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Anderson Showcases Songwriting in Nashville

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Cam Anderson thought he was just displaying his Wonder Boy pride by wearing an Arkansas Tech University shirt during a trip to Nashville, Tenn., earlier this year.

It turns out that simple choice helped make a connection with a fellow Arkansan that led to an opportunity that is only a dream for many songwriters and musicians.

"One thing you learn real quick in this business is to have success you have to make connections," said Anderson, who is an Arkansas Tech junior from Hot Springs. "There was a girl who came up to tell me that she was originally from Fort Smith. I was introduced to her friends, one of which was an event planner in Nashville. I got a message from him in September asking if I would be interested in playing for this event, and I jumped right on it."

Anderson was among nine singer/songwriters selected to perform at a 20s in Nash writers' night on Nov. 30 at The Country, a 250-seat live music venue in Nashville, Tenn.

"One thing I took away from it is that if you work hard enough and put in the time and have a passion for what you're doing, sooner or later it will pay off," said Anderson. "When I first started getting serious about music, there were people who said it would be too hard for me to have success and that there were already too many people trying to do what I was wanting to do. It certainly lit a fire under my belly and I have just stuck with it. Thankfully, by doing so, I have had doors opened that wouldn't have been opened had I not put in the work."

It was five years ago when Anderson first picked up a guitar. Within a year, he was writing songs. He counts Justin Moore, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson and Eric Church among his singing and songwriting influences.

"It just became part of me," said Anderson. "There is not a day that goes by where I am not writing or coming up with song ideas."

Like most songwriters (and humans), Anderson has faced some adversity that is fueling his current success. He recalls the fall 2015 semester as a difficult one that included a serious car accident right before final exams. The 365 days since have seen a dramatic reversal of his fortunes.

"I went from being at rock bottom in the St. Mary's ER not having a clue if I was going to come back the next semester, to having a phenomenal spring semester with the best GPA I have had in college, to the stage in Nashville in one year," said Anderson.

Education and Arkansas Tech run in Anderson's blood.

His grandfather, Paul Anderson, played basketball for the Wonder Boys in the 1950s and went on to a 34-year career in education, teaching history and coaching in the school districts at County Line and Atkins. His father, Steve Anderson, started his career as a teacher and coach before transitioning to administrative work. He is superintendent for the Lake Hamilton School District.

Cam Anderson is carrying on those family traditions by pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education at Arkansas Tech while concurrently chasing that neon rainbow of success in Nashville. His top goal in music is to have a song recorded by a well-known artist.

"There is one song in particular that I have written that I know there has been some interest in, so I have my fingers crossed on that at the moment," said Anderson. "In the long run, I just want to hopefully have songs that move people in a certain way such as certain songs have moved me."