John Anderson

Induction Year: 2014

Birth Name: John Anderson

Birth Date: 12-13-1954

Place of Birth: Apopka, Florida

John Anderson was born and raised in Apopka, FL, one of six children in the family of the landscaping superintendent at the University of Central Florida. He began playing guitar and singing at age 7. He initially performed in area rock groups, but was inspired to switch to country music by his older sister, Donna, who sang in a country band.

After his high school graduation, he moved to Nashville in 1972. Donna had preceded him to Music City, and he initially stayed at her house. During his early years in Nashville, he worked odd jobs during the day, one of which was being a roofer on the Grand Ole Opry House, then under construction. He played the clubs on Lower Broadway at night.

In 1973, he met Nashville singer-songwriter Lionel Delmore (1949-2002). They became fast friends and eventually co-wrote many of Anderson’s biggest hits. Lionel was the son of Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Alton Delmore. Anderson has also collaborated on songs with sister Donna and some of his other siblings.

After recording singles for two independent labels, he signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1977. His self-titled debut album in 1980 helped signal the rise of the new traditionalist movement in country music. In 1983, Anderson’s co-written “Swingin’” shot to #1 and became one of his signature hits. That song won the 1983 CMA Single of the Year award and helped Anderson garner that organization’s Horizon Award. “Swingin’” was named Song of the Year at the 1983 Music City News Awards. Other John Anderson hit compositions from the ’80s include “Chicken Truck,” “Goin’ Down Hill,” “I Wish I Could Write You A Song” and “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It.”

In the ’90s, Anderson enjoyed a second burst of popularity. He scored hits with “Seminole Wind,” “Country ’Til I Die,” “I Wish I Could Have Been There” and “Bend It Until It Breaks,” all which he co-wrote. In 1994, he was presented with the Academy of Country Music’s rarely conferred Career Achievement Award. In 2009, John Anderson scored yet another hit with “Shuttin’ Detroit Down,” recorded by John Rich.

"Bend It Until It Breaks"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1995 #3 country

"Chicken Truck"

(written with Monroe Fields, Jim Parker)

John Anderson1981 #8 country

"Christmas Time"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1994 #57 country

"Country ’Til I Die"

(written with Troy Seals, Eddie Setser)

John Anderson1994  #35 country

"Down In The Orange Grove"

(written with Lionel Delmore, Herb McCullough)

John Anderson1988 #68 country

"Easy Money"

(written with Shannon Lawson, James Otto)

John Anderson2007 

"Fade Out"

(written with Shawn Camp)

John Anderson2009 

"Goin’ Down Hill"

(written with X. Aries Lincoln)

John Anderson1983 #5 country

"Hawaia In Hawaii"

(written with Shawn Camp)

John Anderson2009 

"How Can I Be So Thirsty"

(written with Jerrod Niemann, Billy Joe Walker, Jr.)

John Anderson2009 

"I Hope Things Aren’t Like This Tomorrow"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1988 

"I Wish I Could Have Been There"

(written with Kent Robbins)

John Anderson1994  #4 country

"I Wish I Could Write You A Song"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1984 #14 country

"If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It"

(written with Tony Stampley)

John Anderson1988  #35 country

"It Ain’t Pneumonia, It’s The Blues"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1994 

"It Looks Like The Party Is Over"

(written with Lionel Delmore, Larry Emmons)

John Anderson1980 

"It’s Hard To Keep This Ship Together"

(written with Fred Carter, Jr.)

John Anderson1988  #65 country

"I’ve Got A Feelin’ (Somebody’s Stealin’)”"

(written with Michael Garvin, Jim Parker)

John Anderson1977  #62 country

"Long Hard Lesson Learned"

(written with Donna Anderson, Michael Anderson)

John Anderson1996 #51 country

"Low Dog Blues"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1979  #31 country

"Lying In Her Arms"

(written with Paul Kennerley)

John Anderson1987 

"Seminole Wind"

John Anderson1992 #2 country
James Taylor2008 

"Shuttin’ Detroit Down"

(written with John Rich)

John Rich2009  #12 country

"Small Town"

(written with Gary Scruggs)

John Anderson1997 #44 country


(written with Lionel Delmore)

1983 CMA Single of the Year

John Anderson1983 #1 country, #43 pop
LeAnn Rimes2010 #57 country

"The Ballad Of Zero And The Tramp"

(written with Bernie Taupin)

John Anderson1988 

"The Girl At The End Of The Bar"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1980  #40 country

"The Greatest Story Never Told"

(written with Donna Anderson, Michael Anderson)

John Anderson2009 

"The Sun’s Gonna Shine (On Our Back Door)"

(written with Kerry O'Neil, Mark Sherrill)

John Anderson1984 

"What’s So Different About You"

(written with Fred Carter, Jr.)

John Anderson1987 #55 country

"Who Got Our Love"

(written with Lionel Delmore)

John Anderson1991  #67 country

John Anderson

Induction Year: 2014