cover image Whisperin' Bill: An Autobiography

Whisperin' Bill: An Autobiography

Bill Anderson. Longstreet Press, $14.95 (464pp) ISBN 978-0-929264-24-0

A celebrated country-music songwriter and performer, Anderson has also been in the spotlight as a TV game show host and soap opera actor. However, as this autobiography reveals, misfortunes in his private life have outdistanced his career successes: a failed first marriage, financial entrepreneurial mishaps, a daughter ill with a malignant tumor, his own ``excruciating'' ruptured disc. The greatest calamity took place in 1984, when Anderson's second wife was diagnosed as severely brain-damaged after an automobile accident caused by a drunken driver. Relating the story of ``two people--the person I was before all the anxiety and turmoil of these past few years and the person I feel I have become as a result,'' the star narrates his professional rise in Nashville and on the national circuit, and re-lives Becky Anderson's near-miraculous recovery, demonstrating that love can overturn medical prognosis. Despite a measure of hoopla and hyperbole (``I did it . . . I did it all . . . but it wasn't easy''), the author does justice to a powerful story. (Aug.)