Bill Anderson (b. November 1, 1937) is a highly acclaimed and veteran country singer-songwriter, producer, author, and TV personality that became famous beginning in the late 1950s. His trademark soft-styled delivery, which often incorporates extended narratives interspersed between sung passages, earned him the nickname, "Whispering Bill." Best known for the lovelorn and mostly-spoken "Still" (1963), his many signature songs also include such country classics as "Mama Sang A Song" (1962), "8 X 10" (1963), "I Get The Fever" (1966), "For Loving You" (1967), and "My Life (Throw It Away If I Want To)" (1969). Anderson is also a prolific songwriter for other performing artists and one of country music's all-time top hitmakers.
Born James William Anderson III in Columbia, South Carolina and raised in Decatur, Georgia, he played the guitar as a child and wrote his first song at age 10. He formed a band in high school with a number of friends that performed locally and on radio. While still in college, he had his first major songwriting success with "City Lights," which topped the Country charts for Ray Price in 1958. That same year, he signed with Decca Records and relocated to Nashville to begin his career as both a performing artist and songwriter.
Bill Anderson debuted in late 1958 on the Country charts with "That's What It's Like To Be Lonesome," the first in a very long string of mostly self-penned hits that continued through 1991. He topped the charts in 1962 with the spoken ballad, "Mama Sang A Song," which was followed soon after by another chart-topper, "Still" (1963), the latter of which also made the Pop/Rock Top 10 and became his greatest crossover success. Anderson scored five more Country #1s with "I Get The Fever" (1966), "For Loving You" (1967, with Jan Howard), "My Life (Throw It Away If I Want To)" (1969), "World Of Make Believe" (1973), and "Sometimes" (1975). Other top hits include "8 X 10" (1963), "I Love You Drops" (1966), "Wild Week-End" (1968), "Where Have All Our Heroes Gone" (1970), and "I Can't Wait Any Longer" (1978). "I Love You Drops" also became a Top 40 Pop/Rock hit for Vic Dana in 1966.
In addition to "City Lights" as made famous by Ray Price, Anderson's songs for other artists that also topped the Country charts include Lefty Frizzell's "Saginaw, Michigan" (1964), Cal Smith's "The Lord Knows I'm Drinking" (1972), Conway Twitty's "I May Never Get To Heaven" (1979), Mark Wills' "Wish You Were Here" (1999), and George Strait's "Give It Away" (2006), the latter of which was named "Song of the Year" by the Country Music Association. His numerous other works also include such smashes as Jim Reeves "I Missed Me" (1960), Charlie Louvin's "I Don't Love You Anymore" (1964), and Porter Wagoner's "I'll Go Down Swinging" (1964), as well as several hits for Connie Smith and Anderson's duet partner, Jan Howard. Anderson also wrote/co-wrote songs with a more pop-oriented style covered by such artists as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Brenda Lee, and Dean Martin.
A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, Bill Anderson's numerous honors and accolades include many awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association and being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1975), the Country Music Hall of Fame (2001), and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2018). He has recorded over 50 albums to date and in 2020, he released "The Hits Re-Imagined," a re-working of some of his greatest hits both for himself and other country artists.
- For more info about Bill Anderson and his latest projects, visit billanderson.com.
Disclosure: The following links will take you to various online merchants outside of allbutforgottenoldies.net that sell recordings and other merchandise for the performing artist featured on this page. Please note that these are referral or affiliate links from which allbutforgottenoldies.net may receive, at no additional cost to you, a commission if you should make any purchases through them.
- Bill Anderson - CDs, vinyl, & more - Amazon.com
- Bill Anderson - CDs, vinyl, & more - CDUniverse.com
- Bill Anderson - Digital music - Amazon.com
- Bill Anderson - Rare vinyl, CDs, & more - MusicStack.com
- Bill Anderson - Sheet Music - SheetMusicPlus.com
To listen to a song clip, click any song title that has a speaker icon. This will take you to a list of links to CD and/or MP3 product pages from one or more online merchants that have sound samples.
- Mama Sang A Song 1962
(This song was previously a hit for Stan Kenton (1962) and Walter Brennan (1962).)
- Still 1963
(This song also became a hit for Ben Colder (1963) and the Sunrays (1966).)
Previous Artist | Next Artist