Bill Anderson, better known as “Whispering Bill” for his soft, breathy voice, has been one of the top songwriters in country music ever since he wrote his first No. 1 hit, “City Lights,” when he was 19.
On Aug. 22, he will perform at the Grange Fair.
He has been a major recording artist for more than 50 years, having sold millions of records worldwide.
Anderson, a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, worked his way through college as a disc jockey on local radio stations, which inspired him to begin performing and writing songs, including “City Lights.”
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After the success of “City Lights,” Anderson moved to Nashville, Tenn., secured a recording contract with Decca Records, and began churning out hits like “Po’Folks,” “Mama Sang a Song,” “The Tips of my Fingers,” “8X10,” and the country/pop hit “Still.”
Anderson’s songs have been recorded by a variety of well-known musicians, including Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, James Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Ivory Joe Hunter, Kitty Wells, Faron Young, Lawrence Welk, Dean Martin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Walter Brennan and many others.
The country star is 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, according to his website.
Anderson has been voted Songwriter of the Year six times, Male Vocalist of the Year, and was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975. Ten years later, the state of Georgia chose him as the seventh living performer inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
In 1993, he was made a member of the Georgia Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame. A year later, South Carolina inducted him into its Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.
And in 2001, Anderson received the honor of membership in Nashville’s prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame.
Anderson is an active participant in the Nashville music scene. He has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1961 and performs there regularly.
He continues to tour and to record, his latest releases being the self-descriptive “Songwriter” in 2010 and the critically acclaimed “Life” in late 2013.
Anderson is currently, for the first time, performing “A Night with a Legend,” a live, two-hour concert touring across the U.S. and Canada.