"Let'er fly boys. Anywhere," John Anderson says, his favored Remington .20 gauge shotgun at the ready on a windy, unseasonably warm February day at Timberline, the singer/songwriter's backwoods retreat.

Seconds earlier, Anderson's lontime manager/agent Bobby Roberts had meticulously placed two clay targets on the skeet shooter. As he triggered the release, one skeet soared into the distance while the other careened toward Anderson, thudding into his shoulder. The veteran singer shrugged off the impact, stayed focused and expertly disintegrated the solo target.

The scene serves as an apt metaphor for Anderson's 30-year career on the fringe of Music Row, and as a performer who demonstrates a remarkable ability to deflect misses and absolutely nail opportunities. The Apopka, Fla., native first came to Nashville in the late '70s with little more than a dream and a voice that Mark Knopfler described as sounding "like he's singing through a volume pedal."

"Actually, when I first came to Nashville, I just wanted to sing and play for a living," Anderson says over the country ham special at Smithville's Rose Garden diner. "I always said if I could just pay rent, anything above that would be a bonus."

Within two weeks of arriving in Nashville, Anderson was singing and playing at the city's Lower Broadway honky-tonks, developing one of country's most distinct vocal deliveries. He signed to Warner Bros. in 1979, where a lengthy string of hits (20 Billboard top 10 singles) followed, beginning with "1959" in 1981; dating back to the pre-Nielsen SoundScan era, Anderson's handlers estimate he's sold more than 10 million records. Anderson became one of country's premier hitmakers of the '80s with such staples as "Your Lyin' Blue Eyes," the gold-certified "Wild and Blue" (his first chart-topper in 1982) and the 1983 mega-hit "Swingin'," recently named No. 30 on the list of top jukebox hits of all time by the Amusement and Music Operators Assn.

After a dry spell, Anderson stormed back to the airwaves in the early '90s with hits like "Straight Tequila Night," "I Wish I Could Have Been There" and the Florida Everglades anthem "Seminole Wind"; the album of the same name has sold double-platinum.

Along the way, Anderson has made the major-label rounds, with stops on Warner, MCA, Capitol, BNA, Mercury, Sony and now Warner Bros. again for a new release that many feel will give the artist an improbable third run at mainstream success.

Click here to read more on Anderson's upcoming new record "Easy Money," his involvement in the Muzik Mafia, his audience and more.