Roshell Anderson – 1974 – Introducing
An Obscure R&B Vocalist Better Known For His TV Work As A News Anchor
As recording artist Roshell Anderson (born on September 16, 1952 in Bogalusa, Louisiana but raised in New Orleans) this R&B vocalist has to rank among the most obscure recording artists of the 1970s, registering just two minor R&B charters for the equally-obscure New York City label Sunburst.
In 1973 he had one disc released by Excello Records titled Snake Out Of Green Grass with Part 1 on the A-side and Part II on the flip of Excello 2330. That made no national charts, but late that year, in conjunction with Jesse Boone & The Astros, he had Know What You’re Doing When You Leave top out at # 77 R&B b/w No Particular One on Sunburst SU-523. The following June he then had Grapevine Will Lie Sometimes do only marginally better at # 69 R&B on Sunburst SU-529 b/w Such A Beautiful Thing, followed later in 1974 by his only other Sunburst single, I’m Cracking Up/Moonlight Trip (Sunburst SU-532) which failed to chart.
In 1976 he had one single released on Jerri 105 – yet another small largely unknown label – titled Come On Back/Let’s Steal Away which went nowhere, at which point he changed careers (and name, becoming Mike Anderson) as he turned to radio journalism/news reporting in Birmingham, Alabama, even as he took courses at Louisiana State University as well as the Career Academy School of Broadcast Journalism. He briefly relocated later to work as a reporter/news anchor at KIRO-TV in Seattle, followed by a move to Milwaukee in 1981 where he assumed the same duties with WISN-TV.
He has gained widespread recognition for such diverse things as covering the follow-up to the devastation Hurricane Katrina wreaked upon New Orleans, his stellar work on the award-winning documentaries Children In The Line Of Fire and Solutions To Violence, and his interviews of Presidents Nixon, Bush (Sr.), Clinton and George W. Bush. He has also been deeply involved with the annual Black Excellence Awards in Milwaukee, acting as emcee.
He kept his hand in music, however, with the following releases: Deerwood DW01 – 12″ disc in 1987 containing A1. Wild Dreams (Vocal)/A2. Wild Dreams (Instrumental)/B. Wild Dreams (long version vocal); Ichiban 91-235 in 1991 containing I’m Still In Love With You/Sunshine Lady; Peoples Potential Unlimited 019 in 2010, a 12″ 33′ RPM disc with the A side containing Delicate Rose vocal version followed by instrumental version by Hill (Willie) and the B-side containing Wild Dreams vocal version followed by instrumental version by Roshell Anderson.
He certainly has a nice, husky R&B voice and when you listen to his two charters – if you can find copies – you will be left wondering why he has not enjoyed more commercial success, a result no doubt stemming from the fact he toiled for such small operations with likely very limited funds for proper promotion (By George O’Leary).