It was announced today, by the National Traditional Country Music Association
President, Bob Everhart, that Bill Anderson, star of
the Grand Ole Opry and award winning songwriter/singer,
is going to make the trek to LeMars, Iowa, in early September, for
two specific reasons.
"First off," Everhart said, "Mr. Anderson is a good will Ambassador
for Nashville. He has firsthand knowledge of how the clean-up operation
is doing after the flood, and he also has firsthand knowledge about
how Nashville is back in 'business as usual.' It seems the 'media'
pretty much exploded and exploited the flood and all the damage, in
many news stories, and then pretty much left it hanging there. There
are some folks in Iowa who still think Nashville is underwater, and
of course that is not true anymore."
"Bill Anderson is one of the most enduring and talented songwriters, and
recording artists, in country music," Everhart points out. "He wrote his
first hit song "City Lights" at the age of 19. That song
was soon recorded by Ray Price -- and not only did
it become an immediate hit back then, it still remains as one
of today's most popular country classics. Mr. Anderson came
into his own as a Decca recording artist in the early 60's with
an undeniable number of hits, among them "Po' Folks" which
was an instant hit in the upper Midwest.
He joined the cast
of the Grand Ole Opry in 1961, and has remained an icon on that
program ever since. He has also been inducted into the
Country Music Hall of Fame, the
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame,
the Georgia Music Hall of Fame,
the Georgia Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and
the South Carolina Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.
In addition, he has performed as an actor on several network TV soap
operas; appeared in a number of movies; hosted numerous network
game shows; hosted countless radio and TV shows; authored
several books; and won a wagon-load of awards!"
"The second reason Mr. Anderson is making the trek to Iowa this
fall, is to be inducted into "America's Old Time Country Music Hall of
Fame." This Hall of Fame, located in the Pioneer Music Museum
in Anita, Iowa, since 1976, has already inducted hundreds of deserving
individuals and groups that have made a positive contribution to
what the early meaning of 'country' music really meant. Heartfelt
songs and heartfelt renderings of them. The museum and
Hall of Fame was created by rural folks, small-town people,
farmers, truckers, small-town business folks, and just ordinary
Americans who like their country music 'country.' Bill Anderson
is a most deserving individual to be part of this undertaking.
One of the major rules when the Board of Directors set this up,
way back in 1976, was that the individual being honored, had to
stand before the membership of the National Traditional
Country Music Association, and accept that memberships standing
ovation of appreciation for the contributions made to the music
they love and respect.
Whisperin' Bill Anderson is expected to be at their festival
on Friday, September 3rd, with hall of fame induction ceremonies that
The award will be made at the annual 'National Old Time Country Music
Festival & Pioneer Exposition of Rural Lifestyle,' in LeMars, Iowa,
home of the world's largest ice cream factory, Blue Bunny
Ice Cream. "We do this festival for seven days," added
Everhart, "simply because there are so many great performers of
what we call traditional country music. We have ten sound
stages, and well over 650 performing artists coming every year. We're
in our 35th year now, so it's sort of become a 'reunion' of kindred
souls, especially those that have such a deep and abiding love
for America's traditional and classic country music."
Dates for the festival, held at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds, are
August 30-September 5, with more information available at the NTCMA