Sept. 10: Lynn Anderson owes her career record — laid down 39 years ago today — to the efficiency of Nashville’s studio musicians and the keen ear of a legendary music executive.

Click to listen

Click to listen

The North Dakota native had heard and admired Joe South’s version of his composition “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden.” She’d wanted to cut it, but Columbia Records considered it a man’s song and discouraged her. However, her recording session on Sept. 10, 1970, had 15 minutes left when the material ran out. Just enough time for the South song.

Later, label chief Clive Davis happened to be in the studio when Anderson’s producer and then-husband, Glenn Sutton, was overseeing post-production. Davis heard the song and declared it to be Anderson’s next single. That hadn’t been the plan, but those instincts proved to be right. The record went No. 1 country, No. 3 pop and was one of the best-sellers by a female artist over the next three decades.

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