Sixteen years ago, the now-iconic father/daughter dance song, “I Loved Her First,” was released. Countless dances and people touched by the song have shown that very specific songs are needed for very specific moments in life. While Heartland may have the father/daughter dance covered, the void for the mother/son dance remained.
Enter Gloria Anderson.
The Nashville-living singer, songwriter and storyteller collaborated with her neighbor, Amanda Rollert, to craft a song for the latter’s dance with her son at his wedding. That collaboration, “The Moment,” offers both a reflective and in-the-moment perspective of a mother sharing one last special moment with her son that’s sure to bring a tear to the eye of anyone who has lived that moment, as Anderson once again proves she’s one of the most reliable up-and-coming storytellers coming out of Nashville.
We chatted with both Anderson and Rollert all about “The Moment,” and also caught up with Gloria about developing as a writer, her plans for new music, hitting the road and more!
Pro Country: The last time we talked, you mentioned that you were actively working to develop your songwriting craft. What have you done to hone that skill and how do you gauge that success?
Gloria Anderson: Since the last time we spoke, I’ve been co-writing 2-4 times a week and playing at least one show a week. Last year, I played over 80 shows, and my goal for 2022 is to break 100! I am always excited to further develop my craft by learning from other writers and discovering what my strengths are in the writing room.
PC: Also when we last talked, you mentioned that the order of your single releases and making a good first impression is important to you. Why did you feel that your new single, “The Moment,” was the right follow up to your last single, “Like She Does”?
Gloria Anderson: As an upcoming artist, I am very careful about how I am first presenting myself to new audiences, because I want them to understand who I am through my music. The song “The Moment,” is written from the perspective of a mother speaking to her son, and although I am not a mother, the past few years have encouraged me to put it out into the world. I was nervous about releasing it at first, because I know I have yet to experience what it is like to raise a child. However, ever since the first time I played it at Amanda’s son’s wedding, The reaction from my audiences really pushed me to release it. When I spoke to Amanda, close friends and industry mentors about releasing it, I finally realized that this song isn’t about me or my image, it is about giving mothers and sons a song they can dance to among all the father-daughter songs. I strive to not only be a songwriter, but a teller of stories that may or may not be my own.
PC: Amanda, Gloria mentioned to us that you initially ideated “The Moment.” Can you tell us where you drew inspiration for the song?
Amanda Rollert: When our oldest son, Michael, got engaged and he and our soon to be daughter in law were discussing wedding plans, I always listened and was supportive of their plans, but when Morgan, my soon to be daughter in law, asked the question, “What song do you want to dance the Mother/Son dance to?” I think I got a knot in my stomach and was a little overcome with anxiousness. I had not had to do this before, as our oldest two children are girls and my husband took care of that part. To be honest, I had pressure now to find the right song. I scoured over song after song, but I could not find the right message, and then I literally one day was thinking what I was going to do, when a single thought raced up to my head: “You can write one,” it said. After I let the grin leave my cheeks, I actually thought, “Why not!” I felt this nudge to just dive in, because I knew what I wanted to say to Michael. I had 23 years of memories and love to share.
As a mother, I raised my girls to be strong and independent. I raised them to be the heart of the home and the strength to juggle life’s curveballs with grace and determination, but I knew it was different with my sons. I would be turning their hearts over to the woman who would hold their heart as gentle as I had all these years, and I would know it was time to bow out and let the two of them become one, and his bride would now be the heart of their home. Having a daughter-in-law as lovely as Morgan made it easy, but I wanted her to know that my role was to be in the background now. I had one last dance to hold my son close and speak with him about how proud I am of him and let him know how beautiful his life will be from this moment forward with his new wife.
PC: Gloria, “The Moment” was written in November of 2018. What was about the song that made it stick with you and release it just over three years after completing it?
Gloria Anderson: Ever since I performed it for the first time at Amanda’s son’s wedding, I began playing it at writer’s rounds and shows. Every time I performed it, I would have someone walk up to me and mention that song. I’d also receive messages on social media. Crowd reaction has always been positive and emotional.
PC: Amanda, can you talk about deciding to get Gloria involved with the song and why you felt she was the right collaborator?
Amanda Rollert: I knew I could write a song, but I also knew I could not sing the song 🙂 Gloria and her family are our next-door neighbors. I had been listening to Gloria sing for a few years, and her voice is like an angel. Her energy is infectious, and she just loves life and all its experiences. Almost as soon as the idea popped into my head about writing the song, the idea about asking Gloria to be my accomplice was equally present. I had no idea what Gloria would think, but fate had already stepped in.
A few weeks earlier, I had bought popcorn from Gloria for a fundraiser, and she had just called to bring it over. I knew I had to ask her and see what she thought. She pulled up, I got my popcorn, and I had these lyrics on a piece of paper in my hand. The moment I got the words out and asked if she wanted to do this with me, in true Gloria fashion, her eyes got really big and she smiled a big, beautiful Gloria smile and said “YES!” and “The Moment” was born!
PC: Gloria, can you tell us what you remember about getting involved with “The Moment” and how the song came together from there?
Gloria Anderson: Yes! I love this story. Amanda is my neighbor and a family friend. My sister and I have become friends with her kids and babysat her grandkids over the years. In November of 2018, I was going over to her house to drop off some popcorn she bought for a fundraiser at my school. When I pulled into the driveway, Amanda was standing out in her driveway and seemed very excited to get her popcorn. Once I pulled up, I noticed she had a piece of paper with her. She mentioned she was looking for a song to dance with her son to at his upcoming wedding, and she couldn’t find one. She then handed me the piece of paper and mentioned she wrote her thoughts down and asked if I would collaborate with her to make it a song. I was so excited by the time I got home I had sung the first verse and chorus through.
PC: Amanda, what did it mean to you to have Gloria perform “The Moment” at your son’s wedding and what was the moment that you had with your son like for you?
Amanda Rollert: Having Gloria sing the song at the wedding was the icing on the cake. Gloria’s ability to infuse her passion into the song, I believe, transcends generations. She knows Michael and Morgan, and I think her vocals are what made this song extra special for Michael and me. That dance was our time to slow down. When he took my hand and twirled me around, I had a flood of a lifetime of memories burst in my heart. I remembered his first steps, his love for adventure, his smile that let me know he was about to do something fun, and his beautiful heart. My son was now a man taking the next steps in his life with his new wife, and I knew just what to do. Hold him close in that moment and let him know how proud I was of him and the life he was about to embark on with his new wife. I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes. Michael had them, too.
PC: Gloria, how special of a moment was that performance for you?
Gloria Anderson: Performing “The Moment” for the mother-son dance at Michael’s wedding was such a sweet moment. I originally played it as a surprise at the rehearsal dinner the night before, because it was a more intimate audience, and Amanda wanted Michael to hear the song first. I was honored to be a part of such a special day!
PC: Based on your initial concept of the song, Amanda, how do you feel the final recording of “The Moment” turned out?
Amanda Rollert: Without hesitation, the final recording is better than I could have ever imagined. I am truly grateful for the skillful and heartfelt collaboration on this project. I am equally grateful for the work that Gloria and her production team did with the song. Every time I hear it, I get chills and the sting of tears in my eyes as I remember the moment I got to hold my son one last time on the dance floor on his wedding day. Gloria brought my words to life.
PC: Gloria, you mentioned to us that you have more new music planned. What information, if any, can you give about your forthcoming releases? What can people expect to hear?
Gloria Anderson: I am very excited for the next few months, because I get to finally build a project and record with my band. Right now, that is all I can say about it, but I am very excited for the songs and the stories that will be shared.
PC: In September, you were featured on Faith Alexa’s single, “North Carolina.” Can you talk about how you became involved with singing on the track and what it was like to sing with Faith on the song?
Gloria Anderson: Faith is one of my dearest friends! When we met at Belmont, we soon discovered our small-town hometowns were about twenty minutes apart in Texas, and we had no idea until our paths crossed in Nashville. When we sat down to write “North Carolina,” it was very late at night, and we were not originally planning on writing. She played this melody she had thought of earlier, and I started playing the guitar. Once we got the first verse, the harmonies came easily, and we were really loving the sound. It is always a blast getting to write with friends, but singing with them is even more fun and an honor. “North Carolina” was released September 17, 2021, and was Faith Alexa’s first editorial playlist feature, Fresh Finds: Country. I am so grateful to be a part of this song’s journey.
PC: Of the things you can control, what are your plans for 2022?
Gloria Anderson: I am very excited for 2022! I am especially looking forward to playing more shows with my full-band and hopefully traveling a bit with them.
*”The Moment is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*