I caught up with Bill Anderson by phone earlier this week at his Nashville home. The Country Music Hall of Famer and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee was very excited to be returning to the Ross Country Jamboree in Scottsburg.

“I’ve played that venue three or four times,” Anderson said. “I enjoy playing there, the folks are nice. And it’s probably the smallest place I’ll play this year, which is kind of fun. These days I only play the places I enjoy.”

Anderson will turn 82 this Friday. “I can’t remember being on the road for a birthday,” Anderson mused. “It may have happened but I don’t recall. We’ll probably cut a cake or something!”

Bill Anderson is probably best known for his solo hits like Still, Mama Sang a Song and Po’ Folks. But he has written or collaborated on 400-plus songs recorded by other artists. “I’ll sing several of my old favorites, of course, but we also do a medley of songs I’ve written for other people, like Conway Twitty, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and George Strait.”

Anderson’s Po’ Folks band has gone through many changes over the years, as to be expected, but is still a venerable bunch. “The current line-up includes a veteran of 30 years, and the shortest tenure is about 16 years. I use a six-piece when I play the Grand Ol’ Opry, but I travel with a four-piece. Three of them sing background vocals though, so it’s a very full sound.”

These days Anderson only does about 35 or 40 road shows a year, plus his 60 or so Opry appearances. “I still enjoy it, I enjoy the people. Bottom line, the good Lord has given me the health, so I intend to just keep going as long as I can.”

This is a great opportunity to see one of country music’s true legends, just a short drive away in Scottsburg. Tickets are $30 and are available at RossCountryJamboree.com

Charlie Rohlfing is a retired advertising man and partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening.


The red hot ticket this weekend is the new Mad Hop Music Fest on Saturday. There are 25 bands playing at various indoor venues. And one of the great things about Mad Hop is it’s over by 7 p.m. That leaves seven more live music events around town on Saturday evening! Oh, and you have some great choices for Friday too, including Maria Carrelli at the Red Bike and Mack McKenzie at the Taproom. Rest up people, it’s gonna be a wild weekend.

THIS WEEK IN MUSIC: October 31, 2019

Thursday, October 31:

Off Broadway Taproom – Jimmy Davis

Friday, November 1:

Off Broadway Taproom – Mack McKenzie

Red Bicycle Hall – Maria Carrelli (FREE for Mad Hoppers)

Rembrandts – Leonard Miller at the piano

Ross Country Jamboree in Scottsburg – Bill Anderson

Red Roaster – The Chestnuts (6 p.m.-8 p.m.)

Lighthouse – Falls City Boys

Saturday, November 2:

Mad Hop Music Fest – Downtown venues (11 a.m.-7 p.m.)

Off Broadway Taproom – SPKR

VFW – Hotwired

Thomas Family Winery – Greg Ziesemer & Kriss Luckett

Rembrandts – Leonard Miller at the piano

L&L Lounge – The Fabulous Hickbillies

Goodwill Cons. Club – Bluegrass music (5 p.m.)

Moose – Past Tense

Sunday, November 3:

Mad Paddle Brewery – Jynx