Lynn An­der­son, ‘Rose Gar­den’ singer, dies in Nashville aged 67

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY KRISTIN M. HALL

Lynn An­der­son, whose strong, husky voice car­ried her to the top of the U.S. charts with “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Gar­den,” has died. She was 67.

A state­ment from the fam­ily said she passed away at Van­der­bilt Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Nashville, Ten­nessee, on Thurs­day. Her pub­li­cist said the cause of death was car­diac ar­rest.

An­der­son first soaked up the na­tional spotlight as a young singer on “The Lawrence Welk Show” be­tween 1967 and 1969. Although she was signed to an in­de­pen­dent la­bel, the ex­po­sure helped her nab a deal with Columbia Records in Nashville.

“He was ab­so­lutely whole­some,” she said of Welk in a 1987 in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press. “He felt coun­try mu­sic was com­ing into its own and de­served to be on na­tional TV. At that time, I was the only one singing coun­try mu­sic on na­tional TV ev­ery week. He’s one of my he­roes and al­ways will be.”

And it was “Rose Gar­den” that sealed her coun­try mu­sic legacy, earn­ing her a Grammy and Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion’s fe­male vo­cal­ist of the year award in 1971.

“It was pop­u­lar be­cause it touched on emo­tions,” she told the AP. “It was per­fectly timed. It was out just as we came out of the Viet­nam years and a lot of peo­ple were try­ing to re­cover.

“This song stated that you can make some­thing out of noth­ing. You take it and go ahead. It fit me well and I’ll be proud to be con- nected to it un­til I die.”

She made tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances with such stars as Lu­cille Ball, Bing Crosby, John Wayne and Tom Jones and she per­formed for pres­i­dents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Rea­gan. She was also in episodes of the TV show “Starsky and Hutch” and in the 1982 TV movie “Coun­try Gold.”

An­der­son’s other hits in­cluded, “Rocky Top,” “You’re My Man,” “How Can I Unlove You,” “What a Man, My Man Is” and “Top of the World” (also recorded by the Car­pen­ters).

She re­turned briefly to the coun­try Top 10 with a Gary Mor­ris duet in 1983, “You’re Welcome to Tonight.”

Coun­try star Reba McEn­tire lauded her ac­com­plish­ments Thurs­day.

“She did so much for the fe­males in coun­try mu­sic,” McEn­tire said in a state­ment. “Al­ways con­tin­u­ing to pave the road for those to fol­low.”

Dolly Par­ton also said she’d be missed.

“Lynn is bloom­ing on God’s Rose Gar­den now. We will miss her and re­mem­ber her fondly,” Par­ton said in a state­ment.

She was born Sept. 26, 1947, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but raised in Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia. The daugh­ter of coun­try song­writ­ers Casey and Liz An­der­son, she started per­form­ing at the age of 6.

An­der­son was an award-win­ning eques­trian as a teenager, voted Cal­i­for­nia Horse Show Queen in 1966.

In her later years she lived in Taos, New Mexico, where she faced a num­ber of le­gal prob­lems. A Taos judge is­sued a re­strain­ing or­der in 1995 against An­der­son af­ter her boyfriend said she had threat­ened him fol­low­ing the end of their 12-year re­la­tion­ship.

In 2005, An­der­son was ac­cused of shoplift­ing a “Harry Pot­ter” DVD from a Taos su­per­mar­ket and then punch­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer as she was be­ing put into a pa­trol car. She later pleaded no con­test to ob­struct­ing an of­fi­cer and was given a con­di­tional dis­charge, court records show.

The year be­fore, An­der­son was ar­rested on drunken-driv­ing charge in Texas, the same week she was nom­i­nated for a Grammy for a blue­grass al­bum.

She is sur­vived by her fa­ther, her part­ner Men­tor Wil­liams and her chil­dren, Lisa Sut­ton, Melissa Hem­pel and Gray Stream.

AP

In this Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, Lynn An­der­son ar­rives at the 45th An­nual CMA Awards in Nashville, Ten­nessee.

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