Liz Anderson

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Liz Anderson
Liz Anderson--promotional.jpg
Anderson in 1971
Background information
Birth nameElizabeth Jane Haaby
Born(1930-01-13)January 13, 1930
Roseau, Minnesota, U.S.
DiedOctober 31, 2011(2011-10-31) (aged 81)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Country
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
Years active1964–2011
Labels RCA Victor, Epic, Showboat
Associated acts Lynn Anderson, Bobby Bare, Merle Haggard, Norma Jean

Elizabeth Jane Anderson (née Haaby; January 13, 1930 [1] – October 31, 2011) was an American country music singer-songwriter who was one in a wave of new-generation female vocalists in the genre during the 1960s to write and record her own songs on a regular basis. Writing in The New York Times Bill Friskics-Warren noted, "Like her contemporary Loretta Lynn, Ms. Anderson gave voice to female survivors; inhabiting their struggles in a soprano at times alluring, at times sassy." [1]

Contents

Anderson received two Grammy Award nominations in 1967, one for "Best Female Country Vocal Performance" for her self-penned, top-5 hit "Mama Spank", and the other for "Best Country Vocal Group" for the top-5 hit "The Game of Triangles", with Bobby Bare and Norma Jean. As a songwriter, she scored 26 top 50 hits in the 1960s, more than any other female songwriter that decade in the country music industry.

Anderson also wrote many of the early hits for her daughter, Lynn Anderson, [2] whose recording career began less than a year after her mother's. She wrote several hits for other notable artists, including Merle Haggard. Haggard had his first top 10 and number one hits, respectively, with "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers" and "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive", both penned by Anderson. He named his band "The Strangers", after the hit "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers".

Biography

Born Elizabeth Jane Haaby in Roseau, Minnesota, [2] on January 13, 1927, [3] or March 13, 1930, [1] she played the family mandolin as a child and also sang in the local church. At age 13, the family moved west to Grand Forks, North Dakota. At the age of 16, Liz was married to Casey Anderson and then had her daughter Lynn a year later. She studied at the Redwood City Business College in Redwood City, California, and worked as a secretary. [4]

Early career

In 1957, the family moved to Sacramento, California. The limited popularity at the time of country music in California led Anderson to start writing songs. Casey was a member of the Sheriff's posse, which was going to take part in the National Centennial Pony Express Celebration. Casey convinced his wife to write a song in honor of the Pony Express. The song was named the official song. [5]

Anderson began publishing her songs and made friends within the burgeoning country music community in Bakersfield during the early 1960s. Some of the first hits from her pen were "Be Quiet Mind" by Del Reeves and "Pick of the Week", which was recorded by Roy Drusky in 1964. In 1965, Merle Haggard recorded her song "All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers". She won a BMI award for the song. Anderson published over 260 songs during her career and earned five BMI awards. Anderson also wrote Conway Twitty's first country hit, "Guess My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Heart". Many major country artists of the 1960s recorded at least one of her songs on their albums, including Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette, Ernest Tubb, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, Kitty Wells, Connie Smith, Faron Young, The Browns, Porter Wagoner, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bill Anderson. She was also friends with Chart Records owner Slim Williamson (where daughter Lynn recorded) and provided many of the label's artists with songs including Connie Eaton, LaWanda Lindsey, and Billy "Crash" Craddock. Singers who recorded her material in later years included Lorrie Morgan and Mary Lou Turner.

Anderson demo vocals were noticed by RCA producer Chet Atkins who signed her to RCA in 1965. Almost forty at the time, Anderson's year of birth was slightly lowered to 1930 in publicity materials of the era. Anderson's two initial singles fared well and her third, "Game of Triangles", with Bobby Bare and Norma Jean became a top 5 hit. In April 1967, Anderson again had a top 5 Country hit, "Mama Spank". Among Anderson's most popular recordings were "Go Now Pay Later" (1966), "The Wife of the Party" (1967), "Tiny Tears" (1967), "Thanks A Lot For Tryin' Anyway" (1968) (written by Jim Glaser; one of her few hits written by someone else), and "Husband Hunting" (1970).

Around this same time her only child, daughter Lynn, was rising as a country singer. Anderson wrote a number of her daughter's early hits, including her 1967 debut single "Ride, Ride, Ride", as well as her first big hit, the top 5 "If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)" (also in 1967). Liz and Lynn had a top 25 duet with "Mother May I" in 1968, and appeared together on a Mother's Day episode of the Lawrence Welk Show that May. Lynn would later have her biggest success in the 1970s, becoming one of country music's most successful female vocalists.

Later career

In 1971, Anderson moved to Epic Records, and released the four charting singles produced by then son-in-law Glenn Sutton which went no higher than the Country top 60. One of those singles was a cover version of "I'll Never Fall In Love Again". In 1974 she released a Christmas single, the self-penned "Christopher the Christmas Seal", on the small Hobby Horse Records label.

Anderson did not record again until she released a single for the Scorpion Records label in 1978 that did not chart. She continued to write, however, and one of her songs was a top-40 country success for Faron Young in 1977. In 1979, Lorrie Morgan had one of her first charted songs with an Anderson composition "Tell Me I'm Only Dreaming" which went to number 88 in 1979 and was one of the last charting songs written by Anderson.

Her lone 1980s recording was the album My Last Rose for Tudor Records which contained original material and covers of well-known songs. In the mid-1990s, Anderson started her own record company, Showboat Records. The Cowgirl Way was her first album in over a decade. She also recorded an album of Christmas songs and another one of children's songs, most of them written by her. In 2006, Lynn Anderson released an album for the label entitled Cowgirl, composed entirely of songs penned by her mother.

Death

Anderson died on October 31, 2011, in Nashville, Tennessee, from complications of heart and lung disease. [6]

Discography

Major country hits written by Liz Anderson

Anderson enjoyed her greatest success as a songwriter, receiving many awards for her work, including several BMI awards. She also served as vice president of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. The following is a list of her songs which made the top 50 on Billboard's country chart (with chart rankings). In 1966 and 1967, Anderson had six top 50 hits as a songwriter each year, believed[ by whom? ] to be a record still to this date among female country music songwriters.

YearTitleArtist(s)Billboard
1961"Be Quiet Mind" Del Reeves 9
1963"Robert E. Lee"Ott Stephens15
"The Way it Feels to Die"Vernon Stewart17
1964"Just Between The Two of Us" Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens 28
"Pick of the Week" Roy Drusky 13
"Be Quiet Mind"Ott Stephens23
1965"All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers" Merle Haggard 10
"I Cried All The Way To The Bank" Norma Jean 21
"I Keep Forgettin' That I Forgot About You " Wynn Stewart 43
"(From Now on All) My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers"Roy Drusky6
1966"Go Now Pay Later"Liz Anderson23
"Guess My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Heart" Conway Twitty 18
"So Much for Me, So Much for You"Liz Anderson45
"Ride Ride Ride" Lynn Anderson 36
"Ride Ride Ride" (pop Billboard Hot 100 cover) Brenda Lee 37
"The Wife of The Party"Liz Anderson22
1967"I'm a Lonesome Fugitive"Merle Haggard1
"If I Kiss You"Lynn Anderson5
"Mama Spank"Liz Anderson5
"Tiny Tears"Liz Anderson24
"Keeping Up Appearances"Lynn Anderson and Jerry Lane 49
"The Words I'm Gonna Have To Eat" Bill Phillips 10
1968"Big Girls Don't Cry"Lynn Anderson12
"Like A Merry Go Round"Liz Anderson43
"Mother May I"Liz & Lynn Anderson21
"Here's To You and Me" Tex Williams 45
1969"Flattery Will Get You Everywhere"Lynn Anderson11
1970"Husband Hunting"Liz Anderson26
1977"Crutches" Faron Young 25

Awards and nominations

YearAward ProgramAwardResult
1967 Grammy Awards Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Mama Spank"Nominated
1967Grammy AwardsBest Country Duo/Group Vocal Performance for "The Game of Triangles" (with Bobby Bare and Norma Jean)Nominated

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in 1967.

Liz Anderson discography

The discography of American country singer-songwriter Liz Anderson consists of 12 studio albums and 23 singles. Her early songwriting produced hits for Merle Haggard that brought a recording contract from RCA Victor Records in 1964. Her first charting single was 1966's "Go Now Pay Later," which reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The same year, Anderson collaborated with Bobby Bare and Norma Jean on the duet "The Game of Triangles." The song reached the top five of the Billboard country chart. In 1967, she had her biggest solo hit with "Mama Spank," which also reached the country top five. Anderson was also releasing studio albums for RCA. This included her third release, Liz Anderson Sings (1967), which peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Anderson's fourth studio effort, Cookin' Up Hits, reached number 18 on the same chart.

<i>Im a Lonesome Fugitive</i> 1967 studio album by Merle Haggard and the Strangers

I'm a Lonesome Fugitive is the third studio album by Merle Haggard and The Strangers released on Capitol Records in 1967.

<i>Swinging Doors and the Bottle Let Me Down</i> 1966 studio album by Merle Haggard and the Strangers

Swinging Doors and the Bottle Let Me Down is the second studio album by country singer Merle Haggard and The Strangers, released in 1966 on Capitol Records. It is sometimes called Swinging Doors and has also been released with two fewer songs as High On A Hilltop.

"The Fugitive' is a song recorded by American country music artist Merle Haggard and The Strangers, written by Liz Anderson and Casey Anderson. It was released in December 1966 as the first single and title track from the album I'm a Lonesome Fugitive. The song was Haggard and The Strangers first number one hit on the U.S. country singles chart, spending one week at number one and fifteen weeks on the chart. The B-side, "Someone Told My Story", peaked at number 32 on the country chart.

Leona Williams

Leona Belle Helton is an American country music singer known professionally as Leona Williams. Active since 1958, Williams has been a backing musician for Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard and The Strangers, to whom she was married between 1978 and 1983. She also charted eight times on Hot Country Songs, with her only Top 40 hit being a duet with Haggard titled "The Bull and the Beaver."

"(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers" is a song written by Liz Anderson. Best remembered as American country music artist Merle Haggard's first national Top 10 record, it was also a Top 10 song concurrently for Roy Drusky. The song is also known as All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers, (From Now On) All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers, and simply Strangers. Haggard went on to name his band The Strangers after the record's success. The song was subsequently recorded by scores of additional country stars as an album track including George Jones, Ernest Tubb, Porter Wagoner, Ferlin Husky, as well as Liz Anderson herself and Anderson's daughter Lynn Anderson.

<i>Strangers</i> (Merle Haggard album) 1965 studio album by Merle Haggard

Strangers is the debut studio album by Merle Haggard. It was released on September 27, 1965, by Capitol Records.

<i>Just Between the Two of Us</i> 1966 studio album by Bonnie Owens and Merle Haggard with the Strangers

Just Between the Two of Us is a duet album by country singers Bonnie Owens and Merle Haggard with the Strangers. It was released in 1966 by Capitol Records.

<i>The Epic Collection (Recorded Live)</i> 1983 live album by Merle Haggard

The Epic Collection is a live album by Merle Haggard backed by The Strangers released on Epic Records in November 1983.

Lynn Anderson albums discography

The albums discography of American country music artist Lynn Anderson contains 37 studio albums, 21 compilation albums, two live albums, two video albums and three extended plays. She signed her first recording contract in 1966 with Chart Records. The following year, her debut studio album entitled Ride, Ride, Ride was released on the label. It was her first album to debut on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, peaking at number 25. Her second studio effort, Promises, Promises, was issued in December 1967 and spent 48 weeks on the country albums chart before peaking at number one. The Chart label issued four more studio albums by Anderson until 1970. This included 1969's Songs That Made Country Girls Famous, which was a tribute to female country artists.

<i>Big Girls Dont Cry</i> (Lynn Anderson album) 1968 studio album by Lynn Anderson

Big Girls Don't Cry is a studio album by American country music artist Lynn Anderson. It was released in July 1968 via Chart Records and was produced by Slim Williamson. The record was Anderson's third studio recording issued during her career and contained a total of 12 tracks. The title track was spawned as a single from the project and became a major hit on the country charts. The album itself would also reach peak positions on music publication charts.

<i>Songs My Mother Wrote</i> (Lynn Anderson Sings Liz Anderson) 1970 compilation album by Lynn Anderson

Songs My Mother Wrote is a compilation album by American country artist Lynn Anderson. It was released in June 1970 via Chart Records and was produced by Slim Williamson. The album was Anderson's second compilation released in her music career. The album was a collection of recordings composed by her mother and songwriter, Liz Anderson. Twelve tracks were included on the record in its original release.

<i>Cowgirl</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Lynn Anderson

Cowgirl is a studio album by American country artist Lynn Anderson. It was released on September 20, 2006 via Showboat Records. The record was co-produced by Casey Anderson and Mark Moseley. Consisting of 12 tracks, Cowgirl was a collection of songs recorded with a western theme. The songs had been composed by Anderson's mother and was her first studio effort to feature songs entirely written by her.

<i>Cowgirl II</i> 2010 studio album by Lynn Anderson

Cowgirl II is a studio album by American country artist Lynn Anderson. It was released on January 28, 2010 via Showboat Records. The project was co-produced by Casey Anderson, Liz Anderson and Mark Moseley. The project was Anderson's second album of western music and the 36th studio release of her career. The album featured tracks mostly written by her mother.

<i>Lynn Anderson</i> (album) 1971 compilation album by Lynn Anderson

Lynn Anderson is a compilation album by American country artist Lynn Anderson. It was released in October 1971 via Chart Records and was produced by Slim Williamson. It was the sixth compilation released in Anderson's career and her final release for the Chart label. The album was a double record that contained 24 songs in total.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Liz Anderson, Who Wrote Hit Country Songs, Dies at 81". The New York Times. November 3, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Songwriter-Singer Liz Anderson, Mother of Lynn Anderson, Dies at 81". cmt.com. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  3. "Elizabeth Anderson, 1927-2011" . Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  4. "The Cowgirl Way". Showboat Records. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  5. Stambler, Irwin; Landon, Grelun (June 27, 2000). Country Music: The Encyclopedia. Macmillan. pp. 14–15. ISBN   978-0-312-26487-1 . Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  6. Liz Anderson at Find a Grave