Dance was born 81 years ago in Lynchburg, Tennessee, which just happens to be the same hometown as Jack Daniels whiskey.
In the early 1960s, Dance started competing in competitive bass fishing tournaments and found enough success to pick up sponsorships from the fishing industry. In the late 1960s, one of the fishing lure manufacturers that sponsored him suggested that he start a TV show to promote their products.
His first fishing TV show aired on a local ABC affiliate in 1968. Since then, Bill Dance has grown to be arguably the most recognizable TV fishing personality in history. Thanks to Bill Dance’s larger-than-life personality and incredible fishing prowess, his TV show has undoubtedly inspired countless kids across the country to get outside and go on their own fishing adventures.
He is easily identified by the trademark orange and white Tennessee Volunteers hat that has been permanently perched atop his head for decades. Dance is also well known for not taking himself too seriously on the water. In fact, the blooper reels from his TV shows have come to be just as popular as some of the more serious fishing footage he produces.
If you ever find yourself in need of a good laugh to lift your spirits, just kick back and watch his hilarious highlight reels because they will take you back to simpler times and forever be some of the best videos on the internet.
Dance has not only inspired countless other people to find their own passion for fishing, but through the instructional how-to aspects of his TV, he’s also taught a lot of people skills and tactics to become even better at fishing. Earlier this year, he also got out on the water and personally taught country music singer Stephanie Quayle how to bass fish.
She’s not the only country music singer that Bill Dance has had a positive impact on, though. For Dance’s 81st Birthday, country music superstar Luke Bryan released a new song paying tribute to the fishing legend.
For a guy like a Bill Dance, a simple rendition of “Happy Birthday” just isn’t enough, so Bryan wrote and recorded a song that sums up not only how he personally feels about Bill Dance, but how a ton of other kids across the country felt watching Bill catch fish on TV every weekend.
The music video for the song is absolutely awesome, and shows Luke and his two sons spending a full day on the water strumming guitar and catching fish with Bill.
“What a fun day with this legend. Thank you Bill Dance for allowing us to create such a special video that me & my boys will never forget. Also, Happy Birthday buddy! Watch the full version now on my Facebook page!”
“… Cause all I ever wanted to be was Bill Dance Fishing for a living Saturday morning on television A Georgia boy learning how to hook big bass From a large mouth legend in a Tennessee hat
Taught me how to tie ’em on Taught me how to take ’em off Taught me how to catch ’em when they said they couldn’t be caught Nobody ever had to worry about me ‘Cause all I ever wanted to be was Bill Dance… “