Today, I would like to take a moment and give recognition to Grand Ole Opry member Bill Anderson, who on November 1 is celebrating his 73rd birthday. Bill was born James William Anderson III, on November 1, 1937. He has had an outstanding career with numerous #1 records and has recorded almost 50 albums (and is still going strong). He is also a great songwriter, author and former game show host. He also hosted his own television show. He also had numerous duet hits with Jan Howard and Mary Lou Turner.
Bill became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on July 12, 1961, and in 2011 he will be celebrating his 50th anniversary as an Opry member. In 1975, he was voted as a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2001 he was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
His career is still very active today as he is still writing books, writing and publishing new songs and recording new record albums. He also has continued a pretty active touring schedule.
I have had the opportunity to meet Bill several times and I have always found him to be a very friendly and personable guy. He has always taken the time to answer my questions and to take a few minutes to say hi. And, he always receives a great reception while at the Opry.
In honor of Bill, I thought that I would post the Opry line-up from Saturday July 15, 1961. This was the first show that took place after Bill became on Opry member on July 12, and during this show he was officially welcomed as the newest Opry member.
7:30: Ray Price(host); Cowboy Copas; Bill Monroe; Stringbean; Tommy Jackson; Jan Howard
8:00: Flatt & Scruggs(host); Dick Flood; Bill Anderson; Loretta Lynn; Crook Brothers
8:30: Porter Wagoner(host); Bobby Lord; Archie Campbell; Jordanaires; Margie Bowes; Bob Luman
9:00: Roy Drusky(host); Glaser Brothers; Stonewall Jackson; Skeeter Davis; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Cousin Jody
9:30: George Hamilton IV(host); Bill Monore; Johnny Forbes; Lonzo & Oscar
10:00: Flatt & Scruggs(host); Jan Howard; Jordanaires
10:15: Bobby Lord(host); Loretta Lynn; Stringbean
10:30: Roy Drusky(host); Margie Bowes; Stonewall Jackson
10:45: Glaser Brothers(host); Cousin Jody; Crook Brothers
11:00: Porter Wagoner(host); Bob Luman; George Hamilton IV; Lonzo & Oscar; Sam & Kirk McGee; Jordanaires; Fruit Jar Drinkers
11:30: Bill Monore(host); Bill Anderson; Skeeter Davis; Dick Flood; Johnny Forbes
A couple of quick observations regarding the Opry on that particular night. First, it was one show, as it was back in those days. Bill Monore and the Jordanaires were featured on 3 different segments that night. And, do you notice how many of the Opry stars are missing? How about Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, Grandpa Jones, Marty Robbins, Minnie Pearl, Ernest Tubb, among many others. We complain now about Opry line-ups, but to be honest, the line-up from this particular night was not the strongest line-up we have seen from that era.
Again, congratulations to Bill Anderson on his 73rd birthday!!!!!!!