Columbia Records S 64333 | Released December 1970 | Peak Chart Position: 1
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THE LINER NOTES
When historians look back across the landscape of twentieth century culture, they will see an era scored by the music that our lives have been set to. Melodies and lyrics that captured singular moments in time; songs that defined us, and created the soundtracks of our lives, indelibly etching the voices of the singers into our collective songbook. For Bing Crosby, it was ‘White Christmas’. For Ernie Ford, it was Merle Travis’s classic, ‘Sixteen Tons’. For Lynn Anderson, that song was ‘(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden’
Written in 1968 by Georgia singer-songwriter Joe South, “Rose Garden” was initially recorded by South himself, Freddy Weller, Dobie Gray and Billie Jo Royal. All were album cuts, however, save for Gray’s and Royal’s who released his take as a single in 1969 with an arrangement that echoed his hit, “Down In the Boondocks”’, another Joe South-penned song.
Signed to CBS Records in 1970, Lynn was deep into the recording of her third album for the label with producer and husband, Glenn Sutton, when she approached Sutton about adding the song to the LP. A fan of Billie Jo Royal and Joe South, Lynn thought that the song would bring an edgier feel to the lush sound Sutton was wrapping her voice in. But Sutton resisted. He felt that the song’s lyrics were written from a man’s point of view…and he was right. But Lynn persisted, bringing a woman’s attitude and insight to those lyrics, and balancing Sutton’s crisp, Countrypolitan arrangement with her tough and tender phrasings. For his part, Sutton was still not convinced. But when legendary label head Clive Davis heard the final track in the Nashville CBS offices on Music Row, he knew instantly it was the album’s lead single.
The rest, as they say, is history. Buoyed by the worldwide success of the single, Rose Garden became one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, and the first Platinum-certified LP ever recorded by a female country star, making Lynn Anderson one of the most recognizable faces and voices in popular entertainment, and one of the most influential female artists of the twentieth century.
J Buck Ford
"Rose Garden" / "For The Good Times" / "Another Lonely Night" / "I Don't Wanna Play House" / "Snowbird" / "Your Sweet Love Lifted Me" / "Sunday Morning Coming Down" / "I Still Belong To You" / "I Wish I Was A Little Boy Again" ? "It's Only Make Believe" / "Nothin' Between Us"