James William Anderson III (born November 1, 1937), known professionally as Bill Anderson, is an American country music singer, songwriter, and television host. His soft-spoken singing voice was given the nickname "Whispering Bill" by music critics and writers. As a songwriter, his compositions have been covered by various music artists since the late 1950s, including Ray Price and George Strait.
Anderson was raised in Decatur, Georgia, and began composing songs while in high school. While enrolled in college, he wrote the song "City Lights", which later became a major hit for Ray Price in 1958. His songwriting led to his first recording contract with Decca Records the same year. Anderson began having major hits shortly thereafter. In 1963, he had released his most successful single in his recording career, "Still". The song became a major country pop crossover hit and was followed by a series of top ten hits. These songs included "I Love You Drops", "I Get the Fever" and "Wild Week-End". His songs were being notably recorded by other artists. In 1964, Connie Smith had her first major hit with his composition "Once a Day". In 1971, Cal Smith had a number one single with Anderson's "The Lord Knows I'm Drinking".
In the 1970s, Anderson continued having major hits as a recording artist as well. Songs including "Love Is a Sometimes Thing", "All the Lonely Women in the World" and "World of Make Believe" became major hits. As the decade progressed his style moved towards the polished countrypolitan genre of country music, with songs such as "I Can't Wait Any Longer". He was dropped from his record label in the early 1980s and began a brief career in television which included hosting the game shows The Better Sex and Fandango. Anderson began writing songs again in the early 1990s for the next generation of country performers. Collaborating with other writers, he wrote material that went on to become hits for Vince Gill, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and Steve Wariner in the next two decades.
Anderson also continued recording into the 1990s. In 1998, he released his first major label album in over a decade, entitled Fine Wine. He continued releasing music through his own TWI record label. This included projects of gospel and bluegrass material. His most recent studio album was released in 2020. In his career as both a writer and performer, he has received awards from the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association, Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Data: Born November 1, 1937 (Columbia)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1958 - 1972
Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, guitar
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= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 296 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Decca||NA 10369||8/13/1958||[Unknown title(s)]||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 10370||8/13/1958||Inspiration||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 10371||8/13/1958||That's what it's like to be lonesome||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 10372||8/13/1958||The thrill of my life||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 10667||4/5/1959||Ninety-nine||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 10668||4/5/1959||Back where I started from||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 10854||9/17/1959||It's not the end of everything||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 10855||9/17/1959||Dead or alive||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11002||3/3/1960||No man's land||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11003||3/3/1960||The tip of my fingers||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11261||9/7/1960||Walk out backwards||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11262||9/7/1960||The best of strangers||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11263||9/7/1960||Flowing waters and shifting||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11473||3/20/1961||Goodbye cruel world||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11474||3/20/1961||I'll walk you home||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11515||4/24/1961||Goodbye cruel world||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11516||4/24/1961||Po' folks||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11517||4/24/1961||As long as I live||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11568||6/5/1961||It takes a worried man||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11569||6/5/1961||City lights||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11570||6/5/1961||Columbus stockade blues||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11571||6/5/1961||Mama sang a song||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11629||7/18/1961||Wedding bells||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11630||7/18/1961||Yonder comes a sucker||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
|Decca||NA 11825||12/11/1961||On and on and on||Bill Anderson||vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Anderson, Bill," accessed December 2, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/200238.
Anderson, Bill. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/200238.
"Anderson, Bill." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 2 December 2023.
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