In pop music, Bill Pursell is best known for his Top 10 instrumental hit, "Our Winter Love" (1963). He is also known for his work as a session pianist and arranger for such top performing artists as Eddie Arnold, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Carl Perkins, Boots Randolph, Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Carl Smith, and Sammy Smith.
Born William Whitney Pursell in Oakland, California, he is a classically trained pianist and composer with three degrees from the prestigious Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. While serving in World War II, he was an arranger for the U.S. Air Force Band. In 1953, he won the inaugural Edward B. Benjamin Prize for his symphonic poem, "Christ Looking Over Jerusalem." During the late 1950s, he taught at Tennessee State and Vanderbilt Universities and performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. He began his career as a pop musician and session pianist in the early 1960s, signing with Columbia Records in 1962.
Dr. Pursell is an Associate Professor of Music at Belmont University in Nashville and has been a member of the faculty since 1980. He is a prolific composer and arranger who has written for television and has numerous orchestral compositions to his credit.
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- Our Winter Love 1963
(This instrumental song later also became a hit for the Lettermen (1967).)
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