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Dec. 13: In honor of John Anderson’s double-nickels birthday, here’s his first Top 5 hit from 1981. It was a contemporary song written by Billy Joe Shaver, whose own version came out that same year. But I remember hearing this record at age 19 and thinking it was a cover of a classic. Blame that on the Travis-style guitar work maybe, or on Anderson’s vocal styling so reminiscent of Lefty Frizzell’s. It’s a wonderful performance, much more satisfying than “Swingin’ ,” “Black Sheep” and the like that all too soon were to come blaring out of the radio in Anderson’s old rough-edged voice.

Blogger Razor X of My Kind Of Country addresses that point in his fine review of the album John Anderson 2. For more on Anderson’s career as a whole, check out his profile and his discography.