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Bill Anderson to Celebrate 50th Anniversary as Opry Member Saturday, July 16

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Bill AndersonNashville, TN -- The Grand Ole Opry presented by Humana will honor one of its longest tenured members, Bill Anderson, on his 50th anniversary as an Opry member on Sat., July 16, 7:00 p.m. The Country Music Hall of Fame member made his Opry debut just a few weeks before his 21st birthday and became a member less than three years later.

Anderson's music career started in 1958 when Ray Price recorded his song, "City Lights" and it stayed at the top of Billboard magazine's country charts for 13 weeks. Soon after this success, he signed with Decca Records and began to have hits of his own such as "Po' Folks," "Mama Sang a Song," "Still" and "Bright Lights and Country Music." By now he had affectionately been nicknamed "Whisperin' Bill" because of his soft-spoken delivery and recitations. Through the years Anderson has written hit songs for numerous artists, including Connie Smith's debut smash "Once A Day," Lefty Frizzell's "Saginaw, Michigan," Conway Twitty's "I May Never Get to Heaven" and many more through the years up to Kenny Chesney's "A Lot of Things Different," George Strait's "Give It Away" and Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss' "Whiskey Lullaby," with the last two hits winning CMA Song of the Year honors.

"Beginning with classics sung by Ray Price, Lefty Frizzell, Connie Smith, and more, and continuing today with unforgettable hits by the biggest names in the business, Bill Anderson tunes have hit the country charts in each of the last seven decades," said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. "Of course Bill is also known around the world for his own hit records as well as for blazing country music trails far and wide for others to follow. We look forward to celebrating with one of country music's very best Saturday night."

The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every weekend of the year, and the Tuesday Night Opry continues through Dec. 13. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or log on to www.opry.com.

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