And greetings from up here on Cloud Nine!
That’s where I’ve been ever since last Thursday night and the opening of the “Bill Anderson – As Far As I Can See” exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum here in Nashville. What an incredible few days it has been.
Much of what took place that night and in the days that followed has already been documented on Facebook and on various websites and media outlets around the world, and I’m afraid if I repeat it here I’ll only be rehashing things that you’ve already seen and read. So I’ll call your attention instead to my site at www.billanderson.com, where you can find new articles and pictures almost every day, as well as to the Hall of Fame website at www.countrymusichalloffame.org where they have all kinds of coverage of their own.
I was asked to come to the museum at 5:00 Thursday afternoon where I was met by my three children and all eight of my grandchildren. I can’t tell you the joy I felt when I saw them, and realized they had all put their lives on hold to come share these special moments with their Dad and PawPaw.
We were escorted to the exhibit entrance where we became the first of what they tell me will ultimately be over a million visitors to view the collection, and for about twenty minutes we had the place all to ourselves. I’ll admit to a few tears, a whole bunch of hugs and smiles, and even more, “WOWs!” I couldn’t take it all in at one time, and I can’t wait to go back one day soon and really absorb all that’s there. I hope each of you will have a chance to see it sometime between now and March, 2023.
For those of you who can’t get to Nashville during the next fifteen months, or for those who might like a sneak preview, there is an incredible 80-page color exhibit book that you can order from us at www.billanderson.com. I will personally autograph your book and ship it to you free. Thumbing through the book will almost make you feel like you’ve been there.
On Saturday I returned to the Museum for a mid-morning guitar-pull in the Ford Theater featuring three of my friends and favorite co-writers, Buddy Cannon, Bobby Tomberlin, and Erin Enderlin. In front of a live audience they told stories about writing songs with me, sang some of our compositions, then called me onstage to wrap things up by singing my song, “The Songwriters.” What a fun session it was. That afternoon, I sat on the same stage with my friend, Peter Cooper, and talked about my life and my career for the Museum archives. Both the performance and the conversation were recorded and will premier January 18th as part of the museum’s Live At The Hall series.
After the theater emptied, I stayed behind to record some remarks for aspiring young songwriters and performers who are enrolled at the Taylor Swift Educational Center inside the Hall of Fame building. Needless to say, I was one tired little hillbilly when my day finally ended just before dark.
When I arrived home, I was greeted by the sad news that my friend and fellow Opry member, Stonewall Jackson, had passed away that morning. Stonewall and I worked a lot of shows together over the years, shared a lot of laughs, and had a lot of fun. He was the only artist who had been at the Opry longer than me, which means I now have the distinction of having been there the longest. Rest in peace, Wall. You were one of the best!
Since this will be our last newsletter for 2021 I want to thank each of you for making this such an incredible year in Whisperville. I recorded some new music back in the Spring, celebrated my 60th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in July, took part in the Opry’s 5,000th consecutive Saturday night broadcast in October, and helped unveil the As Far As I Can See exhibit at the Hall of Fame in December. Now that all that is in the rear view mirror, I plan to concentrate on releasing that new music with all the trimmings in 2022, and I’m excited about all the possibilities. Stay tuned for the details coming soon.
Oh, and did I mention that the Braves won the World Series??
To each of you I wish a joyous Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. May you be surrounded by those you love the most. Thanks for everything, and I’ll see you back here in 2022.
God bless us everyone.