I remember the first time I heard Rose Garden, it was one of the first ‘classic’ country songs that I recall from my childhood. In fact, it was one of the first songs I learned to play on guitar. But Lynn Anderson was so much more than just Rose Garden, her string of hits from the 1960s onwards cemented her place in country music history.
From If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away), to Promises, Promises, and Keep Me in Mind, she had a knack of finding the perfect song – she had twelve number one singles in total. She was one of the earliest adopters of the Countrypolitan genre, aided by her producer/then husband Glenn Sutton, and songwriter mother Liz Anderson.
When recording Rose Garden, her producers, including Sutton, didn’t think the track was appropriate. It was a ‘man’s song.’ After all, why would a woman promise ‘big diamond rings’ or indeed, a ‘rose garden’? However, Anderson persevered, and the song went on to become her biggest hit world wide, and earned her a Grammy in 1971.
There is no doubt that Lynn Anderson will go down in history as a superstar of the country genre. She opened the door for many women in the industry, showing that a woman could sing whatever they wanted, and be successful at it. Along with other Countrypolitan singers, she changed the sound of music coming out of Nashville. It is a sad thought that Lynn Anderson is no longer a part of the country world, so today ‘listen to a country song,’ in honour of one of the queens of country music.