Review: Outlaw country star gets the respect she deserves in ‘The Return of Tanya Tucker’
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.”–Goldilocks
The country singer’s new memoir, The Return of Tanya Tucker, takes you behind the scenes (she does have to take questions, she says) as she tells her story of a woman who never was more than a dream, but who was determined to make her dreams a reality.
Outlaw country star Tanya Tucker was born in the wild South, raised by a handful of outlaws and, like most outlaws, she saw herself as an outlaw from the start. In the tradition of her father, she didn’t follow the rules, choosing to live as a gunslinger by any means necessary, and by default made her way into the music business. She made her way from country-and-western to country-and-pop, and she never lost her wild attitude. With a voice that could cut through any room with a single word, Tucker was the perfect singer for the outlaw era, but with a heart that was ready to help anyone who needed a helping hand.
At the same time, Tucker’s outlaw lifestyle meant she was left with no time to be a wife and mother. She started singing at a local club, and by age 17 she had joined a group whose name had a clue to its audience: The Banditos. They were a touring rock-and-roll band that sang songs about lawbreakers, and the name, in turn, helped the word “bandit” become synonymous with that life. The Banditos had only one rule: Don’t stop singing about them. The group’s fans were known as The Gangsters, in reference to the tough life style they lived.
Tucker saw herself singing her way out of an underground business into a legitimate music career. She was determined, and with her eyes set firmly on something she never thought possible, she began writing songs in a notebook. In 1969, after years of singing at local honky-tonks and open-mike performances, she got a break