1) As a child I had a stack of used 45-rpm records, among them many of yours. I was particularly taken with one called, “Country Music Died Today.” Now a lot of my friends and I are getting in arguments as to the validity of the song. I’d be interested in knowing if the song actually existed or if I was hallucinating back then.
I can’t say whether you were hallucinating back then or not, but, yes, the song did actually exist. It was written by Curly Putman, Ron Hellard, and Bucky Jones , and I recorded in on an album called, “Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow,” released on the Swanee label. It was the story of someone who thought country music had died, but woke up to realize he had only been dreaming. Hmmmm….???
2) Is there a way I can hear the song, “I Held The Pencil, But He Wrote This Song?”
That is not a song title, but rather a line from inside a song called, “I Can Do Nothing Alone.” That song is on several different releases of mine, including our Double-CD gospel package called, “God Is Great – God Is Good.” You can order it through our website at www.billanderson.com.
3) Are members required to perform so many dates a year at the Grand Ole Opry? And has anyone ever turned down a membership request?
The rules have changed from time to time over the years, but the current rule at the Opry is that a member is required to perform a minimum of ten times per year. I’m not sure how strictly that rule is enforced, nor am I aware of anyone ever turning down a membership offer from the Opry. Rumor has it that It may have happened over the years, but if it has, I’m not able to verify it.
4) How do you hook up with the people you co-write songs with? I find some of the collaborations you have been involved with quite interesting.
So do I. There is no set way that I hook up with my co-writers, most of the time it just “happens.” I’ll run into another writer at the Opry or on Music Row and one of us will say, “Let’s write together sometime,” and oft-times it happens. Other writers will reach out to me, and sometimes our various publishers will put us with people with whom they think we’d be successful. I’ve really enjoyed co-writing over the past 25-years or so, and I’ve managed to be in on the creation of some successful songs plus make some wonderful and long-lasting friendships in the process.
5) Have you ever heard a song by Elton Britt called, “There’s A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere?”
Of course I have. It was a million-seller back during the Second World War. And it’s good to be reminded of the sentiment in that song here in the days between Memorial Day and the 4th Of July.
And thank you for this month’s questions. Stay curious, and send your questions to me in care of firstname.lastname@example.org or via snail mail at P.O. Box 888, Hermitage, TN. 37076. See you back here next time.