Commerce, Georgia radio station WJJC, where Bill Anderson began his career in the music industry more than 60 years ago, is honoring Anderson by re-branding as Whisperin’ 95.1 to honor the songwriter and performer. The station is also launching a new website, whisperin951.com.
In 1957, Anderson served as the first disc jockey for the classic country station.
To celebrate the re-naming, Anderson went live on air Friday morning at 10 a.m. EST, kicking off the special hour long programming that exclusively premiered a new recording of “City Lights,” which Anderson wrote while working at the station. The song was later became a No. 1 hit for Ray Price.
Before he began writing songs and performing, Anderson was a journalism student at the University of Georgia. He worked his way through college as a disc jockey, first at WGAU in Athens then moving to Commerce when WJJC took to the airwaves June 27, 1957. A young Anderson was the station’s first on air personality. Now more than 60 years later the station is being re-named in his honor.
“Whisperin’ Bill” Anderson, who is known for his breathy, conversational vocal style, has received many accolades over his extensive career that spans more than half a century. He has achieved 37 Top 10 hits as a recording artist and more than 50 BMI awards for songwriting. Anderson’s songs have been recorded by James Brown, Kenny Chesney, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dean Martin, and hundreds of others, among them Hall of Fame members, Porter Wagoner and Kitty Wells. In 2005, Anderson and Jon Randall Stewart wrote “Whiskey Lullaby,” recorded by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. It was CMA Song of the Year, and in 2007, Anderson won the CMA and ACM Song of the Year awards for “Give It Away,” written with Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson and recorded by George Strait. A Grand Ole Opry member since 1961, Anderson entered the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002 and the New York-based Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018. In late 2020, he will be honored with an exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame that will give visitors an inside look into the legacy that is “Whisperin’ Bill” Anderson.
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