Let me begin this month by thanking each and every one of you who reached out and wished me a happy birthday on November 1st. For what may have been the first time ever, I worked a concert on my birthday, and the folks in Scottsburg, Indiana, couldn’t have been nicer. When I came back on stage for my encore, the audience started spontaneously singing Happy Birthday to me. What a cool experience that was! Thanks for all the cards, e-mails, Facebook posts (over 3,000 of them!), and the like. I’m so blessed to have made it this far on my journey, and equally blessed to have shared the ride with so many of you. Thanks again. You are the best.
By the way, my favorite greetings were the ones that said, “Happy Birthday young man!”
October was a great month here in Whisperville, starting with the Dottie West birthday bash on the 9th. Jeannie Seely, who puts these events together every year to remember her longtime friend, Dottie, chose to honor me this time, and what an array of talent she rounded up. There’s no way I can list everybody who came, but so many of my friends and co-writers showed up to play songs I had a hand in creating. Even better, the event raised almost $30,000 for the Musicians Relief Fund. My sincere appreciation to Jeannie and to all who shared the evening with us.
On October 11th, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalyn, honored us with their presence at the Opry, on the 12th we honored Dolly Parton on the occasion of her 50th Opry anniversary, and on the 14th I inducted my friend and co-writer, Sharon Vaughn, into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. On October 21st and 22nd we gathered at the Mansion Theater in Branson to celebrate another Country’s Family Reunion with fans and friends. I had to go on the road on my birthday to get some rest!
So what’s up ahead? Well, I guess by now most of you have heard that the folks who own the Opry are starting a new television network next year called The Circle Network. I don’t know a lot of the details, but I am hoping to be involved with them on some level. I do hear that the Opry will be televised again, and that’s good news. I’m sure we’ll all be learning more in the days ahead. It’s exciting.
We are winding down our tour schedule for the year with a November 9th show at the Old Dominion Barn Dance in Hopewell, Virginia, just outside Richmond, and a Christmas show at the Wheeling Jamboree December 7th. Our Opry dates this month will be November 15th and 16th (2 shows each night) plus one show on the 19th and two more on the 23rd. We’re back at the Ryman now to begin our annual three-month run downtown.
I’m hoping to spend Thanksgiving again this year with my family here in Nashville. My granddaughter, Rae’s, birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day, so we’re hoping she’ll be able to come home from Chicago and celebrate both occasions with us. I have so much to be thankful for, and if you don’t believe that, listen to my song, “Thankful,” from the Anderson album. It says it all.
Enjoy the Holiday with the ones you love, and count your blessings. We all have so many…even though we don’t always recognize them as such. Enjoy the rest of our newsletter, and I’ll see you back here in December.