Cliffie Stone Family Photos
Cliffie and Tanya Tucker at the Academy of Country Music’s rehearsals for ACM’s NBC/TV awards show in the early 1990s. As Cliffie said in his talent show book: “There’s nothing new about youngsters becoming stars at an early age and a few of them include: Molly Bee, Barbara Mandrell, Judy Garland, Brenda Lee and Tanya Tucker. Tanya’s father, Beau Tucker, started out being her manager and continued to be when she became a big star. Tanya’s a dynamic country singer and when she steps out on a stage – she owns it!” Tanya was born on October 10, 1958, in Seminole, Texas, to Juanita and Jesse “Beau” Tucker. She’s the youngest of four children. Her dad, Beau, was a heavy equipment operator, such as bull dozers, and he worked at various construction sites; and he’d move his family to wherever he had prospects of a good job, such as Wilcox, Arizona, where Tanya spent her early childhood. The early career lives of Tanya Tucker and Molly Bee (Row 6, #1 photo) are somewhat similar. Tanya’s parents, like Molly’s, supported and believed in her talents and Beau, like Molly’s parents, would  take her to local fairs or local concerts and promote and try to get her booked with touring country stars. In Tanya’s case, it was artists like Ernest Tubb and Mel Tillis. Tanya, like Molly Bee, precociously took to the stage like a young duckling takes to water. In a YouTube video interview, Tanya sparkled and smiled with delight when she recalled her cherished memory of the time when she was nine years old wherein she had the opportunity of getting up on stage to sing with Ernest Tubb. (Around 1973, Ernest would make one of Tanya’s young dreams come true when he invited her to perform on his portion of the Grand Ole Opry show at the Ryman Auditorium.) Tanya always had a deep alto mature sounding voice, which belied her young age, and she could interpret adult lyrics such as Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough” so convincingly that people thought she was older than she really was. Beau followed the same promotional routine when they moved to Phoenix in 1967. Tanya also loved horses, which she learned to ride at a young age and when her family moved to St. George, Utah, her mother learned that Robert Redford was starring in a film (“Jeremiah Johnson”) that was being shot in Utah; Juanita met with him and gave him a sales pitch about her daughter’s ability to ride horses. Consequently, Robert gave Tanya and her horse a small part in his film. Later, the Tucker family moved to Las Vegas, where there were more opportunities for Tanya to perform. While in Las Vegas, Beau financed a demo tape which was sent to Columbia Records in Nashville; this tape eventually found the ears of songwriter, producer and A&R man, Billy Sherrill, who was one of the most influential men in country music in the 1960s and 1970s. (In 2012, he was a recipient of ACM’s “Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award.) Obviously impressed by her voice, Billy met with her and her father, Beau, and in 1972, he signed her to Columbia Records/Nashville division. Her first Columbia singles release was “Delta Dawn” which became her first hit that peaked at #6 on the country charts. Other singles that followed included “Love’s the Answer.” Her first #1 country hit was “What’s Your Mama’s Name,” which she sang on Carl Smith’s TV show “Nashville Music” in 1973. (This can be viewed on YouTube.) As mentioned previously, this was the time frame that she first appeared on Grand Ole Opry with Ernest Tubb. Other adult-themed hits were “Blood Red and Goin’ Down” and “Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone). She quickly became a young teenage country star, who was in such demand that she started making two hundred appearances a year. In 1974, she signed with MCA Records and since she liked the popular country-style rock group, the “Eagles,” she started recording similar type of songs such as her #1 country hit, “Lizzie and the Rain Man” (produced by Snuff Garrett  who was Cher’s producer), which crossed over and peaked at #37 on the ‘Pop Top 40’ in 1975. (Note: In 1994, Tanya was one of the artists who performed in CMA’s “Album of the Year” – Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles.”) The foregoing highlights of her ‘early years’ was just the beginning of her amazing career. Tanya was one of a handful of young stars who would keep the same age fan base throughout her adult career. In the ensuing years and decades, Tanya would have her highs and lows throughout her career as well as her personal life. In interviews, Tanya always spoke her mind; and she was just as down-to-earth and refreshingly honest when she co-wrote (with Patsi Bale Cox) her feisty, good-humored autobiography – “Nickel Dreams: My Life,” which was published in 1997, which became a New York Times best-seller. From 1973 through 1994, Tanya had 9 Grammy nominations and although she did not get an award, it’s an honor to have been nominated. The Grammy song nominations for “Best Female Country Vocal Performance:” “Delta Dawn,” “Would You Lay with Me (In A Field of Stone),” “Love Me Like You Used To,” “Strong Enough to Bend,” “Down to My Last Teardrop,” and “Soon.” The Grammy nomination for “Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group” was “Dream Lover” (with Glen Campbell). The Grammy nominations for “Best Country Collaboration with Vocals” are:  “Tell Me About It” (with Delbert McClinton); and “Romeo” sung by Dolly Parton and her friends - Billy Ray Cyrus, Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea and Mary Chapin Carpentar, which is enjoyable to watch on YouTube. Tanya’s ACM’s awards include: “Top New Female Vocalist” in 1972; ACM’s “Video of the Year” – “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” in 1993. Tanya has had several Country Music Association nominations and in 1991, she received the CMA’s “Female Vocalist of the Year;” and in 1994, Tanya was one of the artists who performed in CMA’s “Album of the Year – “Common Thread: The songs of the Eagles” (Various Artists). In 2002, Tanya ranked #20 in Country Music Television’s “40 Greatest Women in Country Music.” Tanya was inducted into the “Texas Country Music Hall of Fame” in 1997. There are several websites that have detailed information about her life, career and discography, which includes Tanya’s official website:

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