Bill Anderson - lead vocals, guitar; Mike Johnson - pedal steel, dobro, vocals; Louis Johnson - guitar, banjo, vocals; Mike Shook - bass; Leanne Fulsom - fiddle, vocals; Gale Porter - keyboards, piano, vocals; Mike Streeter - drums, vocals
Bill Anderson recorded three performances at Danny's in Foster, Rhode Island for the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio concert series. One might not think of Rhode Island as a hotbed for country music fans, but they came out in full force for this show, the second of two on August 1st, 1982.
Anderson and his band run through a full set of his best loved songs, including a 13-plus minute medley of several radio hits. Included in the show are memorable takes of such Anderson classics as "Po' Folks," "I Wonder if God Likes Country Music," and the country standard, "Rollin' in my Sweet Baby's Arms." He also lets the band break loose with the instrumental "Dallas Theme," which they recorded for the popular primetime soap opera.
Anderson is old-school country, a great performer, and a true gentleman. He is continually thanking the audience for their support over the years, and seems genuinely grateful to still be able to make his living making music as one of the few legendary country artists to make the transition onto the contemporary country charts. Anderson released his first hit in 1959 and had a solid string of top-20 hits through 1979. Beginning in the 1990s his career was rejuvenated as a songwriter for the likes of Steve Wariner, Kenny Chesney, Lorrie Morgan, Collin Raye, John Michael Montgomery, Mark Wills, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, among others.
Born in 1937, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Anderson graduated from college in the late-1950s and began working as a sports journalist. That career led him to work in radio, and eventually, as a country DJ. While spinning records, he started writing and recording demos of his own songs. One of those songs, "City Lights," was recorded by country superstar Ray Price and became a top-five hit in 1958. The success of that song encouraged Anderson to pursue his own career, and the following year he moved to Nashville, signed with Decca Records, and started penning hits of his own.
Many would follow, among them "That's what it's like to be Lonesome," "Tip Of My Fingers," "Po' Folks," "Mama Sang a Song," "8 X 10," and "Still," a ballad that crossed over onto the pop charts in 1963. From 1977-1978, Anderson co-hosted The Better Sex, a game-show on ABC. He subsequently appeared on Match Game, Hee-Haw, Family Feud, the soap opera One Life to Live, and from 1983-1989 hosted country-music game show Fandango. More recently he has interviewed country musicians on Opry Backstage. Today he hosts an XM radio show called Bill Anderson Visits with the Legends.
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