John Anderson, comeback kid

By Jan Winders

The "Comeback Kid" is a fairy tale in which everyone lives happily ever after.John Anderson played a free concert at Churchill Downs on July 3 withDeborah Allen andClinton Gregory. This is one of the most successful comebacks in the '90s so far. In the '70s John kicked back and let it all happen with numerous hits. His megahit "Swingin'" was voted CMA 1983 Song of the Year. Recently it was cited by A.M.O.A. as one of its all-time Top 40 jukebox hits — up there with "Hey Jude" by The Beatles.

Seminole Wind was an album straight from the heart and soul, literally. His new album, Solid Ground, will take him even further up the ladder to the comeback of success. The years he took off from touring he survived living on the national knife, gun and chicken wire circuit.

Giving up the fast lane to keep his feet and life on something called "Solid Ground," John, his wife and two daughters live on a 300-acre farm 70 miles out of Nashville. This is where he hunts, grows his own tomatoes, and is on the lookout for arrowheads and other Indian artifacts.

A little older and a lot wiser. Mellowing out has brought this instantly recognizable sounding gentleman to the place where he looks great and is always comfortable with what he does extremely well.

Anderson attributes his successful comeback to a lot of big things. John goes on to explain. Seminole Wind had a lot of good songs on it. But this does not guarantee anything. The record company BNA Records definitely came through and did their share on the business part, and, he said, "I've been ready! I've been waiting in line for this."

Anderson kicks back and continues to talk:

"We have always been blessed with a lot of young people in our crowd. Back in 1981 we also had a lot of young people in the crowd. I've always tried to keep my music acceptable, with the younger people in mind. I think it has worked," Anderson said proudly, grinning from ear to ear.

JW: What is your favorite song?

JA: "Swingin" or "Seminole Wind." "Seminole Wind" is a close and personal song to me, as I grew up in Florida. In the midst of all the changes in the big city down there, the tourist developments, then you have the Everglades and the Seminole Indians ... a very unique place to be. This was a trip and an experience I'll never forget. Actually I have vowed it wouldn't be my last trip. We are going to play for the Seminoles' Christmas party this year.

JW: How hard is it being away from your family, out on the road?

JA: It's tough. These days, thank goodness, with all the years of experience, I know pretty much how to schedule my work so I can be home enough at least where they recognize me.

Anderson was recently honored by the American Lung Association with the Blue Sky Award for his outstanding environmentally conscious "Seminole Wind" video. He received the award for making viewers aware of the need for a cleaner environment.

Anderson's new LP, I Fell In the Water, is to be shipped to radio stations in early August, and the title cut is his new single.