September 13

The Story of The Betty Swain Project: A Woman’s Dreams Come True


Lynn Anderson, an award-winning country artist who had over 60 of her singles on the Billboard Country Singles chart from 1966 to 1989 was known not only for her singing but for her dedicated involvements in many other out-of-the-box and meaningful projects. One of the most notable and memorable roles she took on was when she contributed her singing talent to the collection called The Betty Swain Project.


In Anderson’s own words, she described Betty as a woman who, at first, had tried out a career in music but unfortunately did not make it big in the industry. Betty is now an elderly lady living in North Carolina. One day, while cleaning out her attic she came across a box of old lyric she had written. Then, her family and friends gathered some musicians and threw a big party for her before her passing. All the musicians in the gathering learned Betty’s songs, threw in a little more music into each piece, and performed the songs for the delighted old lady.

“She got an opportunity to hear her music being played just a few weeks before she passed away,” Anderson adds.

Betty Swain’s family decided that since Betty had already written so many songs, they wanted to continue what she had already started. They took her story and songs to Nashville and even hired a team of professionals to produce her music. It just so happened that one of Lynn Anderson’s friends, Robin Ruddy, was also part of the team that the family hired. It was Ruddy who asked Anderson to join them and sing one of the songs. When asked what made her join the project, Anderson replied that she was inspired by Betty Swain’s story and how her life truly defined what it means to never give up. Betty Swain exemplified the determination needed by someone trying hard to make it in the music business—however elusive opportunities can be at times.

“It’s kind of a retro project, a voice out of the past. It’s kind of a humanitarian thing to do because Betty’s daughter has cancer, so this is a labor of love. It’s kind of old-fashioned, but there’s some good stuff in there.”

The songs Anderson performed in Betty’s compositions were Sweet Memories and Prove You Care.


Betty Swain Project, cancer, Lynn Anderson

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