Happy Birthday John Anderson: Everything to Know About the ‘Swingin” Singer

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by Frank Mullen/WireImage)

Country music artists can attest that it’s one thing to make it big in the world of country music, but it’s also quite challenging to have longevity in the industry. One artist who has the talent and skill under his belt is country singer John Anderson. With over 40 highly successful years in the business, we’re taking a look back on his life for his 65th birthday. 

Born and raised in Apopka, Florida, John Anderson’s love of music began when he would hum along to the sound of his father’s boat’s idling motor. When he was 15, Anderson started listening to outlaw country artists such as Merle Haggard and George Jones. This discovery inspired Anderson to transition from playing rock to country music. 

Later on, he kicked off his music career by performing solo around central Florida before moving to Nashville in 1971. Before his record deal, he worked in construction. Coincidentally, Anderson helped build the new roof for the Grand Ole Opry House. In 1977, he traded his carpentry belt for a cowboy hat when he landed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. 

He made a name for himself when he hit the “Billboard Country chart” in 1977 with his song, “I’ve Got a Feelin’ (Somebody’s Been Stealin’).” Later on, he charted the “Top 40” with “The Girl at the End of the Bar” the next year. 

His natural, backwoods Florida accent paired with his remarkable vocal resonance helped Anderson become a vanguard for the “New Traditionalist” movement with singers like Ricky Skaggs and George Strait. 

John Anderson’s Story Behind ‘Swingin”

In the ’80s, Anderson proved he wasn’t going anywhere when he smashed charts with hits such as “Wild and Blue,” “Swingin’,” and “Black Sheep.”

Written by Anderson, along with Lionel Delmore, Anderson said releasing his smash hit, “Swingin’,” was the momentum he needed to keep his fans returning to his concerts throughout the years. In an interview with The Boot, Anderson described the backstory to the song.

“I knew then I was very, very lucky to have a song that big, especially to have written it as well as published it,” Anderson told The Boot. “And when it comes to songs like “Swingin’,” I always give the good Lord credit for my music and the songs I’ve written, but I thank Him many, many times for “Swingin’.”


Anderson Gives Praise to God “For Never Having to Work”

After a brief hiatus, Anderson returned with a bang in 1992 when “Straight Tequila Night” became his first No. 1 single in nine years. That success would drive him into the 2000s, giving Anderson 60 charting country singles over forty decades. 

“As a musician who lived this way, this job has always been so easy and so natural,” Anderson says. “I always have thanked God for never having to work, what I called work. I didn’t have to work too hard at it. It was a great way of living for me — and then it went away.”

In 1993, the album Solid Ground gave Anderson another No. 1 single with “Money in the Bank.” As of now, the song is Anderson’s most recent track to hit the charts. That same year the Academy of Country Music awarded Anderson with the Career Achievement award.

In 2015, he released his latest album, Goldmine, which is available to stream on Apple Music and Amazon.