Tanya Tucker: From Las Vegas At 11, To Nashville At 13

Tanya Tucker shown early in her career.

Tanya  Tucker was born on October 10, 1958 in Seminole, Texas.

13 years later she would sing Delta Dawn, but she had already been singing in Las Vegas at the age of 11.

She sent a demo tape to Billy Sherrill a producer for CBS Records and he was so impressed he signed her to a recording contract with Columbia Records.

Tucker was offered Happiest Girl in the USA, but turned it down passing it to Donna Fargo which launched Fargo’s career.

Instead she chose Delta Dawn which she had heard Bette Midler sing on the Tonight show.

The song would rise to No.6 on the country music chart, but Helen Reddy recorded it and it went to No. 1 on the pop chart.

By the age of 18 Tucker would have six No.1 hits, but it would be ten years later in 1986 before she had another No.1 hit. She recorded her last No.1 hit Strong Enough to Bend in 1988. She had nine songs which peaked at No.2 including Love Me Like You Used To.

Even though she was on top of the country music world, her personal life became unraveling as a teenager when she would sing in front of thousands, then go back to an empty hotel room as she describes it. Since she was bored and not allowed to drink in bars, she started drinking.

Tanya Tucker singing later in her career.

When she moved to Los Angeles in 1978, her world really began to unravel as she encountered the nightlife and began dating Hollywood celebrities like Don Johnson, singer Andy Gibb and country singers like the much older Merle Haggard. She is most famous for dating Glen Campbell which turned out to be a turbulent relationship, which is well documented in this People magazine article:


She returned to Nashville in 1982, but was till drinking and using cocaine. Her family intervened and helped her get the help she needed.

Tanya Tucker singing Delta Dawn.

An older Tanya Tucker singing Delta Dawn.

Tanya Tucker video of her singing Strong Enough To Bend her last No.1 hit in 1988.

Even though Tanya Tucker has been through a lot of ups and downs since Delta Dawn made her a star, she has been a survivor and still very active in country music.

Tucker has several tour dates coming up with concerts in several U.S. cities and stops in Canada, Norway and France starting June 24 and ending September 23.

October 10 will mark her 53rd birthday which also will be the 40th anniversary of her recording Delta Dawn.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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