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EXTRA! Tanya Tucker

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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January 8, 2020 12:00 am

EXTRA! Tanya Tucker

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 8, 2020 12:00 am

Bob Schieffer's extended interview with legendary country singer Tanya Tucker.

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Life is for living. Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at edwardjones.com. Hi, I'm Jane Pauley, and this is our Sunday Morning Extra, a podcast featuring a memorable story from our latest show. It's an extended dialogue that provides insights beyond our broadcast.

In this episode, two legends in conversation. Tanya Tucker, who's been a country music superstar since age 13, and our Bob Schieffer, who you may be surprised to learn is a country music songwriter and something of a performer himself. They sat down at a horse farm in Franklin, Tennessee to discuss Tucker's four Grammy nominations for her critically praised album, While I'm Living. That project was born out of a collaboration between Tucker and two younger generation country performers, acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and producer musician Shooter Jennings. You and Shooter, who is Waylon and Jesse Coulter, Waylon Jennings and Jesse Coulter's son, you kind of, in a way, grew up together, didn't you?

Yeah, in a way. I mean, we were talking about it the other day, and I guess if you would add up all the minutes that we spent together, it probably wouldn't add up as much as the time we spent together in the last, well, since January when we recorded the album. But yes, I've known Shooter before he was Shooter, and of course Waylon was really a jewel and a great friend, and I really looked up to him as an artist and what he's brought to this business. But I tell her, I said, it's kind of funny, one of the songs that I brought to the table on the new album is called High Riding Heroes. And years ago, I mean, it must be, probably I'm bad about this, but probably 15, 20 years ago, Waylon's drummer, Richie Albright, produced an album on a guy named David Lynn Jones, and it was a song called High Riding Heroes, one of my very favorite albums ever.

It's hard to find online, but I think I paid $450 for a David Lynn Jones album on eBay one time, and I don't know if you can get them anymore, but Waylon sang on that record. When I came into the studio at Sunset Sound in LA, I thought, oh, they're just trying to schmooze me over, trying to ease me into it, because I really wasn't sure about doing this album. I really had my doubts and a lot of big red flags.

I mean, I didn't think it was for me. But I thought, we're recording that song, I thought, wow, how full circle is this, that Waylon was singing on the song, the original record, and then now little Waylon is producing and playing piano. And we kind of just stood there in silence and thought, you know, together in our quietness, and thought a lot about, you know, he misses his daddy, and I miss mine. They were friends, my dad and his dad. And then did he bring Brandi Carlile?

Yes. Well, that's the whole thing, is I was doing something. Shooter asked me to do a show at the Hall of Fame in, I think it was last year, and it was in August, I think. And so I went over there, he wanted me to do Would You Lay With Me, and had a lot of the Texas artists. I mean, every one of them, you could think of Billy Joe Shaver to Gary P. Nunn, they were all there. And, of course, I had the most popular dressing room, because I had the tequila, my new tequila.

I had it in there, and everybody was coming in, having a shot or two. And Jesse's birthday was that night. And then Dennis Quaid walked in, and I hadn't seen him in 40 years. I did my first movie with him 40 years ago.

It was a magical night. But then he said something, he said, well, I'd sure would love to produce a movie with you. Well, I'd sure would love to produce an album on you. And, you know, I mean, it was passing up, you know, oh, that'd be great. He said, it's gonna be on me. I thought, now that got my attention.

Yeah. But what happened, he says, is that after we talked a little bit, and it kind of planted the seed of making a new record, and I hadn't made one in 20 years. And he was mentioning it to Brandy, because they're very good friends. And she said, oh, I've got to be involved in that. And she just kind of, I don't know, she just took the helm and steered that craft like it was. Started writing songs?

Yes. And her and the twins, Tim and Phil Hanseroth, who, they come as a triple, you know, they go everywhere and do all the music together. And they wrote all these songs. And I had to ask them, after I had already come out of the studio, I said, first of all, what's a hobnail? And then the second of all, what's a jamboozie? I didn't know what some of the things meant in these songs.

And I said, how did you go into a room with three of you, Brandy and the twins, and write songs for a person that you never met? You don't know what I'm gonna be like. I mean, God knows if you listen to some of the stuff that's been told about me, Lord knows what you'd think. Some of it might be true.

Yeah, some, oh, well, probably a lot of it. But how do you do that? How do you go into a room and write songs? And he said, well, we just, we all went around in our cars, listened to you, and googled you a lot. And about, every song's about something to do with my life. A couple of them are for my dad. Rich is for my dad. And people said he was poor. He said I'm rich in another way.

And of course, High Riding Heroes was one of my very favorites. I've loved that song for a long time. I didn't want to do House That Built Me. I said I don't want to be caught loitering around that song because it's already been done.

And I know when to stay away from something, you know. I can't bring anything else to that song. Miranda Lambert's song. Brandy proved me wrong. Ma'am, if I could walk around, I swear I'll leave.

Won't take nothing but a memory from the house that built me. And I guess I've never been so glad to be wrong in all my days, you know, really, because I did not ever for once think that this record would get the attention that it's getting. And then I go, well, I go back to the drawing board and say, well, maybe it's because of social media. Maybe if there had been social media from the get-go, I would have had a lot more things done in my life that I haven't done yet.

More, I still got a bunch of firsts left and some things that I want to do. And I feel like I'm running out of time sometimes. But this album is really, really, it's gotten some incredible response. Well, let's just talk about it a little bit.

I mean, it throws me off a little bit, really. It's called While I'm Living. While I'm Living, which is Brandy's idea. And then the big song is Bring My Flowers Now. Yes. Tell me about that. And you wrote that one with Brandy.

Yes. Yes, I'd had that song in my back pocket, I don't know, 35, 40 years probably, really a long time. But I just couldn't kind of put, it was like two pieces of bread, you know, without something in the middle. We ain't got nothing. So I had the bread, but I didn't have the goody part, the meat in the middle. And I think it was just almost like it was already pre-written anyway, because it just came out of us so fast.

They had worked on it the night before. And when Brandy looked at me and said, hey, the band's on break, it's the last song we've cut. And let's finish that song that you've had for years. It kind of threw me off a little bit, because I'm not a writer on, you know, write this, action, you know. I'm going to think about it a minute, you know.

I've thought about it for 40 years, no time like now. So when I left, I went to the restroom, excuse myself, came back. She was in the piano room. And she started the first line. All the miles cast a long shadow. And I'm thinking about that bus, you know, 45-foot shadow, you know. And it just fell into place. And we say now, it took me about 35 years and 15 minutes to write the song.

But it came out. If your heart is in them flowers, bring them home. If your heart is in them flowers, I bring them home.

What about Brandy? Tell me about your relationship. Wow. That's another enigma. Because, again, it was almost like it was written somewhere else.

It was already written down. And I'm just kind of living it out. But she, she's an outstanding person.

And that is not even a good word. I always say, I don't know what cloud God kicked you off of, but I sure am glad he did. And she said, go down there and help that girl, you know, and lay to her in my lap, basically. Because here's a girl that's just blowing up right now. She's been working a long time. And her ship's coming in right now. And I'll be damned if I ain't on it. But she's a good girl. She's a good girl.

And I'll be damned if I ain't on it. You know, I never had heard her sing until after we made the record. I heard her on the Grammys and I thought, wow. I mean, hadn't really heard her professionally sing.

She sang in the studio and she sang the demos for my songs. But she is a great leader. She's a great communicator.

These are some of the things I have trouble with. The things that I'm weakest on, I think she is strong. And I haven't found anything she's weak on yet. But she knows what she wants as she goes after it.

And she does it in the most velvet chain kind of way that I've never seen anybody work like that before. And inquisitive, but a little bit, there's no naivety, but she's not naive. But she's still got a childlike way about her. And she loves talking about my dad. And I think that was maybe something she didn't have in her life. And I had such a strong dad and I think she missed a lot of that. And she just loves, she craves hearing stories about my dad. You know, she goes, I wish I would have met him.

I said, well, Brandy, I said, I think my dad didn't like too many people, but I bet you, I bet your ass he'd love you. She is, I hate to say unusual, but she is unusual. She's, she's not normal. In fact, I thought I got to thinking her and the twins are like, maybe not really on this. They're not of this world. They're just in it. You're talking to someone that's a little more, I don't want to say out there, but not, not really worldly.

Someone that's a step above, you know, almost heavenly. You say she's not normal, but you know, you know what I've learned over these years is most of the people are really good at what they do. They're not normal.

No, I don't think there's no normalcy to it. Especially being in the entertainment business, because we get false self confused with the, the true self, you know, cause we put our makeup on. I mean, I walked out and we were going to do the CMT awards this year and I walked out on the porch. I had my, looked like a, you know, a homeless person and I had my pajamas on. I said, Hey y'all, why can't I go like I am? You know, I mean, I still sound the same. I still sing the same.

What is a, you know, some nice clothes and everything. Why, why are we going to do that? I go, well, you just got to. The true self and the false self are always fighting when you're an entertainer, because you have to go out sometimes when you feel you're worst. And my dad said, they don't want to hear your problems. They got enough. They come to forget their problems to come see you. So, you know, we have to entertain sometime when we don't feel like it. And I remember being in a high school gym, playing a gym, but the place was packed.

The bleachers were full. I'm sitting in the girl's locker room in the restroom and I'm sitting up on the back of the toilet with my feet on the toilet seat, you know, in the stall. And I'm seeing my dad just pace. He's pacing and came right down there and I see him and I'm going like, I couldn't talk. I said, what are we going to do now? No, I got laryngitis so bad. I couldn't. I said, I can't sing.

What are we going to do? And finally he stopped me. He goes, I got it.

That contract read do a one hour show. Didn't say a thing about singing. And he said, those people don't come to hear you. They can hear you on the radio. They can hear you on the record player. They come to see you, Tanya. He said, you go out there and tell them people you can't sing because if you don't show up, they'll think you're drunk.

Right. I'm going to like, what's that got to do with me right now? He said, just go out there and you tell them people you want to shake their hand. And he said, cause that's what it is. It's a one look, the connection, the handshake, and you got to, you got a fan for life.

And he gave me all those pointers. Like pick out the ugliest boy on the front row. And that's the boys going to buy your records till the day you die. And then pretty boys, they get attention all the time. They're used to it.

But the ugly boy is going to buy your records. Tanya, when you're out here with the people and the animals you love, does it make you wonder about how much longer you're going to continue to do this? You know, sometimes I think about it. Sometimes I think about how much longer I really can do this because I really push myself. But, you know, the good news about this kind of business that I'm in is there's so many opportunities that don't just shut off when you stop singing, you know. There's just a plethora of creative things that you can do. And maybe that's what I'll get more into.

But I think, you know, hell, Jimmy Davis was, he was 93, still working on the road, still doing 100 dates a year. I don't think I'll be doing that. But it just goes to show you that once you have a fan in this business, in this music, you have them for not just them, but you have their kids and their kids' kids, and their kids' kids. And that's a good thing. But there's so many things I've yet to do, and so many things that I want to do. And I'm not going to be bored, that's for sure. I'll always have something to do. And, you know, as long as I have the fans and the folks out there that like to hear me sing, then I guess I'll be doing it, you know. Do you think you could have had this kind of impact and had this kind of career had you not led the life you led, when you had some real downs in there?

Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think, you know, the downs are a big part of the ups, you know. And without those, you just don't, you wouldn't know what up was, what good was, if you didn't have the bad. You know, everything comes in different ways to me.

I mean, it comes at different times. Some things that I thought I'd learned a long time ago, I'm just learning. And some of the things that I really always knew, or I thought I always knew, I don't really know at all. So I think it's just a matter of, you know, age, what rings with that is you don't want to waste as much time as you used to.

You know, time is precious, and you want to try to do something with it every minute of the day. If you're not appreciating somebody, then maybe doing something to help change lives and make, make someone else have a better life or help someone else have a better life. And I think that's really what's most important. You know, I think sometimes I know as me as a singer, I think, well, you know, see these scientists and these men, you know, preachers, men of God, and people doing all these little angels doing their work. So I get to thinking sometimes that what I do is kind of on a low level as far as someone that's a doctor or cancer researcher or scientist or stem cells and all that. And I think, wow, maybe I don't matter. And then I'll do a show and someone will walk up to me and say, you know, your music has really, really helped me in my life and made me strong when I wasn't and inspired me.

And so when I hear that, I think, wow, yeah, I do make a difference. This is the Takeout with Major Garrett, this week, Stephen Law, ally of Mitch McConnell and one of Washington's biggest midterm money men. List for me the two Senate races where you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a Democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire, not Georgia. Well, New Hampshire, Georgia is right up there. But New Hampshire is a surprise. In New Hampshire, people really just kind of don't like Maggie has for more from this week's conversation. Follow the Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 06:48:55 / 2023-01-28 06:57:06 / 8

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