“I was both surprised and honored when I learned that Connie Smith’s recording of my song, ‘Once A Day,’ has been selected for inclusion inside the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress in Washington. Although it’s her recording that is being preserved, they included my name on the plaque as having written the song. I’m in some pretty select company here, and both proud and grateful. I’m grateful, too, for the toughness my grandson, Gabe, has shown in completing his five weeks of radiation therapy prior to his bone marrow transplant coming up in May. They gave him the certificate he is holding here as proof of his “graduation,” and the smile on his face tells you how proud he is of his achievement. In case you haven’t figured it out, Gabe is my hero. Another special person in my life is pictured in the bottom photo, the guitar player in my band since 1981, Les Singer. It’s hard to believe Les has been with me for 40-years, but he has. I love this picture, and wanted to share it with you. Thanks, Lester, for all the miles, the music and the memories.”
“I was honored to be asked to take part in the fund-raising tribute last month for my longtime friends Emmy Joe and Keith Bilbrey following the devastating fire that recently destroyed their home. I had a chance to visit with them prior to the show along with my friend, Sharyl Melvin.The Bilbreys plan to rebuild, and I hope our efforts on their behalf will make things a little bit easier. In the second picture, my buddy Dallas Wayne, the afternoon host on Sirius/XM’s Willie’s Roadhouse, drove down from his new home in Bristol to help me celebrate my 60th Anniversary at the Opry. Anytime Dallas is in the house the room lights up and the laughter abounds. I sure appreciated him and his wife, Jo, taking the time to come join with us. It was back to work on Monday, though, as Bobby Bare came to the recording studio to put his unmistakable voice on a song for my upcoming album. Our dear friend and soon-to-be newest Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, Buddy Cannon, came by as well. We couldn’t resist posing for a picture together.”
I got to spend Father’s Day with my oldest daughter, Terri, as we attended outdoor services at the Church By The Lake then dined on a fantastic prime rib buffet indoors. My younger daughter, Jenni, was out of town, but I got a sweet phone call from her later that afternoon. I did get to see my son, Jamey, which made for a perfect Dad’s Day all the way around. Gabe had just gotten home from spending a month in the hospital, and I got to catch up with him before the day was over. I’m not sure he felt like smiling, but he smiled anyhow when his mom pointed the camera in our direction. What a trouper that young man is. The bottom photograph is a beautiful picture of our oldest fan club member, Bertha Thomas, in North Carolina. She was celebrating birthday #104 when this picture was taken. When I reach 104, I hope I look as happy and spry as Bertha does!
Happy Anderson smiles were evident everywhere on Saturday May 15th when my grandson, Blake, received his high school diploma. My son, Jamey, and I were grinning and celebrating with him. Grandson Gabe’s bone marrow transplant was ten days later, and the hospital team treated it as a celebration too, with signs like the one pictured here. And I love the third picture where B. J. Thomas is singing “When Two Worlds Collide” on the Country’s Family Reunion show that honored my 50-years in the music business. A 19-year old Bill Anderson is appearing to look over his shoulder and smile his approval. B. J. was a tremendous talent, and he will be missed by those of us who knew, respected, and loved him.