Thursday, 13 August 2020 01:11

WYNN - Country Music Memory Lane - John Anderson

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Roger sent a note asking about his favorite from long ago, John Anderson.  Roger, there was a time he was many people's favorite and what an interesting career he had.  I played all his songs on radio stations around the country.  John Anderson's gift in addition to the music, was being a MAJOR musical influence on the stars that would follow.

John Anderson came up during the Urban Cowboy craze, but his sound was anything but UC.  Anderson was country with no apologies.  His then very brave and exceedingly traditional sound was incredibly distinct in the era of pop-country.  His style was as unique as his songs, and his voice, as Anderson possessed an enviable trait, you KNEW it was him singing on the radio. His powerful song, 1959  I think is one of the most underrated country singles ever, released 1980. His album, John Anderson 2 came in 1981, with the big song, I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal, was Grammy nominated.  Also his next album, I Just Came Home To Count The Memories was critically acclaimed.

Wild And Blue - This was a huge fan favorite!


But in 1982, he really broke through with the album Wild And Blue.  It was a gigantic hit, with 3 really big songs, including Wild And Blue, Goin' Down Hill, and the smash, Swingin'.  He was nominated for a ton of awards that year, and Wild And Blue was a whole lot of fans very favorite album and song.  He was deep, deep country when the format was not, and true country fans loved him for it. John Anderson had arrived, big time. The next album, All The People Are Talkin' had the #1 song, Black Sheep, which was a fan favorite as well, and classic Anderson! 

Swingin'  - HUGE song, #1.  As big as songs were then.


But things would change.  Funny, he was way ahead of the new traditionalists that were a few years away yet, but as they came to be popular, his own charting success slowed down. It was hard to understand.  He was way out in front of it to begin with, maybe a bit too far, but he would have his biggest day, beit a while ahead.  He continued to record albums and singles, but things had changed.

Almost ten years went by and country music had changed so much.  Garth, Clint, Randy, Dwight, Alan, George, Reba, Holly Dunn, Patty Loveless, The Judds, Brooks And Dunn all where having big success. And as that wave was riding high, back came Anderson with the crowning jewel of his career.  In 1991 the classic album, Seminole Wind was recorded and released.  Many feel it is one of the best country albums ever, and I would agree.  It became the biggest album of his career, multi-platinum and flat out great. It was good to see that country had changed, but John Anderson, at his core, had not. He was still deep country, but he re-emerged reinvented but still true to himself.

This Song Brought Anderson Back - All The Way Back


Straight Tequila Night, the first single, I feel is the best "comeback" single and song in country music history, bar none. It rocketed to #1, and is a song many artists would have loved to have, and it's so John Anderson.  Then the gem, When It Comes To You with Dire Straights Mark Knopfler on guitar. Seminole Wind, the song, was a smash and the album was nominated for a ton of awards. It made me happy at that time, as I feel he should have been given more credit for being a bold artist when the format was anything but bold in the early 80's.

 This Haunting Song Is A Work Of Country Art


I worked with John Anderson a number of times at various concerts and he and his people were among the nicest I've ever worked with.  His career has spanned over 40 years, and he has been nominated, won, voted in and honored in about every way a country singer can be. Awards, Halls Of Fames, the whole thing. Six number one songs too, and some 68 singles!  The kid from Apopka, Florida in the end, really hit it big.

Seminole Wind - As Requested As Any Song In Its Time


John Anderson gave the fans a voice that didn't have one.  He reminded us of ourselves as he sung about simple pleasures and feelings.  Fans identified with him, and he sang for them.  Anderson was as regular as we were, and we loved him for it.  I was so thrilled that Seminole Wind was the success that it was, because he deserved to sing along side the new traditionalists that he inspired, and be part of it.  My gut feeling would be that if you asked many of the big stars of the 1990's, Seminole Wind is among THEIR favorite albums.  Because for many of them, John Anderson was THEIR hero.

John Anderson. What an interesting career.  In the beginning he dared to be very country in a time when that sound was not in fashion. He was the model for the next generation of traditionalists. What an important singer in our format. 

If you like your Country -Country and are not familiar with Anderson because of age, he is worth a search, a YouTube Session and downloads.

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