Country music star Lynn Anderson left us this week, much too soon. She died at the age of 67.
“(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” became a gigantic crossover hit in the early 1970s. In her career, she had a dozen No. 1 hits. She won a Grammy and seven Grammy nominations. Twice she was named the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year and Billboard’s Female Artist of the Decade (1970 to 1980). Not bad.
Her songwriting parents, Casey and Liz Anderson, were Nashville royalty themselves. Although her own life wasn’t always a rose garden, there’s no doubt that Lynn Anderson’s success helped create a first wave of popularity for country music’s “Nashville sound.”
Once I spent part of an evening talking with the Grand Forks native in the green room of Chester Fritz Auditorium. She told me wonderful show business stories (some in confidence). One about fellow North Dakotan Lawrence Welk inviting her “to come and sing on “da show.” At one time, those weekly appearances were the only country music heard regularly on network television.
There is a beautiful rose garden on the grounds of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn. Guess who paid for it. RIP, Lynn.