It was this month in 1971 that country singer Lynn Anderson’s Rose Garden went gold.
Bios on Lynn Anderson usually say, “Born in Grand Forks, ND, September 26th, 1947, raised in Sacramento, California.” Leading the way for Lynn’s career was her mother Liz. Liz had a great talent for writing songs. Her husband encouraged her, and slowly, she became successful with it.
Young Lynn was showing talent as well. By the time she was six, she was performing, but she also had another gift – working with horses. As a child, she started competing in horse shows. In all, she brought home over 700 trophies and was crowned 1966 California Horse Show Queen.
As a teen, Lynn started performing as a singer and guitarist. It was about this time that mother Liz got a recording contract of her own, with Lynn supplying background vocals. The two traveled to Nashville, where young Lynn got her first real break, recording for the Chart label and cutting a duet with Jerry Lane – her first single.
Lynn’s first solo single came in 1966 with In Person, followed the next year with a Top-40 hit with Ride, Ride, Ride, written by … her mother. That same year, she hit the country Top Five with If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away), and in 1968 with Promises, Promises, followed in 1969 with That’s a No No.
Her success got her a spot on television when Lawrence Welk added her to his weekly lineup. Lynn later moved to Nashville and released a string of great songs, but it was Rose Garden that really put her over the top. Since then, she has sung for presidents and royalty. Remember her song, I was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool? Well, she was right. Lynn Anderson got her own CBS special when such things simply didn’t happen, and was one of the first to prove that country music could enjoy as much national appeal as other styles.
Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm