1963 Bill Pursell – Our Winter Love
Bill Pursell grew up in California and studied music in Baltimore at The Peabody Institute of Music. During World War II, he worked doing arrangements for the U. S. Air Force Band.
In the fifties, Bill taught music at Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University and worked with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
Columbia Records signed Bill to a recording contract in the early sixties. Canadian trumpet player Johnny Cowell had written the song Our Winter Love and recorded it as an instrumental featuring his trumpet solo.
Bill rearranged the song to feature himself on the piano. Bill’s single reached #9 on the Hot 100, #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #20 on the R&B chart.
The song became a hit again when the Lettermen released their own single that stalled at #72 on the Hot 100 but reached #16 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1966.
Bill’s next single was the instrumental Loved, but it failed to reach the charts.
Bill recorded and released two albums and a handful of singles before temporarily abandoning his solo career in 1966. He made a living doing studio work and arrangements for other artists, including Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, J.J. Cale, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Dan Fogelberg, and Marty Robbins.
He began releasing his own work again in 1976 and 1977 with The Nashville Sweat Band & Aides. In 1980, he joined the faculty at Belmont University in Nashville.
Bill died from complications of COVID-19 in September 2020 at the age of 94.
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