The history of country music - or any music until recent years, for that matter - is largely represented by men, with female artists popping up more and more frequently as time passed and concert/record promoters realized there was a market for women in the business. In country, you started with pioneers like Kitty Wells, who were followed by the next wave (Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee) and then the Big Three (Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette) before female artists became relatively commonplace.
Tanya Tucker represented a new direction for women in country. For better or worse, she brought a more overt sexuality than the relatively chaste Parton or Barbara Mandrell, and branched off into rock and roll for a time, making her - at least temporarily - a pariah among the C&W faithful (and it should be noted that Tucker still hasn't been inducted
into the Country Music Hall of Fame).
This edition of Lone Star Scorecard is therefore dedicated to Tucker, the pride and joy of Seminole, TX. She's performed a number of songs about her home state. We'll be the judge of how accurate they really are.
"If you've got a road map of Texas,
You can see that it's a wide open state.
From Amarillo down to Boulder,
You can bet that it's a honky-tonky place."
Okay, we give up. Having checked Google, RandMcNally.com, and MapQuest, we found seven Boulders aside from the one in Colorado, and none of them are in Texas. Normally this is the place we'd make an age joke involving TheFlintstones and the geologic time scale, but Tucker's only 50 years old.
"San Antonio Stroll": Tucker sings of her time as a child in "South Caroline." Obviously the Texas native didn't write the song, but we're still left to wonder what South Carolinians are doing dancing to songs from the Lone Star State when they have a perfectly serviceable "Charleston" of their own.
"Texas (When I Die)": It's not her most successful single, but it's certainly the one most recognizable to folks in our part of the country. Like other songs comparing Texas to the afterlife ("God Blessed Texas"), this one ignores some of the state's negative aspects (Houston summers, Amarillo winters, Dallas all year round), though the line "I don't know if they let cowboys in" is directly responsible for those window stickers you see of the old cowpoke and his horse genuflecting before a cross on half the pickup trucks around here.