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Texas Music Spotlight Throwback Edition: Tanya Tucker

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This week’s edition of Texas Music Spotlight is a special one. Not only is it the first “Throwback Edition,” but it’s also the first time a female artist is featured! Since her recording debut in 1972, Tanya Tucker has been a constant figure in country music. Overcoming not only professional obstacles but personal ones as well, Tanya has truly withstood the test of time. With a career that has spanned four decades, it’s safe to say Texas Music owes one to Ms. TNT.

Texas Roots, Texas True

Texas Country artist Tanya Tucker

Photo: Facebook/Tanya Tucker

Born in Seminole, Texas, little Tanya Denise Tucker was following in her big sister LaCosta’s footsteps when she declared she also wanted to be a country music singer. At the tender age of 13, Tanya signed with Columbia Records, where she recorded her pivotal version of “Delta Dawn,” a song penned by Alexander Harvey and Larry Collins. With a voice that was able to add vibrato to any verse on cue, Tucker rapidly made her way to the top of the country music charts. Now, as any good ol’ Texas gal should do, Tanya made sure to record songs that paid homage to her home state. For example, “San Antonio Stroll,” released in 1975, is a feel-good song that you can’t help but tap your toes to. As Tanya’s fifth appearance on the country and western charts, it held on for 11 weeks on the top 10, securing Tanya’s place as an up-and-coming female country star.

TNT

Texas Country artist Tanya Tucker

Photo: Facebook/Tanya Tucker

1978 brought a reinvented Tanya, who made a bold move from traditional country female artist to sexy, outlaw rocker. “TNT,” her ninth studio album, featured covers of classic rock-n-roll songs as well as some original tunes. While shunned by the country music establishment, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and earned Tucker a Grammy nod. Two songs from the LP reached the charts, including the now-classic “Texas, When I Die.” It reached #5 on the country Billboard charts and even made an appearance on the pop charts. The song continues to be a Texas favorite and is revered by many Texas Music artists today. Recently, Zane Williams included it an 80’s country smash up while performing at the County Line in San Antonio. More proof that Texas music treasures its Texas firecracker.

Tough Times

Texas country artist Tanya Tucker with Glen Campbell

Photo: Facebook/Tanya Tucker

The 80s were rocky for Tanya. Having attained fame at such a young age, it was easy for her to turn to vices such as alcohol and drugs to escape the insanity of being a star. Personal relationships were hard to solidify, and she weathered several break ups, most notably her split with Glen Campbell. After a stint in rehab, she emerged reborn and ready to revive her career. What followed was an amazing string of country hits that solidified her place as country royalty. Songs such as “Down To My Last Teardrop,” “2 Sparrows In A Hurricane,” and “Without You, What Do I Do With Me,” owned both country and pop charts throughout the 90s and beyond. MuzikMafia maven Gretchen Wilson paid tribute to Tanya in her 2005 smash hit, “Redneck Woman.” Tucker even made a cameo in the video. Her influence continues to be felt even through today.

Timeless Tradition

Texas music female artist Tanya Tucker

Photo: Facebook/Tanya Tucker

Tanya continues to be the spitfire all Texas Music listeners know and love. Her devil-may-care attitude is honestly part of why she is so cherished. She continues to grace the charts as well, most recently on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 2017 “100 Greatest Country Music Artists of All Times.” She is also on tour through the end of the year, with shows scheduled from Canada all the way down to, of course, Texas. It looks like nothing’s going to slow ol’ TT down, and Texas is truly thankful for that!