During a career that spans more than 50 years, Bill Anderson has earned seven #1 records as an artist and a pair of Country Music Association awards for Song of the Year with his co-writes “Whiskey Lullaby” – Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and “Give It Away” – George Strait which gave Anderson his fourth Grammy nomination. “Give It Away” won the ACM Song of the Year as well as the CMA Song of the Year in the same year. Bill won a Dove Award for the Country/Gospel Recorded Song of the Year from the Gospel Music Association for “Jonah, Job and Moses” a song he co-wrote with Tia Sellers. It would almost be easier to list the Halls of Fame he doesn’t belong to, but two of the major ones that can rightfully call Bill a member are the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Bill has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1961.
Bill’s first #1 hit, “City Lights” a Ray Price hit that stayed at the top of the charts for 13 weeks, was written at the age of 19 while he was working at WJJC radio station in Commerce, GA.
Anderson is best known by the name “Whispering Bill”, a nickname hung on him years ago by comedian Don Bowman as a result of his breathy voice and his warm, soft approach to singing a country song. His credentials shout his prominence: One of the most awarded songwriters in the history of country music, a million-selling recording artist many times over, television game show host, network soap opera star, spokesman for a nationwide restaurant chain, and a consummate onstage performer. Bill has been voted Songwriter of the Year six times, Male Vocalist of the Year, half of the Duet of the Year with both Jan Howard and Mary Lou Turner, has hosted and starred in the Country Music Television Series of the Year, and has seen his band The Po Folks Band voted Band of the Year.
An entertainer in every since of the word, Bill Anderson was the first country artist to host a network game show, starring on ABC-TVs, “The Better Sex”. He also appeared on ABC’s “One Life To Live” for three years. Bill hosted a country music game show call “Fandango” which later became an interview show called “Opry, Backstage on the Nashville Network. Anderson also co-produced the TNN Show “You Can Be A Star”.
In 1995 Billboard magazine named four Bill Anderson compositions “City Lights”, “Once A Day”, “Still” and “Mama Sang A Song” among the Top 20 Country Songs over the past 35 years.
Despite his hectic schedule and the demands of his multi-faceted business enterprises, Bill has made a renewed commitment to his first love – songwriting. “I feel like I’ve come full circle, because songwriting is what got me to Nashville in the first place.”
SMSWF is proud to showcase Whispering Bill as a songwriter in the 3rd Annual SMSWF!