December 6

Story of “I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love” by Tanya Tucker, Paul Davis and Paul Overstreet

Story of “I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love” by Tanya Tucker, Paul Davis and Paul Overstreet 1

“I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love” by Tanya Tucker, Paul Davis, and Paul Overstreet is a song correlated with each of the three main aspects of love. The story of the song started with the return of Tanya Tucker to country music prominence. With her head finally straight, the female country artist displayed an incredible amount of consistency. Her second release for Capitol Records marked her first chart-topper after a leave in the country music for more than ten years. After four more top ten hits, she returned to the No. 1 spot with what proved to be a very special record. It also a special event for songwriter Paul Overstreet. With the frequent collaboration with his partner Don Schlitz, they conceived the idea for “I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love.” Schlitz offered to let Overstreet write it alone. However, Overstreet insisted they work on it together.

The original idea was to try to get loans out of George Jones and Don Williams from their respective labels to cut “I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love” with Tanya. Yet, she was drawn to the idea of performing the song with a new voice. Tucker selected her good friend Paul Davis, who had charted fifteen pop hits between 1970 and 1982. For the third member of the trio, Tanya went with one of the co-writers of the song, Paul Overstreet.

“I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love” was a unique song which summarized the general progression of several of life’s key elements. The three participants sang a different verse that correlated with each of the three main aspects of love. Paul Davis led off with his superb delivery of the song’s first verse about a husband’s love for his wife, although Davis never married. Tucker handled the second verse about the mother and her son. The third and final verse, and by far the most powerful, was a personal testimony that belonged entirely to Overstreet. It concerned a man’s relationship with his Lord and was especially meaningful to Paul because it was his embracing of religion that was a key element in helping him break free from the grip of alcoholism, achieve sobriety and turn his life around. Each of the verses fit so well and everything fell into place. It made the song a distinct candidate for a No. 1 landing. It reached that position on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart February 27, 1988, marking Tanya Tucker’s eighth of ten career chart-toppers.


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