Grand Ole Opry Member Spotlight: "Whispering" Bill Anderson
"Whispering" Bill Anderson is a heralded singer and songwriter that has seen more than 80 hits climb the country charts since the late 1950s. This Grand Ole Opry member has seen his own recordings hit the top spot on the charts more than once with classics like "Still," "Po' Folks," and more, as well as songs he has penned for other artists. Bill Anderson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Background and Early Career
- Anderson was born in Columbia, South Carolina on November 1, 1937, and was raised in Georgia. He began playing guitar at the age of 12, and played in a band throughout his college years. Anderson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism & Mass Media at the University of Georgia.
- While the aforementioned songs were big hits for Anderson, other artists took songs written by the Grand Ole Opry member to the top. Most recently, his song "Whiskey Lullaby" — which was performed by Grand Ole Opry members Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss - earned him a Country Music Association (CMA) award for Song of the Year.
- Other hits penned by Anderson include Connie Smith' "Once a Day," Ray Price's "City Lights," Conway Twitty's "I May Never Get to Heaven," and Kenny Chesney's "A Lot of Things Different."
Grand Ole Opry Induction
- On July 15, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated Anderson's 45th year as a Grand Ole Opry member. Anderson was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on July 15, 1961 and has been a regular performer ever since.
Bill Anderson at the Opry
- Anderson continues to write songs, record albums, and, of course, perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Want to see when "Whispering Bill" will be there? Visit the VME Grand Ole Opry Blog for a schedule of Performers.
Notable Hits You Might Hear at the Grand Ole Opry
- "Po' Folks"
- "City Lights"
- "Five Little Fingers"
- "Mama Sang a Song"
- "World of Make Believe"
- "Candy Apple Red"
- "But You Know I Love You"
- "Walk Out Backwards"
- Bill Anderson was presented with the inaugural "Bill Anderson Heritage Music Award" at the Belle Meade Plantation's Historic Music Fest in Nashville. Named for Anderson himself, the distinction was created to award artists who continue to support and contribute to the sounds of heritage music.
- See the complete list of current Grand Ole Opry members!