Lynn Rene Anderson (born September 26, 1947 in Grand Forks, North Dakota) is an American country music singer and horse racer, best known for her Grammy Award-winning, country crossover mega-hit, "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden." Anderson was one of the most popular female country singers of the 1970s, helped by her regular exposure on national television. She has scored eight #1s, 18 Top Tens and over 50 Top 40 hits.
Anderson debuted in 1966, having her first major hit with "Ride, Ride, Ride." After a series of Top 10 hit singles on the country charts during the later half of the 1960s, Anderson went on to sign with Columbia Records in 1970. Under Columbia, she had her most successful string of hits. Her signature song, "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden", was one of the most successful country crossover hits of all time, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Pop Chart, and was later ranked at #83 by CMT's special of the CMT's 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.
Anderson was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota and raised in Fair Oaks, California. She is the daughter of country music songwriters Casey and Liz Anderson.. Lynn Anderson's grandfather was born in Aremark in Norway.
She took an interest in singing at the age of 6, but had first success in horse shows in and around California, where she won a total of 700 trophies, which included the "California Horse Show Queen" title in 1966. Into her teens, she performed regularly on a local television program, Country Caravan.
In 1965, she was working as a secretary at Top 40 radio station, KROY in Sacramento, California, when one of her mother's compositions, "All My Friends (Are Gonna Be Strangers)" was recorded and became a #10 Country hit by Merle Haggard. This helped her mother sign as a Country music recording artist for RCA Records the same year. While accompanying her mother to Nashville, Anderson participated in an informal sing-along at a local hotel room with country stars Merle Haggard and Freddie Hart. One of the people present at the sing-along, Slim Williamson, was the owner of Chart Records, a local record label. Williamson recognized Lynn Anderson's talents, and invited her to record for his label. She began recording on Chart Records in 1966.
1966 – 1969: Country music success
In 1966, Lynn Anderson released her debut single, "For Better or for Worse," a duet with Jerry Lane that did not chart. She released her first charted single with "Ride, Ride, Ride," her third single released by Chart Records, which peaked within the Country Top 40. She had her major hit single, "If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)", the following year. The single, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard Country Chart. The single was off of the Ride, Ride, Ride LP. This was followed by another Top 5 hit, "Promises, Promises,"  from an album of the same name. The "Promises, Promises]] LP also spawned a second Top 10 hit in 1968, "No Another Time." That same year, she released a Top 25 duet hit that she recorded with her mother, "Mother May I". The elder Anderson also achieved success as a country artist around the same time, achieving two Top 10 hits- "Mama Spank" (1966) and a trio with Bobby Bare and Norma Jean titled "The Game of Triangles" (1967).
In 1967, Lynn Anderson became a regular performer on the The Lawrence Welk Show. She toured with the Welk Road Show, as well. Working on the show exposed Anderson to a larger audience, and her appearances on the show would later redound to her benefit; because of the Welk show's widespread appeal, she was able to achieve success on the pop charts. In 1969, as her popularity grew, she left the Welk show in favor of sporadic guest appearances. In 1968, Anderson married songwriter and producer Glenn Sutton, who would later produce her records and write some of her singles in the 70s. Their marriage would last for approximately nine years. Anderson released her biggest hit single under the Chart label, "That's a No No", which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1969. Soon after, she left the label, signing with Columbia Records in 1970. However, Chart Records would continue to release Lynn Anderson singles thru the end of 1971, including five Top 20 hits: "He'd Still Love Me", "I've Been Everywhere," "Rocky Top," "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," and "I'm Alright."
1970 – 1980: Pop crossover
After signing with Columbia in 1970, she released the Joe South song, "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden," which became a major crossover Pop hit in 1970 and early 1971. The song was produced by husband Glenn Sutton. Anderson actually had to do some arm-twisting to get her producer husband to record the song, and Sutton eventually gave in. But it wasn't until Columbia record executive Clive Davis heard the song that it was released as a single. The single peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart and also peaked at #3 on the Billboard Pop Chart, and would go on to become her signature song. The album, Rose Garden was released in 1971, and was also successful, receiving a "Gold" certification by the RIAA, eventually becoming certified "Platinum."  Anderson won the Academy of Country Music's "Top Female Vocalist" Award and the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" Award in 1970 and 1971. In addition, she also won a Grammy Award.
Anderson was unable to land another single on the Billboard Top 40 Pop Charts, although she had her biggest success on the country charts during this period. She had two #1 hit singles on the Billboard Country Chart in 1971 with "You're My Man" and "How Can I Unlove You", both of which also peaked at #63 on the Billboard Pop Chart. Anderson's country singles would continue to chart outside the Top 40 on the Billboard Pop Chart until 1974.
In 1972, Anderson had three Top 5 hits on the country charts, beginning with a cover version of the 50s pop hit, "Cry", and followed by "Listen to a Country Song" and "Fool Me,"  These songs were included on the Listen to a Country Song album. "Cry" peaked at #3 on the Billboard magazine country chart and at #16 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In 1973, Anderson's had a fourth #1 country hit with "Keep Me in Mind," and an album of the same was also released. This was followed by a second 1973 album, titled Top of the World, whose title track was a Top 5 country hit. It was also a #1 pop hit for The Carpenters the same year, although Anderson's version was the first to be released as a single. The second single spawned from the album, "Sing About Love," also peaked at #3. In 1974, "What a Man My Man is" was Anderson's fifth #1 country hit. In 1974, she also won the American Music Awards' "Favorite Female Country Artist" Award.
In the mid and late 1970s, Anderson made frequent guest appearances on many television specials talk shows and variety shows. She had a starring role in an episode of Starsky & Hutch as Sue Ann Granger, made several appearances on The Tonight Show, and appeared on three Bob Hope television specials. She was a frequent guest star on various Dean Martin television specials. She also hosted her own television special in 1977, with guest star Tina Turner. In 1994 she made a cameo appearance in the film, XXX's and OOO's."
Anderson's success slowed down toward the end of the 70s. However, she continued making regular appearances on the country charts every year for the rest of the decade. She continued recording hit singles in the country music Top 20, including two from her I've Never Loved Anyone More album in 1975 with "He Turns it into Love Again" and the title track, which both were Top 15 hits. She had a Top 20 hit with "All the King's Horses" in 1976 from an album of the same name. She had another major hit in 1977 with "Wrap Your Love All Around Your Man", due to its promotion on the television show, Starsky & Hutch. In 1979, she had her first Top 10 country hit since 1974 with "Isn't It Always Love"  from her Outlaw is Just a State of Mind album. The album also produced the Top 20 country hit, "I Love How You Love Me" and the Top 40 hit "Sea of Heartbreak". In 1980, she recorded her final album for Columbia, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, which released two Top 30 country hits. Anderson didn't record for three years following her separation from Columbia.
1983 – 1989: Commercial resurgence
After three years away from recording, Anderson signed with the Permian Records label in 1983, and had a Top 10 country hit with "You're Welcome to Tonight", a duet with Gary Morris  At Permian, she recorded Back, her first studio album since 1980. The album's first single, "You Can't Lose What You Never Had", peaked outside the Country Top 40, but the second single, "What I've Learned from Loving You", was a Top 20 hit. She left Permian in 1984. In 1986, she recorded "Fools for Each Other", a duet with Ed Bruce, that was included on his Night Things album. The single peaked outside the Country Top 40.
That same year, Anderson recorded a single for MCA Records. In 1986, she signed with Mercury Records, which produced one album, What She Does Best, and five singles that were minor hits on the Billboard Country Chart in the late 1980s. She had two Top 40 hit singles with MCA- "Read Between the Lines" and a cover version of The Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk," which hit the Top 25 country chart in 1988. In 1989, Anderson released her last charting single to date with "How Many Hearts," which peaked at #69.
1990 – Present: Present music career
In 1990, Anderson starred as singer Betsy Hall in the BBC Scotland TV drama, "The Wreck On The Highway." She performed the song "Dream On" in the film, which consequently became a minor hit in a BBC collection of country standards. In 1992, she recorded a new studio album titled Cowboy's Sweetheart, released by Laselight Records. Emmylou Harris and Marty Stuart appeared as guest performers on the album. During the same time, the American Rose Society created a hybrid tea rose and named it "The Lynn Anderson"  In 1992 she performed at the D'or Eglise country music festeval in France, along with Laramy Smith she performed songs by Edith Piaf and was not liked by the French audience on the other hand Laramy gave three encore's and was presented a rose endowed floral arrangement intended for miss Anderson. Anderson did not record any studio albums for the rest of the decade and became more focused on touring and performing, as well as non-musical projects. In 1999, she was inducted into the North American Country Music Association's International Hall of Fame.
In 2000, Tennessee governor Don Sundquist made June 15 "Lynn Anderson Day" throughout the state. Anderson produced a TNN special, "American Country Cowboys," which helped handicapped groups also during this time. In 2002, Anderson was ranked at #29 on CMT's television special of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music. In 2000, she recorded a live album titled, Live at Billy Bob's Texas. In 2004, she recorded her first studio album in 12 years, The Bluegrass Sessions, a Bluegrass album that consisted of Anderson's major hits from the 60s and 70s re-recorded in a Bluegrass format. The album was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2005, along with Ricky Skaggs' album Brand New Strings, Ralph Stanley II's Carrying on, as well as a multi-artist album. In 2005, she performed on the Grand Ole Opry with Country singer, Martina McBride, performing a duet version of "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden".
In June 2007, she performed as part of the CMA's 2007 Music Festival in Nashville. She performed an outdoor concert at the Riverfront Park area, which also included concerts by Aaron Tippin and Jason Michael Carroll. At the festival, Anderson duetted with songwriter and fiance Mentor Williams on his composition recorded by Dobie Gray and later Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away".
In April 2009, she was part of the concert line-up at the annual Stagecoach Festival in Palm Springs, which also included concerts by Charlie Daniels, Kevin Costner, and Reba McEntire. Lynn Anderson remains a popular concert attraction, regularly headlining major casinos and performing arts centers. In late 2009, she performed a series of concerts backed by the Metropole Symphony Orchestra.
Outside of her music career, Anderson has also maintained an equestrian horse racing career since the 1960s. As a horsewoman, she has won 16 national championships, eight world championships and several celebrity championships.
Her most recent championships include the National Chevy Truck Cutting Horse Champion in 1999, the American U.S. Open Invitational Champion in 2000,and the National Cutting Horse Association Champion in 1999. Anderson continues to raise horses at her ranch in New Mexico. Anderson has worked with the "Special Riders of Animaland," which is a horseback-riding therapy program for children.
Her sorrel Quarter Horses "Lady Phase" and "Skipster's Chief" were produced as plastic models by Breyer Animal Creations.
Lynn Anderson was married to country music producer Glen Sutton from 1968 to 1977. Her second husband was the Louisiana oilman, Harold Stream III, with whom she had two children. Stream and Anderson divorced in 1982.
Anderson currently lives in Taos, New Mexico with her third husband, singer-songwriter Mentor Williams. They were engaged in 2006.
On December 2, 2004, Anderson was charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Denton, Texas. A driver who was following Anderson called the police after noticing that her car was weaving in and out of lanes. After failing a field sobriety test, Anderson was arrested and taken to jail. She was later released on bond.
On May 3, 2006, Anderson was arrested on a second Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol charge following a minor traffic accident near Espanola, New Mexico. According to police, Anderson failed a sobriety test and refused to take a breathalyzer test after her car hit the back of another car. No one was injured in the collision. Anderson was later released on bond.
Awards & honors
|Year||Award Program||Award |
Academy of Country Music Award
Top Female Vocalist
|Grammy Award||Best Female Country Vocal Performance; "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden"|
|Country Music Association Award||Female Vocalist of the Year|
|1974||American Music Award||Favorite Female Country Artist|
Artist of the Decade; 1970 – 1980
|1999||American Country Music Association Hall of Fame||Inductee|
|2002||CMT's 40 Greatest Women of Country Music||Ranking – #29|
Academy of Western Artists
|Best Western Song|
|Best Western Album; Cowgirl|
|Best Western Swing Album; Cowgirl|
|Best Female Vocalist|
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Huey, Steve Lynn Anderson biography Allmusic; retrieved 7-6-08
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Artist biography - Lynn Anderson Countrypolitan.com; retrieved 7-6-08
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Adams, Greg (2004), Lynn Anderson's Greatest Hits (referenced from the CD's biography), retrieved 7-6-08
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywEKpSVNR3M
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Lynn Anderson interview Norway
- ↑ Kosser, Michael (2006). In How Nashville Became Music City, U.S.A. Trade Book Editorial Offices. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corporation. pg. 135.
- ↑ RIAA Gold & Platinum Lynn Anderson's "Gold & Platinum" albums; retrieved 07-06-08
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Biography: Lynn Anderson CMT.com; retrieved 7-6-08.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 The Lynn Anderson Show - biography The Lynn Anderson Show; retrieved 7-6-08
- ↑ Lynn Anderson tv appearancesIMDB.com; retrieved 07-06-08.
- ↑ Anderson honored for musical achievements CMT.com; CMT news & updates; retrieved 7-608.
- ↑ Wilson, Lynn Are Top Country Nominees at Grammys CMT.com; retrieved 7-6-08
- ↑ Terri Clark Opening CMA Music Festival CMT.com news & updates for Lynn Anderson, news from May 2007; retrieved 7-6-08.
- ↑ Lynn Anderson Charged With DWI CMT.com news CMT news from December 3, 2004; retrieved 07-06-08.
- ↑ Lynn Anderson Arrested on DUI Charge CMT.com; news & updates (from May 4, 2006); retrieved 7-6-08.
- ↑ Lynn Anderson awards CMT.com; retrieved 7-6-08.
- Bufwack, Mary A. (1998). "Lynn Anderson". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury (editor); New York: Oxford University Press, page 14.