Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

How Lynn Anderson Turned “Rose Garden” Into A Big Hit Worldwide


In 1970, country singer and TV personality Lynn Anderson recorded “Rose Garden” after hearing its original version. However, Anderson’s producer – her husband Glenn Sutton – rejected her recording because he thinks “it was not a girl’s song.”

After much convincing and some extra studio time left, Sutton reconsidered. 

“I had objected to it because it was a man’s song, and I didn’t wanna do it, but she kept bringin’ it in with her – she loved it,” he recalled. But they had to rework the track by incorporating an uptempo arrangement that included a string section and mandolin to the first version, which was recorded with a “straight, boring beat.” 

After Columbia Records president Clive Davis heard Anderson’s “Rose Garden,” the song was officially released as a single.

And we’re glad they did because Anderson’s version became a big hit.

In the United States, it peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and was a crossover hit after it reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 Adult Contemporary. It was also a major hit, climbing the chart’s top spot in several countries, including Canada, Australia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

The song also helped Anderson earn the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award during the 1971 Grammy Awards.

Ever since then, “Rose Garden” has been recorded by several notable artists in different styles and musical genres, including k.d. Lang in 1985 and Martina McBride for her album of classic country songs in 2005. 

Still, it is Anderson’s recording that is being considered as a country music standard as well as a country-pop signature.

The Original Version of the Song 

Written by Joe South, “Rose Garden” tells the tale of someone encouraging her lover to enjoy the good times in their relationship. After all, it will be impossible to avoid the bad times.

“I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine. There’s gotta be a little rain some time. When you take, you gotta give so live and let live,” the song goes.

South then recorded “Rose Garden,” but it was Billy Joe Royal who cut “Rose Garden” first for his studio album Billy Joe Royal featuring Hush. Although the album was released in 1967, the song was never released as a single.

South’s version was only released as an album track in 1968 for his debut studio release, Introspect. South himself produced the session for the song.

You can listen to “Rose Garden” in the video below.

Latest Stories

Post Malone Graduates From Country Covers To Country Single With The Help Of Morgan Wallen

Two genre-crossing artists and Republic labelmates—Grammy-nominated singer-rapper Post Malone and chart-dominating country singer Morgan Wallen—dropped their collaborative single “I Had Some Help” last May 10. This is Malone’s third joint ...

CMA Fest 2024

CMA Fest 2024: What You Need to Know

Festival Title:CMA Fest 2024Festival Duration:June 6-9, 2024Venue:Nashville, TennesseePerformers Include:Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Jordan Davis, HARDY, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ashley McBryde, Parker McCollum, Jon Pardi, Carly ...

LeAnn Rimes + How Do I Live

How “How Do I Live” Skyrocketed the Career of 15-Year-Old LeAnn Rimes

“How Do I Live” was written by Diane Warren in 1997 and was first performed by LeAnn Rimes for her album “You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs.” Another version ...

Waylon Jennings + Luckenbach, Texas

Waylon Jennings’ “Luckenbach, Texas” Highlights Honest Living

“Luckenbach, Texas” is a song co-written by Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons, both prominent producers and songwriters in the country music scene. To get Waylon Jennings interested in a song, ...

Martina McBride + I Saw the Light

Martina McBride and Dad Share “I Saw the Light” on Grand Ole Opry

In 1994, the iconic country legend Martina McBride surprised fans with her rendition of Hank Williams’s classic gospel song “I Saw the Light” during the 1994 Grand Ole Opry.  “I ...

Al Dexter + Pistol Packin' Mama

How AI Dexter’s “Pistol Packin’ Mama” Became an Anthem

In 1943, AI Dexter released the unexpected hit “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” which would later conquer the whole of America. As part of his album Tumbling Tumbleweeds, this AI Dexter hit ...

Conway Twitty + Linda on My Mind

Conway Twitty And His Career-Building 1975 Record “Linda on My Mind”

Country legend Conway Twitty was known for his signature song formula: infidelity and guilt. It had been a winning combination that earned him success, especially in the early years of ...

In The Pines 2024

In The Pines 2024: What You Need to Know

Festival Title:In The Pines 2024Festival Duration:June 1, 2024Venue:Downtown Bristol corner of M.L.K. Jr. Blvd and Cumberland St., Tennessee/VirginiaPerformers Include:Dwight Yoakam and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here The Birthplace of Country ...

Railbird Festival 2024

Railbird Festival 2024

Festival Title:Railbird Fest 2024Festival Duration:June 1-2, 2024Venue:The Infield at Red Mile, Lexington, KentuckyPerformers Include:Noah Kahan, Turnpike Troubadours, Chris Stapleton, Hozier, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here The annual Railbird Festival ...

Carolina Country Music Fest 2024

Carolina Country Music Fest 2024

Festival Title:Carolina Country Music Fest 2024Festival Duration:June 6-9, 2024Venue:812 N Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, South CarolinaPerformers Include:Parker McCollum, Old Dominion, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, and moreTicket Information:SOLD OUT – For ...

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.