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John Anderson Biography

Home > Music > A > Anderson, John > Biography

Birth Name: John David Anderson
Born: 1954/12/13
Birth Place: Orlando, Florida, USA
Years Active: 1977-present
Genres: Country

John David Anderson (born December 13, 1954, in Orlando, Florida) is an American country music artist with a successful career that has lasted more than 30 years.

He played in a rock band until the age of 15, when he discovered the music of Merle Haggard and turned to country music. Anderson moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1971, arriving unannounced at his sister's home, and took on odd jobs during the day, including one as a roofer at the Grand Ole Opry House, while playing in clubs during the evenings.

The club appearances finally paid off in 1977 when he signed his first recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. He first hit the Billboard Country Hot 100 chart in 1977 with the song “I’ve Got a Feelin’ (Somebody's Been Stealin'),” and broke into the country Top 40 with “The Girl At The End Of The Bar” the next year. Anderson's decidedly backwoods accent and distinctive vocal timbre helped land him in the forefront of the “New Traditionalist” movement with artists like Ricky Skaggs and George Strait.

A steady stream of singles through the late 1970s and early 1980s continued to build Anderson's name in the country genre. The song “I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be A Diamond Someday)” from the 1981 album “John Anderson 2” netted Anderson a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

The release of Anderson's fourth album, “Wild & Blue,” in 1982 led to his breakthrough to mainstream country when the single “Swingin'” hit the airwaves early the next year. Co-written with long-time writing partner Lionel Delmore, the song broke into the country charts and reached #1 by March, while at the same time crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100, reaching a peak of #43. At the time it was the biggest selling record in the history of Warner Bros. Records.

Anderson's success with “Wild & Blue” carried on through several more albums, but none would match its chart numbers or sales, and only one single, “She Sure Got Away with My Heart,” would crack the Top 10 on the country charts. In 1986, Anderson and Warner Bros. parted ways.

After leaving Warner Bros., Anderson signed with MCA Records and released two albums under that label, followed by one with Capitol Records in 1990. Chart success was minimal throughout those years. However, that turned around in 1991 when Anderson joined BNA Records and, working with legendary country producer James Stroud, released the album “Seminole Wind” in 1992. Powered by the title single, which rose to #2, and the #1 single “Straight Tequila Night,” the album was certified 2x platinum, the highest of any of Anderson's albums.

The success of “Seminole Wind” brought a fresh life to Anderson's career, and he released a number of albums that charted well, producing several more singles that pushed to the upper levels of the country charts. The 1993 album “Solid Ground” produced a #1 single, “Money in the Bank.” In 1993, Anderson was awarded the Academy of Country Music Career Achievement award. He recorded for BNA through 1996 before leaving the label.

Anderson has recorded for several labels since his departure from BNA, with moderate chart success. An album titled “Bigger Hands,” which saw a return to working with Stroud as producer, was released in June 2009.

Over his career, Anderson has collaborated with a number of different artists. He has worked with John Rich of Big & Rich on his 2007 album “Easy Money,” co-wrote Rich's 2009 single “Shuttin' Detroit Down” and has been named an honorary member of the MuzikMafia, of which Rich is also a member.