Okay, here goes: I’m going out on a limb and declaring this the coolest video ever made that features Little Richard and Tanya Tucker doing an Eddie Cochran song that also includes some really groovy fetish gear.
The audience at The Grand Ole Opry may have found this performance more than mildly mind scrambling. Somethin’ else, oh yeah.
Tanya Tucker was kind of like the Britney Spears of country music in the 1970s, a teenage chart-topper who underwent a “sexy” image make-over as she got older (and who did her share of hard partying). Her massive hits like “Delta Dawn” and “What’s Your Mama’s Name Child” were fairly ubiquitous on jukeboxes, AM radio and TV at the time. Tucker’s voice was instantly recognizable from the first note and her formula followed nicely in the Tammy Wynette-trod footsteps of the narrative country tear-jerker, often with the something ominous in the story-line. And the twist was that they were being sung by a kid. Tucker’s 1973 hit record, “Blood Red and Goin’ Down,” tells the tale of a young girl who watches her distraught father gun down her cheating mother and her lover in a bar. “Southern Gothic” at its finest! Tucker would have been all of 14-years-old when the song was recorded and under 17 in the clip below. Imagine watching a kid perform this song in 2013 on Glee or something… people would have conniption fits, but in the 1970s this was a #1 hit!
In the late 80s, I was visiting my parents in Wheeling, WV with a girlfriend who, for whatever reasons, was really into Tanya Tucker, who was playing a concert at the famed Capitol Music Hall while we were in town and so we went. It was a fucking blast and a really good show (and not the kind of thing I’d have gone to see on my own in a million years). I recall three things about it vividly. One, it was Tucker’s 30th birthday that night and a conga line of about a dozen goofy Wheeling dudes dropped red roses at her feet as she sang “Delta Dawn.” Two, the concert was stopped twice while a commercial for “Country Time Lemonade” ran (the show was being broadcast live on the legendary country music station, WWVA’s “Jamboree USA” radio show). Tucker and the band just walked offstage and a slide was shown.
Third, nearly everyone in the audience save for us had cowbells.