Al Anderson, 75, grew up in the small town of Osage, W.Va. In the early 50s, he was recognized for his voice and was asked to join a local band. From there on, he never looked back. Anderson sang blues all over the country from the east coast to the west coast. However, he primarily did gigs throughout the West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland area.
“We were in high demand,” Anderson said. “If you wanted our band you better book us a year in advance.”
Even at the age of 75, Anderson is still belting out tunes. He recently recorded his latest album this past year titled “Al Anderson and his Rock and Soul Revue.” You can find a copy for ten dollars in his shoe shine shop in Osage.
Anderson is a man who is really passionate about what he does and where he comes from.
“You see, I didn’t play no instruments. All I had was my voice, and you got to protect your voice,” Anderson said. “All these people try to change your voice with this new technology but I don’t allow it, not me, no.”
Anderson now lives in Osage and runs his own business, Al’s Shoe Shop. At the age of eleven, Anderson started shining shoes as a means to make some change to see movies and get snacks. It became a vocation and he has stories from each shop he worked at throughout his life. Anderson even came up with his own motto about shoes.
“If your shoes are dirty, then you’re probably pretty dirty too… You seem alright though, your shoes are clean.”
Anderson is an incredibly passionate man who cares deeply for the things that he does and tries to do them to the best of his ability. He says he’ll be that way until the day he dies. He doesn’t want to just sit around in a chair watching TV as life passes him by; he wants to shine shoes and sing the blues.
“Shoes and music, it’s all I’ve done, but it’s kept me pretty busy.”
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