April 16

“Delta Dawn:” The Original Version of Tanya Tucker’s Single

“Delta Dawn” is a classic song performed by numerous artists from different genres. It crossed over charts from country to adult contemporary. In the world of country music, it was Tanya Tucker who made the song famous. She covered the song in 1972 for her same-titled album. Tucker released the song as a single on the same year. As a result, it was able to secure the number six spot on the chart.

tanya tucker delta dawn alex harvey
Photo Credit: Tanya Tucker/ People.com

Tanya Tucker’s Version of “Delta Dawn”

Tucker wasn’t supposed to record the song. It was Midler who Billy Sherrill, the producer, wanted to record the song. However, Midler was already signed under another recording studio. Thus, Tucker was given the song. It was good then that she recorded the song because it was her rendition that became well-known of all other versions.

Helen Reddy Cover

It wasn’t only Tucker who recorded the song. Helen Reddy, the Australian pop singer, covered the song the following year. Her rendition was slightly based on Tucker’s version. With this recording, Reddy scored her first number one song on the Adult Contemporary chart. This became the beginning of more number one songs on the chart.

Alex Harvey, The Original Version

However, all of this success for both artists wouldn’t be possible without the amazing talent of the songwriter and the original singer of the song. In 1971, Larry Collins and Alex Harvey wrote this sad song about returning to the past. It was first recorded by Harvey for his self-titled album. Unfortunately, Harvey’s version never entered the chart, and it wasn’t commercially successful. But, many artists loved the song, thus, they have recorded it. Even though Harvey didn’t score a spot on the chart with the song, he was able to spread the song out for artists to make it popular.

All About the Song

“Delta Dawn” tells the story of an old maiden who was once described to be a beautiful lady. She fell in love with someone who promised to take care of her and make her happy. However, the promised wasn’t kept. She waited for him to come and take her away. That’s why even when she got old, she kept on carrying a suitcase and waited for the man who promised her a happy life.

Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on?
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?
And did I hear you say he was a-meeting you here today
To take you to his mansion in the sky?


Alex Harvey, Delta Dawn, Tanya Tucker

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