Best-known for her Grammy-winning smash "Rose Garden," Lynn Anderson was one of the most popular female country singers of the early '70s, helped by her regular exposure on national television. Anderson was born in Grand Forks, ND, and grew up in Sacramento, CA; her mother, Liz, was a professional songwriter best-known for penning Merle Haggard's early hits "(All My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers" and "The Fugitive" (the latter with her husband, Carey). Naturally, Lynn picked up music too, and performed as a singer and guitarist during her teen years. In the mid-'60s, her mother got a recording contract of her own based on her demo tapes, some of which featured Lynn singing background vocals. When the two traveled to Nashville, Lynn wound up recording for the small Chart label, cutting a duet with Jerry Lane as her first single. Her first solo single was 1966's "In Person," and in 1967 she scored her first Top 40 hit with her mother's composition "Ride, Ride, Ride." She burst into the country Top Five with 1967's "If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)," 1968's "Promises, Promises," and 1969's "That's a No No." Her success helped her land a spot as a weekly regular on The Lawrence Welk Show for a time, and made her the only country singer of her time to fill such a slot on any TV program. She eventually departed amid objections to singing in stereotypical haywagon settings, but went on to appear on numerous other variety shows.
In 1970, Anderson moved to Nashville with her husband, writer/producer Glenn Sutton, and signed with Columbia. She quickly scored the biggest hit of her career with the Joe South-penned "Rose Garden," which topped the country charts and went all the way to number three on the pop side. It won her a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal, and proved a hit in 15 countries. While Anderson never quite duplicated that crossover phenomenon, she racked up 14 more Top Ten hits on the country charts through 1974, including the number ones "How Can I Unlove You," "You're My Man," "Keep Me in Mind," and "What a Man, My Man Is." Her run of success tailed off somewhat in the latter half of the decade, but she continued to make regular appearances on the charts, and finally returned to the Top Ten with 1979's "Isn't It Always Love." She parted ways with Columbia in 1981, and scored one last Top Ten hit for Permian with 1984's "You're Welcome to Tonight." Other than a single for MCA and an album for Mercury, Anderson was silent for the remainder of the '80s; in 1992, she issued the album Cowboy's Sweetheart on the small Delta label. Live at Billy Bob's Texas appeared from out of nowhere in 2000. ~ Steve Huey