Tanya Tucker is one of the most recognizable names in country music. Her sassy yet sexy fashion sense and smoky vocals are hard to come by. Her illustrious career has spanned over 35 years in the making. Her first big hit “Delta Dawn” set her on the path to success as a country singer at just 14 years old in 1972. Many successful hit songs followed like “What’s Your Momma’s Name,” “San Antonio Stroll,” “Here’s Some Love,” and “Lizzie And The Rainman” just to name a few. In those early years of her career Tanya garnered some of the most prestigious awards and accolades such as the ACM’s “Top New Female Vocalist of The Year,” a Grammy nomination for “Delta Dawn,” and graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Tanya has faced many trials and tribulations in her personal life but those hardships have only made her stronger and she has managed to stay on top. In 1991 Tanya was named “Female Vocalist of The Year” by the Country Music Association and produced hits such as “A Little Too Late,” “Walking Shoes,” “It Won’t Be Me,” and “Two Sparrows In A Hurricane.” In 2003 Tanya was inducted into the “Texas Country Music Hall of Fame” and in 2005 she starred in her own reality television show “Tuckerville” on TLC which became one of the hottest reality shows of 2006. Since moving out of Nashville, a new season of the newly named “Tuckertime” is currently being filmed in her new residence of Malibu. This past November Tanya won first place in the “Celebrity Cutting Event” along with partner Guilhermie Marchi which took place in Fort Worth, TX. Tanya still continues to tour and record music. A new album is expected sometime in 2008!!
(CSC) 1. Tell us about your new album “Lonesome Town.” What can your fans expect to hear on it and when do you plan to release it?
Well, I really can’t talk about it because I’m not really finished with it yet, but I think it’s going to be the best album that I’ve ever done!! We’ve got six tracks cut so far and we’ll probably cut six more!! I may be having another record coming out with Time Life of some older songs, more like standards. So, we’re going to go into the studio and start recording that in January with Pete Anderson, who is a great producer!!
(CSC) 2. What prompted you to tape your reality show, “Tuckerville” and what was the most challenging part about being followed around by the cameras constantly?
Well, I’m pretty used to it!! All my life it’s been sort of that way. The only thing different was they were in my home this time!! It took a little getting used to at times. Some days I didn’t really feel like it and other days I was OK with it. It got a little old to say the least!! Some days I didn’t feel like doing it and neither did my kids. We had a whole room full of people waiting on us to film. Hollywood doesn’t want to wait for things to happen so I decided to continue it in the name of “Tuckertime.” as opposed to “Tuckerville,” because that’s really TLC’s. They own “Tuckerville” the name and so we changed the name to “Tuckertime” and we’re going to be on a new network and it’s with my own production company. So, we work when we want to!! When we don’t feel like it, we don’t work!! So, I think it’s going to get the better of us!! Because you know we’ll work when we feel good and feel like doing it!! So, we work at our own pace. Right now, we’re in the middle of the editing process so we hope to have something out in probably the next few months.
(CSC) 3. You first experienced success at a very young age. What are your thoughts on the young talents of today’s country? Do you think that they will have the same longevity in their careers that you’ve had?
It’s a little difficult to find the artist(s) that are going to stick around a while. I think there’s a few of them. I think Gretchen (Wilson) is definitely in here for the long haul. She’s got a long career ahead of her. She’s got a lot of talent. I think Taylor Swift is great!! There are some great acts that are coming out now. You know music is always going to be changing and evolving. It’s always going to change. It’s never going to stay the same as long as people’s tastes change, that’s the way it’s going to be. But I hope that I’m there at every change. I hope that I’m the one that kind of leads the change sometimes!!
(CSC) 4. This past year you moved from Nashville to Malibu. Why did you make the move to California and how were you affected by the recent wildfires that took place there?
Well, I decided to move out there because we sold my property here and I was homeless!!! So, we leased the house in Malibu because my daughter Presley wanted to be an actress. I thought to give her and Layla the best opportunity is to go where the action is and that’s Hollywood!! So, they’re studying under acting coaches and they’re also home schooled. They have tutors. I figured if we’re going to live out in California, we might as well live somewhere where we’re gonna really be happy and of course that’d be close to the ocean. And of course, the California wildfires did happen. I was gone at the time. I was in Las Vegas when I found out that morning. Presley was there and we got her evacuated. Layla was with me. It burned right up to our guest house, right up to our property line. So, we really got a scare!! But everything was fine and now we’re OK. My landlord’s house did burn to the ground. How unfortunate. But I’ll tell ya if they think they’re going to scare us out of Malibu, they’re crazy!! We’re Tucker tough!! We’re not gonna scare that easy!!
(CSC) 5. You recently took part in the “Celebrity Cutting Event” this past year in Fort Worth. You and your partner won first place!! Tell us about this exciting experience and how you celebrated your victory.
Well, it’s for charity and it’s a Cancer organization that helps Cancer patients of all ages. I’m very proud to be a part of that. It’s for a good cause and plus being able to do something that I really love to do for a good cause makes it a double whammy. I went down there and I had some pretty stiff competition. I was very glad to take home the belt buckle and the trophy. It was a wonderful opportunity for me. I’m down there every year during the National Cutting Horse Futurity. They have a celebrity event every year. I’m very glad to be a part of that and I’ve been a part of it most on and off since the latter part of the 80’s. I enjoy it so much. I love riding cutting horses. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I even show from time to time. I enjoy that!!
(CSC) 6. After several years of constant touring and making music, what is it that keeps you going and what do you enjoy most about it?
I think the audience is what keeps me going. As long as there are people that really want to hear me, I guess I’ll be out there!! They’ll have to roll me out there someday!! That’s the good thing about music is you can always perform, be a performer. There are always so many things to do besides singing. This business affords us a lot of opportunity in a lot of different areas. So, I’m very, very lucky in that way. My audience, my fans keep me going.
(CSC) 7. You recently celebrated your 49th birthday here in Nashville with your family and friends. What’s your secret to looking so good?
Oh gosh!!! I don’t know!! Lots of make-up!! (Laughs) I think…. (Laughs) you should see me in the morning!! (Laughs) you wouldn’t say that!! Music keeps me young!!
(CSC) 8. Who were some of your musical influences growing up as a young girl?
Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Elvis, George Jones. I love them all for sure!! Even Frank Sinatra, I love.
(CSC) 9. You have been through some rough times and traumatic situations in your life. How have you changed personally as an individual and where did you find the strength to rise above it?
I think my family of course, helps me get through just about anything. My fans do too as well! When I lost my dad, they were right there with me all the way supporting me and knowing that I didn’t really feel like doing that show in Reno the next day. I knew my dad would want me to go and not disappoint anybody. He’d want me to go and make the money and go on with the show. I didn’t want to but my fans were there all the way supporting me!!
(CSC) 10. You had the chance to work with Dolly Parton, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Kathy Mattea on the video for “Romeo” which featured a cameo by Billy Ray Cyrus. It appeared that you ladies had perfect chemistry on the video set. Do any of you still keep in contact with each other?
We do!!! But we don’t stay in touch as much as we should, I’m sure. In fact, I’m trying to reach Dolly right now about doing a TV special about the legends of country music, the women. You know they always talk about the men. They never talk about the women in country music, like Kitty Wells, or all the women, that came before, like Patsy Montana. All the wonderful, great singers, that, no one ever talks about. So, we’re talking about doing that in the very near future and I need to call her and talk to her about it. I want her on the show. I haven’t seen hardly any of them since that time and that’s a shame. That’s unfortunate. You know we do our thing and we’re gone!! But I’m open for it!! (Laughs)
(CSC) 11. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in your career and your personal life?
Well in my personal life, of course, are my children. I did a bang-up jelly job on my kids!! I think they’re all three pretty fabulous!! My son, he’s going to a school in San Diego and playing football, basketball and baseball. He’s very, very talented in that area, as well as in music. He plays guitar. I think he could be a great singer, too!! Presley, she’s eighteen and she wants to be an actress and a singer. I’m trying to help her get all the opportunity and get a jump start that she can have. And Layla’s also wonderful. She’s been the light of my life!! Every day I wake up next to her, I think “Thank you Lord!!” She’s just been a bright spot in my life!! I’m very, very blessed to have all three of my kids. As far as my music, just being able to keep my fans and still being able to be an artist that people want to see and people want to do business with. To still have some excitement in the business after all these years is a great thing!!
(CSC) 12. You have a great rapport with many of the legends of country music such as George Jones. What are some valuable lessons that you have learned from him about the music business?
Oh gosh!!! We don’t talk too much about business me and Possum. Every now and then we get together and talk about what we’re going to do as a duet, you know, because I really want to sing a song with him. It’s been one of my dreams to sing with him and we’re always thinking about when we’re going to do it!! That hasn’t been done yet and I’ve wanted to hurry that up!! I want to make sure he and I get to sing together. We don’t talk too much about business, though. Mostly about fun stuff. It’s great to be respected by the artists of yesterday and the artists of today. It’s great!!! I feel pretty blessed for that!! You know, part of the old and part of the new and maybe the bridge between the two.