My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Spotlight Artist: John Anderson

tn_JohnAndersonJohn Anderson has been one of the most distinctive voices in country music for nearly 30 years, and although his career has seen more ups and downs than some of his contemporaries, it has endured and his latest album, Bigger Hands was released last month. He is one of my personal favorites, and I am pleased to announce that he is our Spotlight Artist for July.

John David Anderson was born in Florida on December 13, 1954. He grew up listening to and playing rock music until he discovered Merle Haggard when he was 15. He moved to Nashville as a teenager, and signed to Warner Brothers in 1977. His career took a few years to get going, and his debut album was released in 1980. In the early 80s, John Anderson was one of a handful of hard country voices in the Urban Cowboy wilderness, and he released a string of great albums and singles.

This period came to a close after the massive success of his single ‘Swingin” in 1983. He started to incorporate more rock and pop influences in his material, and although he had reverted to a straight country style by the end of the decade, he had lost his commercial appeal, despite several major labels’ efforts.

It was time for yet another a new label (BNA) and a comeback, and in 1992 he had another breakthrough with his first #1 hit in nine years, ‘Straight Tequila Night’, followed by ‘Seminole Wind’. He remained a consistent chart presence for the next few years, although his star faded again in the second half of the decade.

He returned to Warner Brothers in 2007 with a John Rich-produced album which failed to give him another career resurgence, and is now recording for an independent label.

Over the years he has produced some great country music, much of it self-written, and we look forward to sharing some of it with you over the next month. He has also ventured into some territory not often covered by country artists, such as environmental issues and the plight of Native Americans. Most of his back catalog has been re-released in recent years, so if we inspire you to investigate John Anderson’s music, you should be able to do so fairly easily.

13 responses to “Spotlight Artist: John Anderson

  1. Razor X July 1, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Country music desperately needs more artists like John Anderson. I first learned about Lefty Frizzell through him, when he released a cover of Frizzell’s “I Love You A Thousand Ways” back in the early 80s. Who is out there today to teach new fans about country music’s legends?

  2. Pingback: Josh Turner Announces Arrival of Second Son; The Bluegrass Blog Remembers Bill Harrell | The 9513

  3. CMW July 1, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Great choice for a Spotlight Artist. Looking forward to it!

    • Leeann Ward July 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm

      I’m most excited about this spotlight artist so far!! I am a huge fan. I like all of his work, from each decade, which is unusual for someone with such a lengthy career.

  4. Leeann Ward July 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    PS. And I’m looking forward to your album reviews, as I have most of them and will know what you’re talking about this time around.:)

  5. Michael July 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Interesting selection for July. I’m looking forward to learning about his earlier stuff. All I know is “Swingin’” which I used to sing as a small child. Another artist known for comebacks, l love “Seminole Wind” and the other stuff he did during his BNA stint!

  6. Paul W Dennis July 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Good choice – a great performer (I have, I think everything) . Even his less commerically successful albums have had a large quotient of good quality music on them

  7. J.R. Journey July 1, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    One of the main differences with 90s country and today is that artists like John Anderson and others who well past their youths could still have hits and even a major comeback during the time. Let’s see Randy Travis have a comeback like John Anderson did.

    • Razor X July 1, 2009 at 11:44 pm

      The age issue aside, today it would be nearly impossible for anyone to come back in any big way after a long dry spell such as the one Anderson had back in the late 80s.

  8. Mike K July 2, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I’m partial, being a Florida boy myself, but I think this is a great choice. I sonder if you guys will undertake a line-by-line analysis of Chicken Truck to find its hidden meanings. Wonderful sentiment to try and “Catch a Falling Star.”

  9. Pingback: Josh Turner Announces Arrival of Second Son; The Bluegrass Blog Remembers Bill Harrell - Engine 145

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