November 17, 2014
I just got back home from having spent a wonderful weekend back home.
“Huh?” you say .”Run that by me one more time!”
OK, let me try it again:
I just got back to my home in Nashville after having spent a wonderful weekend at the last two places I called home before I moved to Nashville, Athens and Commerce, Georgia.
Is that better??
I went there for several very good reasons. First, on Friday night at a tiny performance venue in Athens called Cine, they announced that the University of Georgia Press has agreed to publish my updated autobiography! This has been in the works for quite some time, and I am thrilled. As a graduate of UGA a couple of hundred years ago, I feel as though a big part of me has come full circle.
But that’s not all. In addition to their printing, publishing, and releasing my new book, tentatively titled, “Bill Anderson – An Unprecedented Life In Country Music,” the amazing Special Collections Library at the University, the third largest library of its kind in the United States, has agreed to create and build a Bill Anderson exhibit made up of papers, photographs, and significant mementos gathered from across the span of the 50-plus years I’ve spent in country music. I couldn’t think of a better resting place for things that have been such a big part of my life.
Peter Cooper, one of country music’s most learned scholars and amazing writers, went to Athens with me. It was through his connections that UGA Press was first made aware that a Bill Anderson book was even in the works. Peter is helping me organize and express my thoughts for the book, and has been an invaluable friend throughout the process. He will also be involved in the production of an audiobook which will accompany the print edition, hopefully sometime in 2015.
Saturday morning, I took Peter up to Commerce, my adopted hometown, and the place where my career began back in the late fifties. We walked out onto the roof of what was then the Hotel Andrew Jackson, the place where I wrote my first hit song, “City Lights.” We visited the original site of WJJC Radio where I worked as a disc jockey, took a short drive down Bill Anderson Blvd. (a short drive is all you can take on Bill Anderson Blvd., because it is a very short street!), and ended up inside the Bill Anderson Performing Arts Center at Commerce High School. I was hoping that by his retracing my footsteps from long ago it would give him a better understanding of who I am and where I came from.
Saturday afternoon, we drove back to Athens and were treated to a pre-game brunch and party at the home of the President of the University. They gave us tickets to the sold-out Georgia-Auburn football game that night, and we got to cheer on the ‘Dawgs in near-freezing temperatures.
I arrived back in Nashville early Sunday morning knowing that a lot of work still remains to be done, but energized by the thought that the first major steps have now been taken. I can’t wait to get to work on making the rest of it happen.
Oh, and by the way, Georgia won the game 34-7. They told us after the one-sided upset victory that we can come back to a game anytime we want to!