Lynn Anderson, Singer of ‘Rose Garden’ Dies at age 67


Lynn Anderson, who skyrocketed to country music stardom in 1970 singing her signature song, “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden,” died on Thursday in Nashville. She was 67.

Her death was confirmed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her publicist, Mark Logsdon, said that the cause was cardiac arrest. The newspaper The Tennessean reported that she had been hospitalized for pneumonia.

“Rose Garden,” written by Joe South, became a crossover hit, soaring to the top of both the country and pop charts and earning Ms. Anderson a Grammy in 1971. An album of the same title was the top-selling one by a female country artist from 1971 to 1997.

Ms. Anderson attributed the song’s popularity to its emotional tug as the nation was trying to recover from the war in Vietnam. “This song stated that you can make something out of nothing,” she told The Associated Press. “You take it and go ahead.”

The song was recorded only by a fluke. The producers, including her husband, argued that the lyrics made it a man’s song — it includes the line “I could promise you things like big diamond rings.” But a studio session ended 15 minutes early and with no other songs scheduled, Miss Anderson persuaded the crew to record “Rose Garden.”

According to her official biography, she turned out 12 top-ranked singles and 3 No. 1 albums during a four-decade recording career.

Among her other songs were “That’s a No No,” “Promises, Promises,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “Rocky Top,” “Cry,” “How Can I Unlove You,” “Keep Me in Mind,” “You’re My Man,” “What a Man My Man Is,” “Listen to a Country Song,” “Fool Me” and “Top of the World.”

Lynn Rene Anderson was born on Sept. 26, 1947, in Grand Forks, N.D., the daughter of country songwriters, Casey and Liz Anderson. Her mother wrote several hits for Merle Haggard, including “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive.”

Raised in California, she began performing when she was 6. She became an award-winning equestrian as a teenager and continued to ride and breed horses as an adult.

She recorded her debut single, “For Better or for Worse,” a duet with Jerry Lane, when she was 19. In 1967 she began appearing on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” which also exposed country music to a wider television audience, and that led to a contract with Columbia Records.

She moved to Nashville before recording “Rose Garden,” which earned her the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and the Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year.

Her marriage, in 1970, to Glenn Sutton, a songwriter, ended in divorce. She is survived by her father; her three children, Lisa Sutton, Melissa Stream Hempel and Gary Stream; four grandchildren; and her partner, the songwriter Mentor Williams.

In 1974, Ms. Anderson was the first female country singer to sell out Madison Square Garden in New York.

She was arrested on charges of drunken driving several times. After she was involved in a car crash in Nashville last year and charged with driving under the influence, she issued an apology to her fans on her Facebook page and promised to be “on the road to recovery.”

In 2005, she was charged with shoplifting a DVD of a Harry Potter film, and pleaded no contest to obstructing an officer and was given a conditional discharge, The A.P. reported.

Ms. Anderson made her last recording for Columbia in 1980, but had another Top 10 single (a duet with Gary Morris, “You’re Welcome to Tonight”) in 1983 and a Grammy-nominated album (“The Bluegrass Sessions”) in 2004. Just this June, she released a gospel album titled “Bridges.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/01/arts/music/lynn-anderson-singer-of-rose-garden-dies-at-67.html?_r=0

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