training; 7) All of the above???
Whoa….let me think about this for a minute. I’m not sure any of the qualifications you mentioned are “required,” although to a certain degree I guess all of them would help. The vocabulary and imagination would be great assets particularly in lyric writing. I don’t know that a songwriter has to have an “extremely” high IQ although it probably wouldn’t hurt. The college degree or other formal training is not all that important even though it might come in handy. I’ve often said my songs are a “gift from God” (“I held the pencil but He wrote this song”), and I’ve felt that He has smiled on my creative career from the get-go. Qualifications you didn’t mention would include determination…desire…and the ability to handle rejection. A songwriter hears “no” a whole lot more than he hears “yes”!
Quickies: Who played steel guitar on your recording of “Wild Weekend.” Sonny Garrish, and I credit his great picking for much of the success that record enjoyed. And while we’re on the subject of steel guitars: Did Weldon Myrick play steel on “Bright Lights & Country Music? And when did Donna Hammit start playing for you? Yes, “Bright Lights” was the last record of mine that Weldon played on. Donna played steel in my band from January, 1996, until December, 2003. If you could do only one thing for the rest of your career would you pick songwriting or performing? Songwriting. Is Stonewall Jackson still living? No. He died December 4, 2021. Is the song “The Dream Never Dies” on any of your albums or CD’s? I don’t think so. It was only released on a 45rpm single and was a well-kept secret. What was the name of the group that came to Fan Fair every year at the fairgrounds and provided a meal for the fans? It was a group called the Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang from Odessa, Texas, and they were wonderful. Have you ever written a book about your life? Yes, two of them. You mentioned that you did a duet with Dolly Parton and David Allen Coe. What was the name of the song? No, you misunderstood what I said. I said that I had recorded duets with people as diverse as Dolly (Someday It’ll All Make Sense) and David (Get A Little Dirt On Your Hands.) I don’t think the world is ready for a record by Dolly, David, and Whisperin’ Bill!
So many good questions this month, and I hope you’ll keep ’em coming. If you’re curious about anything related to me or to country music let me know and I’ll try to answer any questions you might have. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and remember if you submit our Question Of The Month you’ll get any item you’d like from our online store free of charge. I’ll look forward to hearing from you, and I’ll see you back here in August.