NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tonight, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum celebrated the opening of its newest exhibition, Bill Anderson: As Far as I Can See. The evening included special tribute performances of hit songs written or co-written by Bill Anderson. Taking the stage to honor Anderson were Trisha Yearwood performing “Once a Day,” Vince Gill performing “Which Bridge to Cross (Which Bridge to Burn),” and Jon Randall and Carly Pearce performing “Whiskey Lullaby.” Anderson concluded the evening with remarks of his own.
The exhibit traces the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s story from childhood to his days in Georgia, where he excelled as a baseball pitcher and sportswriter while in high school and a disc jockey in college, through his contributions as one of the most decorated recording artists, songwriters and entertainers in history. Bill Anderson: As Far as I Can See opens Friday, Dec. 3, and runs through March 19, 2023. Opening weekend programs on Saturday, Dec. 4, will include an in-depth interview and performance with Anderson, as well as a songwriter round with his collaborators. More information can be found here.
Bill Anderson: As Far as I Can See artifact highlights include:
Anderson’s Rawlings leather glove used when he was a pitcher for Avondale High School’s baseball team, circa 1955.The Royal electric typewriter used in the 1960s by Anderson to type song lyrics and answer fan mail.
Anderson’s 1958 Martin D-28 that he called his “second voice.” He used the guitar extensively on stage, in the studio, and to write songs, including “Still,” “The Tips of My Fingers,” “Po’ Folks” and “Once a Day.”
Stage costumes worn by Anderson, including rhinestone-studded suits from the 1960s designed by S.A. Formann, a Buffalo, New York-based tailor, and Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors.
Custom-made boots by L.M. Easterling Custom Boot Company, embellished with the initials “WBA”—for Whisperin’ Bill Anderson.
A Manuel shirt, embellished with rhinestones and metallic embroidery, designed for Anderson in the 1990s.
Anderson’s handwritten lyrics, with corrections, to “Give It Away.” Written with Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson in 2005, it yielded a #1 hit for George Strait.
ABOUT BILL ANDERSON:
Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry titan Bill Anderson is the rare songwriter whose first major label cut went to No. 1 on the charts, was named Song of The Year and sparked a writing career that is currently in its seventh decade. The song, "City Lights," was written when Anderson was a 19-year old Georgia disc jockey and became a career-defining hit for Ray Price in 1958. The song opened doors for him in Nashville, leading him to signing with BMI and Tree Publishing. Anderson was far from a one-hit wonder. He followed "City Lights" with country standards like "Tips Of My Fingers," the GRAMMY-nominated "Once A Day," "Saginaw, Michigan," "That's What It's Like To Be Lonesome," "I Missed Me," "Cold Hard Facts Of Life," which earned him another GRAMMY nomination, "Mama Sang A Song," the crossover smash, "Still," and countless others. He was voted country Songwriter of the Year six times during his first decade in Music City. His success continued into the 1970’s with award-winning hits like "Slippin' Away," "The Lord Knows I'm Drinking," "I May Never Get To Heaven," and the disco-flavored, "I Can't Wait Any Longer." The 1980’s saw Anderson's chart-topping career take a hiatus as he became a TV network game show host, spokesman for a national restaurant chain and a nonstop touring Grand Ole Opry performer. In the 1990’s he came roaring back with a vengeance, however, as he seriously turned to co-writing for the first time. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, his collaborations with the newer generation of Nashville tunesmiths resulted in hits like "Wish You Were Here," the GRAMMY-nominated "Two Teardrops," "A Lot Of Things Different," for Kenny Chesney, "Which Bridge To Cross (Which Bridge To Burn)," for Vince Gill and two CMA Song Of The Year trophies for "Whiskey Lullaby," with Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and George Strait’s "Give It Away," in 2005 and 2007 respectfully. He continues to write today with songs like Brad Paisley’s "Dying To See Her.” For more information, visit BillAnderson.com.
ABOUT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM:
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibits, publications and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is among the 10 most-visited history museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B®, Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported in part by Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.