Several months ago I had the pleasant opportunity to talk with the legendary Whisperin' Bill Anderson. I always enjoy talking with Bill. Aside from being an amazing songwriter, his life has been quite the journey from his early days as a DJ in Commerce, Georgia to being one of (if not THE) most awarded songwriter in Nashville. He went from being Peanut Butter Bill to Whisperin' Bill
Sadly, following our interview I had dental surgery. Silly me to think I'd be back to work in a few days. Rather, I was out of commission for the better part of three weeks. Things around the office got shifted/ piled and my notes from our conversation have vanished. Precisely why I prefer in-person interviews that I can record rather than phone interviews where I have to depend on notes and hoping I get quotes correct. Someday, the notes will surface and all of our conversation will still be just as relevant.
One item that stuck with me was the emotion in his voice when I asked him about 'Jaybird'. Jaybird is the nickname he gave his son, Jamie. When Bill's wife was in a bad car accident, Bill had to be both mom and dad. During Opry performances, he would always say 'goodnight Jaybird', so that his son would go to sleep. When Jamie was away at college and feeling homesick, he would go sit in his car and tune in to the Opry just to hear his dad say 'goodnight Jaybird'. And if you thought the story ends there, you're wrong. Later, as a pilot for Delta, Jamie would turn on the radio in the cockpit as they flew over Cincinati to hear his dad say 'goodnight Jaybird'.
Talk about leaving a legacy for your children. I'd bet everything on the fact that with all Whisperin' Bill will leave his family, that memory will be the most important to Jamie.
In the mean time, I thought I'd share one of my favorite songs. With the hundreds of hits that Bill Anderson has had over the past seven decades (both ones he has had a hand at writing and ones he has recorded), one of my favorite songs ever written by Bill Anderson (co-written with the late Harley Allen), was recorded by Joe Nichols called, I'll Wait For You. Here's a video clip:
Wednesday I'll be sharing my review of Bill Anderson's most recent book (he's had four published), Whisperin' Bill Anderson - An Unprecedented Life In Country Music (co-written with Peter Cooper) I hope you'll come back to check out this fabulous book.
In the mean time, you can catch up with Whisperin' Bill Anderson at the following social media sights: