In 1963, Bill Anderson got his second No. 1 on the country chart with his song “Still.” It remained on top of the chart for seven non-consecutive weeks. The song was a crossover success on the pop charts peaking at No. 8.
The same year it was released, four more other artists recorded the song. This includes singer, comedian, and actor Bing Crosby for his album Bing Crosby Sings the Great Country Hits as well as Scottish singer Karl Denver, whose version spent thirteen weeks in the UK charts peaking at No. 15.
A Heart-Tugging Song From the Whisperin’ Bill
Written by Bill Anderson himself, “Still” tells the tale of a man who misses his girl since she went away. He hopes to have her back again someday soon, saying that he is still here.
“I don’t know who you’re with. I don’t even know where you’ve gone. My only hope is that someday you might hear this song. And you’ll know, I wrote it especially for you. I love you still. And I love you wherever you are. Still, after all this time. Still, you’re still on my mind. I love you still,” the song goes.
Although on the surface, the song seemed to be about the man in the song’s heartache over a breakup, on a deeper level, it could be a man mourning the death of someone he loved. Because of its powerful double meaning, it was no surprise when Anderson gets a little emotional every time he performs the song.
“Still” is also mostly spoken in the two verses, instead of being sung, except for the repeated refrains, which were done with a female chorus. The song played up Anderson’s persona as a crooner, with the sound of the song resting somewhere between country and doo-wop. It was one of the earliest songs that established Anderson as a long-term power player in country music.
This was also Anderson’s song choice to perform during the finale of the 1977 to 1978 ABC game show The Better Sex that he co-hosted with Sarah Purcell. This performance makes it clear how Anderson earned the nickname “Whisperin’ Bill,” as he sang so softly that it really sounded like he’s whispering. At the end of the performance, the audience applauded for him softly, being respectful of the fact that he’s clearly – once again – moved by the song.
Listen to the song in the video below.