Tanya Tucker - vocals, guitar; Backing band - unknown
This stunning performance was captured by the King Biscuit Flower Hour in Morgan, NJ on May 1, 1983. Though it only caught four songs, it does feature four of the chart-topping Tanya Tucker's most beloved numbers.
The recording opens with "Jamestown Ferry," which Tucker describes as, "my second #1 record." The wispy, mid-tempo tonk 'n' roller was written, in part, by the legendary Mack Vickery, a member of the Hillbilly Hall of Fame. Her next number, the title track off her #1 album, 1974's Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone), was penned by David Allen Coe, and features Tucker's impressive, soulful vocals. The powerful ballad was, unsurprisingly, a huge hit for the laid-back Texan.
From there, she glides through her breakthrough single, the piano-driven, "Delta Dawn". Though it was released more than 10 years before this performance, Tucker attacks it with the same vitality that she did when she recorded it as a 13 year old. She closes the set out with a light-hearted tribute to her home state, "When I Die." She pines for her home state, singing, "I'd ride through all of Hell and half of Texas / Just to hear George Jones sing a country song / The beer just ain't as cold in old Milwaukee / My body's here, but my soul's in San Antone."
Though this is a short recording, it is valuable to both new and diehard fans. It shows her versatility, as we get to hear her sing upbeat, classic country songs, as well as heartfelt ballads. It was this versatility that kept her relevant for her 30-plus year career. While the list of failed child stars runs longer than the Mississippi, one of the few to escape that fate was the Seminole, TX native, Tanya Tucker. Tucker burst on to the country music scene, with her hit single, "Delta Dawn." Tucker, 13 at the time, parlayed her early success into a long, impressive career that continues to this day.
Though she struggled with drugs and erratic behavior in the early '80s, Tucker shook off her personal demons and is still making music. The Texan had the rare ability to succeed commercially without losing the respect of her peers or music critics. She has won numerous Country Music Awards, and also owns a Grammy. She has released over 20 albums, all of which charted in the Top 40 on the US Country Charts, and is currently readying her newest release, Lonesome Town, which is set to come out in 2009, on her own label, Tuckertime.