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October 24

Tanya Tucker and the Song “Lizzie And The Rainman”

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Tanya Tucker and the Song “Lizzie And The Rainman” 1

Tanya Tucker’s classmates went to school dances and gossiped about boyfriends, she had a nightclub act to keep her extracurricular hours full. By the time she was in the ninth grade, she dropped out and continued to build on a series of records. Those records have included three number one singles on Columbia by the Spring of 1974: “What’s Your Mama’s Name,” “Blood Red And Goin’ Down,” and “Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone),” not to mention Tucker’s first hit right out of the gate in ’72, “Delta Dawn.” She enjoyed one last Columbia hit, Ed Bruce’s “The Man That Turned My Mama On”, then Tanya signed with MCA the day she turned sixteen.

“Lizzie And The Rainman” had been written by Kenny O’Dell and Larry Henley, four years earlier in 1971. Alex Taylor recorded it, as did The Hollies, long before Tanya Tucker picked it up. O’Dell once submitted the tune to Snuff Garrett for Cher to record, but she never did. Tanya’s record coasted to #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart in its eleventh week on July 5, 1975, marking her fourth time at the top of that survey, although it didn’t quite generate the pop success that MCA had hoped for, because it managing to reach just #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Tanya didn’t much care for recording in Los Angeles, and as a result, she only made one album with producer Snuff Garrett. Of the sessions, she bemoaned the fact that everything was so impersonal, much unlike her sessions in Nashville which had been helped by her ex-producer at Columbia, Billy Sherrill. Billy preferred to have the featured artist and all the musicians in the studio at the same time, working together. It was quite a different situation in Los Angeles. Tucker recorded every single note over the tracks. She never even saw the musicians. Tanya was very uncomfortable with this style of making records, even though she professed that Garrett did a great job producing the album, and she was very proud of it.


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