Nashville, TN

Opry member Bill Anderson celebrates 60th anniversary

Lenny Schumacher

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NASHVILLE, TN — The Grand Ole Opry honored Country Music Hall Bill Anderson on his 60th anniversary as an Opry member. Anderson had made his Opry debut just a few weeks before his 21st birthday and become an official member less than three years later in 1961, the youngest at that time.

To celebrate the Grammy-nominated and ACM Poet Award honoree, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Nashville Mayor John Cooper proclaimed July 17 as “Bill Anderson Day”.

The country legend celebrated with friends, family members, and fellow artists in the Opry House’s backstage Studio A after an Opry Live performance. Then Opry member Vince Gill presented the State of Tennessee proclamation on behalf of the governor, while Jeannie Seely gave him a framed proclamation from the City of Nashville on behalf of the mayor.

“It seems like yesterday they asked me if I wanted to be a part of this great family, and of course I couldn’t wait to tell them yes and be a part of this wonderful family… I feel so blessed to have been a part of it for 60 years. I tell people all the time that the Grand Ole Opry is like Yankee Stadium to a baseball player, or Broadway to an actor, or Hollywood to someone in the film,” mentioned Anderson.

His career started in 1958 when Ray Price recorded his song,” City Lights”, which stayed at the top of Billboard magazine’s country charts for 13 weeks. Soon after this, he signed with Decca Records and started having his own hits like “Mama Sang a Song,” “Still” and “Bright Lights and Country Music”. Throughout his career, Anderson had also written hit songs for various artists, including Lefty Frizzell, Conway Twitty and Kenny Chesney.

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