Album:16 Biggest Hits
Though Delta Dawn was not Tanya Tucker's biggest hit, she was 12 years old when it hit the country charts in 1972 and established her for the bigger hits that came after. And Tanya continued to have success in the 80s and 90s. She was born Oct. 10, 1958 in Seminole, TX. Her father was a heavy equipment operator and the family moved around quite a bit. Tanya grew up in Arizona and Utah and she wanted to be a performer at an early age. After performing at the Arizona State Fair with country singer Judy Lynn, Mel Tillis liked Tanya enough to invite her on stage to sing with him. The Tucker family moved to Las Vegas in 1969 to advance Tanya's singing career. Songwriter Dolores Fuller gave Tanya's demo to legendary Columbia Records producer Billy Sherrill, best known for producing Tammy Wynette, and he signed her up. Sherill's original plan was to have Tanya record The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA but Sherrill heard Bette Midler sing Delta Dawn on The Tonight Show and he had Tanya record it. Of course Donna Fargo had a huge hit with The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA. Delta Dawn was written by former child rockabilly star Larry Collins and veteran Nashville songwriter Alexander Harvey, not to be confused with the Scottish rocker Alex Harvey. Harvey recorded Delta Dawn on his 1971 Capitol Records album Alex Harvey which was partially produced by Kenny Rogers. The first recording of Delta Dawn that I heard was by Dianne Davidson on her 1972 Janus Records album Backwoods Woman. Bette Midler heard Tracy Nelson sing it at a club (Tracy sang backup on Harvey's album) and added it to her show though I don't think Midler ever recorded it. Helen Reddy did have a pop hit with Delta Dawn after Tanya's recording was a hit. Tanya's recording of Delta Dawn reached #6 on the Country Singles chart. But when fans found out her age, she became a big sensation and scored #1 country hits with What's Your Mama's Name and Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone). Tanya left Columbia for MCA in 1975 and continued to have success there and later on at Capitol Records. This budget comp has her Columbia hits including Tanya's original recording of Delta Dawn. Beware of re-recorded versions. Tanya Tucker has been one of the more durable country music artists but this is how her career started. Here's Tanya Tucker performing Delta Dawn on Hee Haw 1972.