1) One of my all-time favorite albums is your duet album with Jan Howard called “Bill And Jan Or Jan And Bill.” The album is filled with such a terrific mix of country songs. Do you have any special memories of recording this particular album?
Oh boy, I sure do! Jan and I had done so many serious songs on our first two records together, that we decided from the get-go that this record was going to be FUN. It started with the title. I wanted to call it “Bill & Jan,” naturally, and she wanted to call it “Jan & Bill.” So we settled on using both names, and the liner notes were a series of letters we wrote to one another about the concept. We laughed our heads off coming up with those. Then so many of the songs were light-hearted and fun….including “Dis-Satisfied,” “Beautiful People,” “We,” and “Someday We’ll Be Together.” We cut the original version of “Satin Sheets” here, too, before Jeanne Pruitt had her big hit with it. Jan and I took our music seriously, but we didn’t take ourselves seriously, and this album was certainly proof of that. I’m glad you like it. We both liked it too.
2) A little while back my brother heard you sing a song, “Someday It Will All Make Sense.” Did you write this song and record it? He loved it and wanted to know if it was available.
I co-wrote that song with Bobby Tomberlin and Ryan Larkins, and I’ve sung it a couple of times on the Grand Ole Opry. I have not recorded it yet, but I hope to and plan to as soon as I can get back into the recording studio. I would like very much for it to be part of my next album. Tell your brother I’m glad he likes it.
3) I have a question for you. You have done so much – written and sung thousands of hit songs, acted on a soap opera, appeared many times on TV and, of course, the Grand Ole Opry. You have traveled around the world and much more. Everyone seems to have their own Bucket List. What are a couple of items still on your B.L.??
Professionally, I can’t think of a thing. I have been blessed far beyond my wildest imagination. Personally, at the top of my list is living to see my grandson, Gabe, become cancer-free and able to pursue his life and his dreams. That, along with health and happiness for all my children and grandchildren. My list is actually a pretty short one.
Quickies: Wasn’t there some talk awhile back about Bear Family issuing a boxed set to follow up on “The First Ten Years?” Has there been any movement on that? There was some talk, but it seems to have died out. I don’t think those folks are putting out as much music today as they once were. What is your road schedule for this year? I would love to see you again and hear you sing. You don’t know how much I’d like to be out there pickin’ and singin’ for you, but due to COVID and my current family situation, I am taking the entire year of 2021 off the road. Will I go back on tour in 2022? Stay tuned. When someone does a parody of a song, does the original writer get credit? Is the writer asked if the song can be used? I’m thinking of Sheb Wooley and the parody he did as Ben Colder on “Still.” Yes, the writer gets co-writing credit on the parody. The writer doesn’t have to give permission for the parody to be released, but the publisher, who owns the copyright, has to grant a license. I always took parodies of my songs as great compliments. They meant my original song had been successful enough to warrant someone’s making fun of it. You’ve always had a love for baseball. What is your favorite position? Being left-handed, my options were limited because lefties don’t play second base, shortstop, third base, or catcher. I loved pitching, and then playing first base on the days I wasn’t on the mound. Will there be any more Country’s Family Reunion shows in the near future? This continues to be my most asked question which tells me that many of you really enjoyed those shows. I enjoyed them,too, but the decision as to whether any more shows will be recorded is out of my hands. Larry Black owns the copyright to that name and that series. The decision rests with him and his sons who now run his company.
Thanks as always for your questions. I’ll do it again in June if you’ll send me the material I need. Address your questions to me at AskBill@billanderson.com or at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076. See you back here next month.