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September 26

Bill Anderson and his “Old Army Hat”

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If you missed or simply have not thought of it, we have been writing several articles featuring songwriters. Like our favorite country artists, we want to give the honor and recognition due them. Without their persistence and creative imagination to spin a good song, we would not have the country music we are enjoying today. This time, we want to shine the spotlight on Mr. Bill Anderson!

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ABOUT “OLD ARMY HAT”

(As told by Bill Anderson)

“It is a true story that happened to my friend and his father. The father is still living and he is from a little town in Tennessee. He just turned 90 years old. It was a few years ago when his son realized how bad he wanted to go see the World War II Memorial. His son took him up there, but it was a true story that the son told him to please not wear that old army hat up there. Of course the father made sure to tell the son he would wear the hat wherever he wanted to wear that hat! The part in the song where the little boy comes up to him….all that is true and really happened. The biggest challenge for this song was making it flow and fit, but still get the complete story told in less than 10 minutes. It was such a deep story, there were a few parts we just weren’t able to write into the song. “

MORE ABOUT THE LYRICIST: 

In his own right, he is, by now the legendary composer for Country Music.  In fact, some of Country’s legends in the previous era sang his songs. Among them were Ray Price, Wanda Jackson, Connie Smith, Lynn Anderson, Porter Wagoner, Jim Reeves, Conway Twitty, and Vince Gill. His crafts were also loved by not few contemporary country artists including Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Lorrie Morgan, John Michael Montgomery and George Strait.

Aside from his success as a songwriter, he was also a mellow singer dubbed as the Whispering Bill. His singing style, like his writings, has proven to be effective as well. Look up the smash hit “Still” in 1963 and you will see what I mean.


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