Raised in Apopka, Fla., Anderson was exposed to both rock and traditional country growing up and, as incendiary rock outfits like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Lynyrd Skynyrd honed their chops around him, learned to love (and play) both types of music. But Anderson resisted the call of rock 'n roll, electing rather to pursue his country music dreams. It was the traditional country ballads that lured him in and changes music history, songs like Porter Waggoner's "Green, Green Grass of Home."
Anderson moved to Nashville in 1972, working construction by day (including as a roofer at the Grand Ole Opry House) and playing the honky-tonks at night. He signed to Warner Bros. in 1977, and notching his first major hit in 1980 with Billy Jo Shaver's "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)." Other hits, including the classic "Wild and Blue" in 1982, solidified his status as a powerful new voice in country music. "Swingin'," written by Anderson and Lionel Delmore, blew the roof off a year later, exploding to No.1 on the Billboard Country chart, propelling Anderson to the CMA Horizon Award, and becoming one of the most enduring hits in the country canon.
Anderson plowed through the ebbs and flows of country music (and the country music business) throughout the '80s, and in the early 1990s engineered one of the greatest "comeback" runs (he never really left) in the history of the genre. Seminole Wind, released on BNA, produced hit singles in "Straight Tequila Night," "When It Comes To You," "Money in the Bank," and the stirring title cut. The latter would have never been released had Anderson not stuck to his guns, a familiar refrain throughout his career as the artist has wound his way through virtually all of Nashville's major labels.
Despite his music biz travails, Anderson, who has made his home in Smithville, TN, for more than 30 years, is far from a bitter man. Rather, he feels more than blessed, and subscribes to the mentality expressed in Goldmine’s compelling “Don’t forget to Thank the Lord.”