Andy Anderson was well known in the musical community and befriended many throughout his life. Anderson passed away recently, but it is evident his memory will not soon fade from those who knew him.
Anderson was born to Marilyn and Leonard Anderson in Dayton and split his time between there and Fort Dodge throughout his life. Anderson, who died Oct. 22, developed a love of music early in life. He sang and played several instruments including the guitar, piano, and trumpet. Anderson co-founded Airplay Mobile Sound with Valerie Butler and later founded Concert Sound Productions.
Anderson was a DJ for many dances, weddings, and gatherings, and conducted audio for both local and world-famous artists. Locally, Anderson ran the sound board for many productions at Iowa Central Community College, as well as helping with large events such as Shellabration and the Dayton Rodeo.
Jim Hirschberg first met Anderson when Hirschberg’s band recorded songs at the recording studio Anderson owned in Fort Dodge.
“Right away I could see Andy’s incredible work ethic. He would make helpful suggestions to us and possessed a great deal of patience,” said Hirschberg.
The two would go on to work together as DJs for many events.
“Andy never sat still and was always busy with a project or a show. When he wasn’t farming he was working on and repairing equipment.,” said Hirschberg. “If he wasn’t helping out at the Dayton Rodeo he was power washing a hog confinement, painting a barn, sandblasting a wagon, installing a sound system in a church, or painting a tractor.”
Hirschberg said despite the full schedule Anderson always kept, he was always kind and positive.
” One would think that all of this work pulling Andy in different directions would have made him a nervous, stressed-out person, but the incredible thing was is that he almost always had a radiant smile on his face that made all those around him like him and trust in his knowledge and expertise that he was going to get the job done and do it right,” said Hirschberg.
Hirschberg said although Anderson was dedicated to his work, he always made time for his family. Hirschberg recalls Anderson’s wedding to Gwenda Naylor,
“They say opposites attract. Could that be any more true when it comes to Gwenda and Andy’s relationship? At their wedding reception they did a very funny and oh-so-accurate rendition of the theme song from ‘Green Acres’. Gwenda was the city girl and Andy was the farm boy but, like the Douglases of Green Acres, they made it work,” said Hirschberg.
Many people spoke highly of Anderson and said they count themselves lucky for knowing him.
Jared Wingert said, “One of the nicest guys you could ever meet and he had no ego about what he did and worked with everyone, and patiently answered all of my questions without becoming annoyed.”
Jerry Musselman said he first met Anderson in the ’90s when Anderson was working in Ames with a company called Pro Sound and Musselman had a side business doing stage lighting.
“They had booked a show in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in January 1994 that needed more lighting than they had on hand, so I was contracted to supply the lighting,” Musselman said.
Musselman said he and Anderson worked together to set up the sound and lighting equipment for the event and despite any setbacks or last-minute changes, Anderson would just smile and make it work. “During the setup and show we swapped ‘war stories’ about shows and gear. I thought it was great, another music and electronics nerd that I could relate to,” said Musselman.
Musselman said Anderson always worked hard, no matter what the job.
“Anyone who worked with Andy has heard his stories and adventures. We were fortunate to work with many artists during our time together, both local talent and national recording artists. They all got the same high level of professionalism from him,” Musselman said.
Ask just about anyone and they’ll tell you Anderson was always kind and patient.
“He loved what he did, always wanted to learn more about things and had the patience of a saint. Dad impacted many lives around Fort Dodge, throughout Iowa and beyond, and brought joy to a lot of people,” said Anderson’s son Tyler Anderson.
“Andy was more than just my father, he was also one of my best friends. To me, that in itself is an honor and a privilege. I’m going to miss him dearly.”