Neo-honky tonker John Anderson was born in Apopka, Florida, in 1955 and grew up listening to rock & roll, until he discovered country music at age 15 through Merle Haggard. He moved to Nashville in the early '70s, showing up at his sister's house with no warning, and worked a variety of odd jobs (including one as a roofer for the Grand Ole Opry) while playing clubs at night. Eventually, all the hard work paid off with a contract for Warner Bros., and Anderson released his first single in 1978. His self-titled debut album appeared in 1980 and helped signal the rise of the new traditionalist movement, drawing critical praise as well. Soon the hits started to pile up: "1959" and "Chicken Truck" became his first country Top Tens in 1981, and "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)" went Top Five later that year.
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