For the second time this week, country music has suffered a significant loss of one who helped make it what it was.
Lynn Anderson, the woman who took Joe South's song "Rose Garden" to the top of the country and pop charts in 1970, has died.
Anderson died Thursday (7/30) in Nashville after suffering a heart attack.
Lynn Anderson, the daughter of songwriters Liz and Casey Anderson, was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1947. Her career began to take off in the mid-60's when she signed to Chart Records. Her early hits included "Ride, Ride, Ride" and "If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)," along with the duet, "Mother, May I" with Liz. During this time she helped bring country music into millions of households on a weekly basis as a member of the cast of The Lawrence Welk Show.
Moving to Columbia in early 1970, Anderson's first hit for her new label was "Stay There Till I Get There." It was dwarfed, as was everything else in 1970, by her version of Joe South's song "Rose Garden." It stayed at #1 for five weeks, eventually winning Anderson a Grammy and a CMA award. "Rose Garden" was the fifth biggest hit of the entire decade according to Joel Whitburn's Billboard book on country singles.
Anderson's last charted hit was in 1983, but she continued to release albums. Her Bluegrass Sessions was nominated for a Grammy in 2004. Earlier this year a gospel album, Bridges, was released to positive reviews.
In addition to her work in country music, Anderson was a dedicated horse breeder. Her equestrian work centered around hippotherapy, the therapeutic use of horses for children with emotional and developmental disabilities such as autism.
Joe South's words in the song that made him and Lynn Anderson household names ring in memory today:
So smile for awhile and let's be jolly
Love shouldn't be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can
Lynn Anderson was 67.