Welcome to September and the last of the hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer.
I don’t know about you, but after all the heat and dry conditions we’ve had around Whisperville lately, I’m ready for some soft autumn rains and cooler temperatures. Bring ’em on!
We’re starting off the month excited about the release of the acoustical/bluegrass version of my and Dolly Parton’s duet, “Someday It’ll All Make Sense,” which has just come out. Your comments have been very encouraging so far, and I appreciate knowing that you like it. As I’ve told you before, our vocals are the same as on the country version, but the instrumentation on this cut is mostly unamplified and to me it sounds more intimate. Sierra Hull and her husband, Justin Moses, have provided the perfect touches on the mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and dobro. If you haven’t heard it yet, I hope you’ll check it out on our website (www.billanderson.com) and the other places where you stream and download your music.
Oh, and there is also a lyric video that accompanies this new version. It will be released on my website and YouTube channel at 9 a.m. Central time on Friday September 2nd in conjunction with my appearance on Coffee, Country, & Cody, the morning show on WSM Radio and Circle TV. I hope you’ll join us for that if you can.
Otherwise, things in my world are relatively quiet. You folks down in Texas might have been hearing a song lately that I had a hand in writing called, “Damn Sandwich.” It’s in the Top 20 on the Texas music charts by a girl named Jordan Rainer. I know the title sounds a bit off-the-wall, but don’t judge it until you hear it. I wrote it with Bobby Tomberlin and a young writer named Matt Wynn. I hope you’ll find the humor in it, and hopefully its popularity will spread beyond the Lone Star state.
I was all set to tell you that a Circle Network TV show I recorded a few weeks back with Clint Black was going to air this month, but Clint just called and said it’s now scheduled for November 5th. It’s an hour-long conversation between him and me just talking about all kinds of things, and I think you’ll enjoy it. I’ll remind you again a little closer to the correct air time.
And while I have your attention, don’t forget about our exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame when you’re planning your next trip to Nashville. It is scheduled to run into March of 2023. And our latest CD, “As Far As I Can See,” is available through our online store and at most CrackerBarrel locations across the country.
On the personal side, I will be taking a little vacation time this month, heading to the ocean to stare at the water and watch the dolphins swim by. I will be back in town and back on the Opry September 24th and again on September 27th.
Thanks for continuing to ask about my grandson, Gabe, and for continuing to keep him in your prayers. He turned 18 on August 6th, and has started attending in person classes at school for the first time since the pandemic. It’s his senior year, and we’re all so hopeful that he’ll be healthy enough to enjoy it. Don’t stop remembering him and his fight against cancer. Your prayers have helped to get him this far.
For those of you in the United States, I wish for you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend…our last official taste of summer. After that it’s back to school for almost everybody, back to work, and back to the drudgery of watching football and getting ready for the baseball playoffs. It’s rough, but somebody has to do it! Thanks again for your continued kindness to me, and we’ll see you back here again in October.
1) Did you ever consider setting up shop in Branson, Missouri? A lot of country music performers have over the years, and some have had a long presence there.
Yes I did. When I was the spokesman for the PoFolks restaurant chain back in the 80’s, we seriously considered opening a PoFolks Dinner Theater in Branson. We would have served up country food and country music, which would have been unique to the area at that time. I was excited about the possibilities, but the powers-that-be ultimately decided against it and I stayed rooted in Nashville.
2) I was one of the regulars who came to your TV show tapings at CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I wonder if you have access to any of those tapings.
No, but I wish I did. Those black and white shows were recorded in 1966-67, and I’m sure the tapes have all been erased or destroyed by now. We didn’t have adequate ways of preserving them back then, and we certainly didn’t realize the wisdom in not letting them get away. They would be priceless treasures today.
3) Do you know if Mike Johnson still has a band? I have seen them on Country’s Family Reunion and they were the best!
Mike, who was the steel guitar player and band leader on CFR and in my PoFolks Band for sixteen years, is now touring with Reba McEntire, continuing to work as many recording sessions as his schedule will allow, and has a band called 45 RPM that plays great country music at the Station Inn in Nashville whenever they can. It’s not the exact same band as you saw on CFR, but they play the same style music and play it extremely well. If you’re ever in Nashville and find that they are performing while you are here, don’t miss the opportunity to see and hear them. You will not be disappointed.
Our Question Of The Month comes from Britt in Texas: Throughout the years you have been outstanding…touring, making records, hosting game shows, writing songs, playing the Grand Ole Opry etc., and you never missed a beat. What a wonderful life you have lived. I want to know how you want to be remembered?
Wow…thank you. Mac Wiseman had an old song called, “Tis Sweet To Be Remembered,” and I guess just BEING remembered should be at the top of anyone’s wish list. You’re right in that I have been very blessed in this life, but I think I’d rather be remembered for the person I was than for anything I might have accomplished. I’d like for my children to say I was a good father, my employees and co-workers to say that I treated them fairly, and for my friends to say I was a friend in return. Of course, if somebody were to sing one of my songs a hundred years from now and give me credit for writing it, that would be pretty special too.
Quickies: A few years ago you did a song with Tracy Byrd called “You Lied To Me.” Did you write it?? Yes, and Tracy was one of several artists who recorded it. He invited me to sing it alongside him one night on the Opry. Although I never recorded it, I also sang it there one night myself just for fun. And Steve Wariner surprised me the other day when he told me it was the first song he ever sang in public. I had no idea. What performer do you think influenced your music and songwriting the most? No doubt but what it was Hank Williams. What year was the CFR taping done of “Unbroken Circle?” That was the last series we recorded, and it was done in 2018. I have been watching your Family Reunion shows on Tubi. Do you have any more coming up? There won’t be any more new shows as they are no longer in production. I am not familiar with the schedule on Tubi, however, so perhaps they will be airing some of the older ones. I’m glad to know you enjoy watching. Did Country Family Reunion get took off of RFD? It’s not on there anymore, so I guess it got “took off”.
I appreciate all your questions, and invite you to send me any that you might have rolling around in your mind. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and be watching for yours in an upcoming newsletter. If your question is chosen our Question Of The Month, you will win any item of your choice from our online store completely free of charge…and that includes shipping. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and stay curious!
I had the chance to visit with my grandson, Gabe, on his 18th birthday last month, and you can see here in this picture that we were both all smiles. All he wanted was the latest Lego sets, and as you can tell, he got his wish. He has loved putting together Lego ever since he was a little boy, and he doesn’t show any signs of outgrowing that love whatsoever. All these sets should keep him busy for awhile. In the second picture, I am kneeling on the Opry stage to pose with Joseph Kelley, a longtime fan from Alabama. Joseph had seen me back in 1968 when he was 14-years old, and we’d had a picture taken together. Unfortunately, that picture was destroyed in the film developing process, and this was the first time he had seen me since. I decided we needed to replace his picture, so I paused the Opry show to pose and visit with him. It was a special moment for us both. And speaking of special moments, it’s always special when I get to be alongside two of my best buddies, Buddy Cannon (left) and Bobby Tomberlin. This black and white picture was taken following our recent songwriter’s round at the Bluebird Cafe. It had been a fun night with a packed house and lots of music and tall tales. One or two of the stories were even true!