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Tanya Tucker shows staying power

The Sun Theatre, Anaheim, Cal., Oct. 14, 2001

By Dan MacIntosh

ANAHEIM, CA - Pardon the amateur psychology here, but as soon as a child learns that acting cute can earn immediate approval, he or she never forgets it. Or to paraphrase the late John Candy from the movie "Splash," "When I find something that works, I stick with it."

Such can also be said of the middle aged Tanya Tucker, who spent a good part of her hour and a half concert striking poses for the audience, like a child stealing the show at a family portrait session.

Tucker is still a good-looking woman, but she's no child anymore. This point was amplified when she brought her two-year old daughter on stage during the singing of "What's Your Mamma's Name." Hilariously, the little girl kept lifting her skirt to reveal her undergarments. "She takes after her mom," Tucker joked.

This night's set list was an overview of Tucker's approximately 30 years in the country music business. Most all of these selections were also hits, but few matched the overwhelming cultural impact of such songs as "Delta Dawn," which shot Tucker straight to the top when she was a mere teen.

Tucker is quite the Chatty Cathy, but her uninhibited honesty also made for some memorable storytelling. Such as the time when Tucker cooked dinner for her friend Tammy Wynette, or when she was asked to record a song for a Wynette tribute album, only to have her vocal replaced by K.T. Oslin. She may have been left off that album, but this didn't keep her from performing "You're Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" for this crowd.

She's always been a stylist, rather than a pure singer, which was amply apparent whenever she sang ballads. Rather than sound pretty on these, she came off sounding vocally limited. The rockabilly bounce of "It's A Little Too Late" was much better suited for Tucker's raspy growl.

Tanya Tucker may not ever return to the heights she reached at the beginning of her career, but she nonetheless shows amazing staying power. If nothing else, she has proven to be more than just a teen sensation. And no matter what age she is, there will always be that little girl inside of her, just dying for a little attention.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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