It’s a powerful thing to be immersed in the 84-year-old (and more) journey of “Whispering” Bill Anderson through his new exhibition Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – especially if you can do it with the man. himself.
It was our experience Thursday, as the Country Music Hall of Famer introduced us to the brand new “Bill Anderson: As Far as I Can See”, which will run until March 19, 2023 at the Nashville Museum.
Along with the hand-written lyrics, rhinestone costumes, guitars, and boots, you get a glimpse into Anderson’s life before country stardom – when he embarked on journalism, baseball, and on. had a brief career in radio. Here is what caught our attention.
A 1958 Martin D-28 guitar that Anderson called his “second voice”: âThey had this one on display in the window with the Hank Snow Music Center on Church Street,â Anderson said, looking through the glass as he might have done over 60 years ago.
âAnd I kept going through it and seeing it. $ 185 was a lot of money for a kid making $ 50 a week. But luckily I got some royalty money from ‘City Lights’ and was able to buy this guitar.
He led to many other hits, including “Po ‘Folks”, “Still” and “Mama Sang a Song”, and he featured several album covers. It’s been a long time since Anderson played it regularly, but he added, “Maybe one day when we finish this exhibit, I’ll take it down and see if it has another song in it.”
His former radio co-host (a squeaky toy from Donald Duck): The rubber duck was originally owned by a DJ friend from Madison, Georgia, who made fun of it on the air. When he moved to a larger station, he had to tidy up the childish things and gave the duck to Anderson. He took him to his radio concert in Commerce, GA and named him “Josh Waddlesforth McDuck”. The perfect middle name came out of a listener contest.
When Anderson was on the air he said, ‘I would have Josh and I would say to him, well, hey, Josh, how are you today? âSqueak, Squeak! “Oh, didn’t you sleep well last night?” I would interpret whatever the duck said. I had to remove the duck at one point because he started getting more fan mail than me. I won’t let any stupid rubber ducks steal my thunder! “
We are happy to report that Anderson and McDuck have since reconciled.
“The first thing I said when I got down – and I had no idea he was going to be here – I said, ‘Well, mate, we made it.'”
His high school baseball glove: âMy God, look at that thing,â Anderson said, looking at the Rawlings glove he used to pitch for the Avondale High School baseball team.
“I bet if you could wring this thing out, it would have a quart of beef foot oil in it.”
The style that suits her: You’ll see decades of rhinestone studded costumes from SA Formann, Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors, and Manuel Cuevas. âHe’s so creative and has been for years,â Anderson said of Cuevas.
“Most of the time, I’m just going to let him go with this.” I could choose a color. I have a bit of a branded collar style, even on the one I’m wearing right now.
Award-winning words: Two of the costumes on display are the ones Anderson wore to two separate CMA Awards ceremonies, where he won Song of the Year for âWhiskey Lullabyâ in 2005 and âGive It Awayâ in 2007. And sitting right under those costumes is Anderson’s hand. -wrote the lyrics to these award-winning songs.
âI just feel closer to the song, I guess, if I write it with my pencil,â Anderson said. âI never write with a pen. You can’t erase it! I’m sure you can find gum (marks) all over this thing.