Tanya Tucker at Club Red, 12/27

Tanya Tucker at Club Red, 12/27

Thanks to Sandra Carradine who facilitated her return and major support from the Telluride Ski ResortDenise Mongan’s Beyond the Groove is pleased to announce the return of country music icon Tanya Tucker to Telluride. Tanya (with her full band) is scheduled to perform at Club Red at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. The show will be a walk down memory lane featuring hits such as“Delta Dawn,” “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane,” “Love Me Like You Used To,” and “Some Kind of Trouble.” In addition, look for holiday classics and stories and anecdotes from her 40+-year career. Tanya’s two daughters will open for her and sing harmony. The concert, a guaranteed highlight of the holiday season, takes place Sunday, December 27. Doors, 8 p.m.; concert, 8:30 p.m. Tickets, $40 GA; $75 reserved seating here or call 970-369-8030 or 970-729-2279. Please scroll down to the bottom of the story to eavesdrop on my chat with the now-legendary singer.

And coming soon for New Year’s Eve, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams & More Than A little Funk. Tickets, $45 – $119, here.

Tanya Tucker

Tanya Tucker

Many flame out.

But some teen idols manage to go the distance.

Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Frankie Avalon, Beatles, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus are on that list.

So is Tanya Tucker.

And clearly she is no “faded rose.”

Despite some professional (and personal) hiccups from her wild-woman ways – including an alcohol- and cocaine-infested relationship with Glen Campbell in 1980-81, which she writes about in her autobiography, “Nickel Dreams: My Life,” and a dry spell on the radio – four+ decades after she shot onto the scene as a teen, the sassy, outspoken star with the smoke-and-honey voice and mesmerizing stage presence is still going strong.

And after a very long time out – last time we talked was for her appearance at the Sheridan Opera House in 1999 – Tanya Tucker returns to town for the holidays. This time her no-miss show will be at Club Red at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village on Sunday, December 27, 8:30 p.m.

Beau and Juanita Tucker married at age 15, then the young couple travelled around the country in search of mining and construction work. Tanya Tucker was born October 10, 1958 in Seminole, Texas, near the Mexican border. At age six, she began taking saxophone lessons; two years later, Tucker decided she wanted to sing. The story goes her dad responded by saying something like “Sweetheart, you couldn’t sing your way out of a paper bag.”

And she let him have it.

Sort of like when young Tanya demanded – and broke – a wild horse.

TANYA TUCKER ©2009 photograph by Alan Messer [www.alanmesser.com]

©2009 photograph by Alan Messer [www.alanmesser.com]

Tucker’s career had an auspicious debut: Mel Tillis was so impressed by her talents, he invited her on stage with him. In 1969, the family moved to Las Vegas where Tucker regularly performed. Then she traipsed through Nashville with her father in the role of stage mother, trying to get some big shot in the music business to listen.

Perseverance paid off: Tucker recorded a demo tape that landed her a rich contract with Columbia records, very rich, $1.4 million. (That’s 1972 dollars, folks.)

Tucker had her first Top Ten country hit in 1972 at age 13 – or about 17 years before Taylor Swift, another teen superstar with a mature voice and strong sense of self, was even born.

The song that attached fame to her name was “Delta Dawn,” the brooding tale of a 41-year-old woman who wears a “faded rose from days gone by and wanders the streets of Brownsville, Tennessee,“looking for a mysterious, dark-haired man” to take her to “his mansion in the sky.” (Tucker turned down the tune her producer wanted her to cover, “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA,” to record “Delta Dawn” after hearing Bette Midler sing it on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”)

Once released, “Delta Dawn” put Tucker head-to-head with such grande dames of of country music as Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette – and winning.

Check out Tucker performing “Delta Dawn” here:


That same year, Tucker’s second single, “Love’s the Answer,” also went Top Ten.

One year later, in 1973, Tucker’s “What’s Your Mama’s Name” reached Number One on Billboard’s country chart.

By age 15, Tucker had hit songs about mental breakdown (“Delta Dawn”), mothers being murdered in front of their children (“Blood Red and Goin’ Down”) and brutal rapes (“No Man’s Land’), plus other standouts including “Lizzie and the Rainman,” “San Antonio Stroll,” and “Here’s Some Love.”

And she picked them all for one reason only: because she liked them.

“I’m like Elvis, just a singer, expressing what I feel,” she told me back in ’99.

In 1974, Tanya Tucker made musical industry history, when she became the first female country singer ever to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. The headline on that feature story: “Hi, I’m Tanya Tucker, I’m 15, You’re Gonna Hear From Me.”

Clearly we did.

The country prodigy developed a reputation as a feisty, good-humored hellion with an epic voice, a volatile and intoxicating mix of innocence and ambition. Which goes a long way in explaining why Tucker became one of the few women to have successfully infiltrated the Outlaw Country movement, a sub-genre of country popular in the 1960s and 1970s with a focus on bad boys such as Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson.

Tucker’s long reign has included 23 Top 40 albums and a string of 56 Top 40 singles,10 of which reached the No.1 spot in Billboard. Along the way, she put out some of the biggest country music hits of each decade.

Having sold over 50 million records, the country music icon is easily among the all-time, best-selling female vocalists in the genre and one of the first to bring rock ’n roll bravado to that sound. Unafraid of taking musical chances, Tucker has also won numerous awards – two CMAs, two ACMs, and three CMT – and somehow managed to weather all the vagaries of fame.

But the best may be yet to come for this future Country Music Hall of Famer.

With a new album scheduled for release in 2016, the powerhouse vocalist is set to remind listeners just why younger artists such as Miranda Lambert and Gretchen Wilson consider Tucker among their biggest influences.

To learn more about her life and career, listen to my conversation with Tanya Tucker.

About Beyond the Groove:

Beyond the Groove is Denise Mongan’s music production company. Its goal: bringing quality live music to Telluride, Colorado, primarily at the new Club Red at Telluride Conference Center. Past successes include Blitzen Trapper, Deer Tick, Matisyahu, Cash’d Out, Justin Townes Earle, Dirty Dozen brass Band, Lettuce, Dawes, Jenny Lewis, The Motet, and Elephant Revival. Upcoming shows include Keller Williams and The Jeff Austin Band. Denise has worked in the music business for 30 years and is thrilled to now have the opportunity to be living her passion producing live shows.



About Club Red:

With a history of sold-out shows in its first two years, Club Red transforms the Telluride Conference Center into an intimate venue showcasing national touring acts. Plush decor, ambient lighting, and VIP seating make this venue unique to the destination.

About Telluride Ski Resort:

Stashed among the highest concentration of 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks in North America, Telluride offers some of the most spectacular skiing and riding on the planet. Unique culinary experiences on the mountain blend with the world-class restaurants, sophisticated shops, luxury hotels, and great spas. Plus, getting here is easier than ever with non-stop flights from eight major hubs; getting around is a breeze with the free gondola transportation system. Discover why Telluride is “The Most Beautiful Place You’ll Ever Ski.”

For more info visit: www.tellurideskiresort.com.

1 Comment
  • Colleen Theodore
    Posted at 13:16h, 15 December

    I am thrilled. I have been a fan for 44 years. I was privileged to see her live at the Palomino Club in Calfornia and at the infamous Roxy in Hollywood. I am lucky and totally wish her the very best of luck!