My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Spotlight Artist: Tanya Tucker

tanyatucker12-x600Like most males of my generation, I had a serious schoolboy crush on Olivia Newton-John, but she was replaced rather quickly in my affections by Tanya Tucker. Nearly 30 years later, Tanya remains one of my very favorite country music performers, so I am pleased to announce that she is our spotlight artist for the month of June.

Tanya Denise Tucker was born on October 10, 1958 in Seminole, Texas. By the time she was 13, she had become a major country music star, having been signed to a Columbia Records recording contract by Billy Sherrill, and having reached the #6 position on Billboard’s country singles chart with her first outing, “Delta Dawn”.

Despite her tender age, Tucker became known for releasing what her future producer Jerry Crutchfield described as a series of “hot and sweaty” songs, tackling a variety of very adult topics, including mental illness, alcoholism, illegitimacy, rape, and murder. A switch to MCA Records in 1975 resulted in material with less heavy themes, but despite some initial success, it also marked the beginnings of a series of personal problems and a career decline.

By the mid-1980s, she had been written off as a has-been. Her credibility was in tatters and she was without a recording contract when Jerry Crutchfield persuaded a very reluctant Jim Fogelsong, Director of A&R at Capitol Records, to give Tanya one more chance. Tanya proved that she could still deliver the goods when “One Love At A Time”, her first single for Capitol, peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart in 1986. She remained a fixture at the top of the charts and on the Capitol Nashville roster through the late 1990s.

Today, Tanya Tucker is one of a very small group of performers who can lay claim to have had chart success spanning four decades. On June 30th, Saguaro Road Records will release My Turn , her first album in seven years. I hope you’ll join us as we look back at the career highs and lows, and the triumphs and missteps of this very interesting living legend and country music icon.

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14 responses to “Spotlight Artist: Tanya Tucker

  1. Chris June 1, 2009 at 9:14 am

    This should be good because I know nothing about Tanya… Although I’m looking forward to her covers album, the last album I heard from Saguaro Road (Patty Loveless’s Sleepless Nights) was fantastic, and when I got that album, I didn’t know who Patty was either!

  2. Razor X June 1, 2009 at 10:22 am

    We’ll get you up to speed in no time, Chris. We’ve got a lot of material to draw upon, so you’ll learn everything you want to know about Tanya Tucker and more. ;)

  3. Erik June 1, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I’m looking forward to My Turn. I’m hoping that it will be the album that’ll make me jump the Tanya bandwagon.

  4. J.R. Journey June 1, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I think a lot of young country fans could really dig Tanya Tucker and her music if they knew more about her. That’s our goal for the month: to bring Tanya Tucker as many new fans as possible while giving the old fans a nostalgic trip down the lane of musical memories. Enjoy!

  5. Razor X June 1, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I think a lot of younger country fans write her off because she’s been around for so long. They don’t realize that she’s actually younger than Patty Loveless and less than a year older than Kathy Mattea. Even though she’s been recording since the early 70s, she really hit her peak in the 90s.

    • Chris June 1, 2009 at 11:08 am

      That’s all because she started so young, right? Well, I love Patty and Kathy, so I should love Tanya.

      • J.R. Journey June 1, 2009 at 12:24 pm

        Right. She was only 13 in 1972 when ‘Delta Dawn’ was released, so that makes her younger than Patty Loveless, Reba, and many others who didn’t hit the scene until 10 -15 years later.

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  7. Michael June 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    This is awesome! I love Tanya and I’m so excited that she’s going to get the in depth coverage that Keith Whitley was treated to in May. I’m looking forward to album reviews of What Do I Do With Me, Strong Enough to Bend and Soon. She put out some of my favorite singles and videos in the 90s. Just last week I was listening to a Greatest Hits CD with all of her 70s southern gothic hits. I love “Lizzie & the Rainman”

  8. Michael June 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Also, I’ll be curious to read any reviews of the TLC show Tuckertime. I watched a few episodes a couple of years ago. It was unfortunate but for some reason, I couldn’t stop watching.

    • J.R. Journey June 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm

      I don’t want to give too much away, but I do have a piece about the Tuckertime show coming up later in the month. Tanya is reportedly shopping for a network to carry the show – and it will now be centered on their lives in Malibu instead of their Tennessee ranch.

      Also, Occasional Hope will be reviewing ‘Lizzie and The Rainman’ too. So stick around.

  9. Bob Suomela June 1, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I look forward to the month of June. I have been a fan of Tanya’s since I saw her belt out Delta Dawn when I was about 8 years old. She is a top-notch entertainer.

  10. TT Fan June 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I’m a 13 yr old girl and I LOVE Tanya she’s my favorite singer of all genres of music! LOL Can’t wait for My Turn to be released.

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