Born in 1937, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Anderson graduated from college in the late-1950s and began working as a sports journalist. That career led him to work in radio, and eventually, as a country DJ. While spinning records, he started writing and recording demos of his own songs. One of those songs, "City Lights," was recorded by country superstar Ray Price and became a top-five hit in 1958. The success of that song encouraged Anderson to pursue his own career, and the following year he moved to Nashville, signed with Decca Records, and started penning hits of his own.
Many would follow, among them "That's what it's like to be Lonesome," "Tip Of My Fingers," "Po' Folks," "Mama Sang a Song," "8 X 10," and "Still," a ballad that crossed over onto the pop charts in 1963. From 1977-1978, Anderson co-hosted The Better Sex, a game-show on ABC. He subsequently appeared on Match Game, Hee-Haw, Family Feud, the soap opera One Life to Live, and from 1983-1989 hosted country-music game show Fandango. More recently he has interviewed country musicians on Opry Backstage. Today he hosts an XM radio show called Bill Anderson Visits with the Legends.