NICKEL DREAMS by Tanya Tucker


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 Country legend Tanya Tucker tells her tumultuous life story with warmth and modesty. Tucker (born in 1958) lived fast and hard, only settling down in recent years. When she recorded her first hit, ``Delta Dawn,'' the confident 13-year-old introduced herself to her stellar backup band by saying, ``I know my part, boys. Do you know yours?'' She inherited this bravura from her father, who pushed his way through music industry doors on behalf of Tucker. He is omnipresent in the book, sometimes dominating his daughter's professional and personal life, managing her career, and at one point arranging an intervention of family and friends to convince Tucker to check into the Betty Ford clinic. Tucker defends her father throughout, giving him most of the credit for her success. Professionally, the book charts Tucker's growth from a naive young singer to the mature performer and songwriter she has become. Tucker's life has provided much grist for the tabloids over the years, and readers will likely find her version of these notorious episodes compelling. She had a rocky affair with fellow country singer Glen Campbell, with whom she often took drugs. During one argument, he knocked out her two front teeth with his elbow. When Campbell announced that his wife was pregnant and that he wouldn't leave her, Tucker ran off with Merle Haggard. Tucker has two children, both born out of wedlock, and she kept the father's identity secret--even from the father-- for some time. Tucker's hard-living and frequent excesses ensure that there are no dull moments in her story. But readers will come to like the singer well enough to wish her less interesting times. (16 pages color photos, not seen)

Pub Date: April 11th, 1997
ISBN: 0-7868-6305-6
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997


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