When she was just 13 years old, Tanya Tucker already got the hearts of country music fans with her hit, “Delta Dawn.” Her powerful and raspy vocals turned heads and attracted the attention of many. Soon, the tune became her signature song. However, despite “Delta Dawn’s” success, it was not a number one hit. Interestingly, Tucker’s first number one song is “What’s Your Mama’s Name.” It came in a year later after “Delta Dawn.”
“What’s Your Mama’s Name:” A Sad Story
Released in 1973, “What’s Your Mama’s Name” was penned by Dallas Frazier and Earl Montgomery. It was then recorded by Tucker as the first single and title track of her 1973 album of the same name.
The song narrates the story of a man who travels to Memphis for a day. Suddenly, he meets a little girl whose eyes are green, together with her mother. The man then observes that the little girl frantically asks her mother about her mother’s name.
At the end of the song, the man passes away after becoming a drunkard and having a hard time in Memphis. Following his death, people discovered a note in his pocket. The note said that he had a little girl who had green eyes. All along, it revealed that he was trying to find his daughter.
The sad theme of the song perfectly complemented the naturally rough tone of Tucker. The song is heartbreaking, and it resonates the love that was lost.
The Success of the Song
Listeners of the song seemed to agree with its message and even bowed down to Tucker’s exquisite performance. Soon enough, “What’s Your Mama’s Name” became the first number one hit of her career. In addition, the song’s popularity even crossed over the Billboard pop charts in 1973.
Young Tucker’s Rare Performance
While still a teenager, Tucker performed on a television show, singing “What’s Your Mama’s Name.” Wearing a black and white checkered dress, Tucker charmed the audience with her sweet yet powerful vocals echoing inside the room. As young as her age back then, she proved to everyone that she was indeed born to become an entertainer.
Check out her poignant performance here: