Tanya Tucker

Delta Dawn

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This is the album that started it all. Tanya Tucker was 13 when she struck pay dirt with her debut single, "Delta Dawn" by Larry Collins. To say that in the 21st century Tucker would still be considered a major force in country music over 30 years later would have been considered laughable at the time. But nonetheless, Tucker has joined Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton as one of country music's true divas and has had a longer-lasting time in the spotlight than any of them. "Delta Dawn" is one of the greatest songs in country's canon, both in terms of Tucker's performance and Larry Collins' songwriting. But there is more to this debut album than that track. "New York City Song" by Larry Hargrove feels like Harry Nilsson wrote it. The cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is not only credible, it's deeply moving. Tucker's second single is here too, "The Jamestown Ferry," and the Jerry Reed classic "Smell the Flowers." Rounding out the collection -- in an era where, with the exception of Merle Haggard's records, country albums were singles with lots of filler -- are George Richey's fine "Soul Song" and "He's All I Got." Tucker at 13 was in full possession of her throaty voice, though producers hadn't yet learned how to make it work to its fullest capacity. Nonetheless, this is one of the most auspicious debuts in popular music history.

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