Parker County Today November 2016 - Page 10

PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY NOVEMBER 2016 8 running rampant in our country and so many good causes that need help. It may be senior centers, people with cancer, or children’s charities; they all are so important and I think it’s important to help.” But why Parker County? “Shelly got me involved with the Bag Lady Luncheon,” Tucker said. When she mentions “Shelly” she’s referring to Shelly Mowery, executive director of The Parker County Committee on Aging/Senior Center. “It’s because Shelly is so wrapped up in it and so involved,” Tucker said. “It’s a natural thing for me to be involved in some of my best friend’s passions. She asked me about doing it and I’m just glad to help out. I think it’s a great idea and it’s not so much about the music but about the people. I’m looking forward to it. It should be fun.” It all started with girl talk. “Through all of our sisterhood, girly conversations, I told her about what I was doing,” Mowery said. “I’d tell her what I’ve been doing, tell her a lot of the heart-wrenching stories about the Senior Center and she became just as passionate as I am about it.” As a result, Tucker enthusiastically agreed to appear at the Bag Lady Luncheon to help raise funds for the Parker County Committee on Aging to help build a new Senior Center. In October, following an arduous concert tour, Tucker became seriously ill from an upper respiratory infection and landed in the hospital. Mowery was more worried about her friend’s health than she was about the event. “When she got out of the hospital,” Mowery said, “I asked her, ‘Do you need to bow out of this?’ She said, ‘Oh, no, no, no. We are going to do this.’” Tucker is all about “The show must go on.” That work ethic, combined with her powerful, distinctive voice is probably the key to why the country music star, who found stardom at 13 in 1972, is one of the few child stars who has managed to keep the attention of music fans consistently through the decades. She’s gracious about it, too. “I just think it’s nice that people still want to hear my music,” Tucker said. Some of us would like to think it’s her lovely Texas upbringing that we have to thank for her graciousness and for her work ethic. Tanya Tucker is actually a Texan, born in Seminole. She kept the name her parents gave her at birth rather than choosing a stage name. She was born Tanya Denise Tucker. Her family left Texas and moved to Arizona, then Utah, because her father was in commercial construction and went where the great projects were. Still, the Tuckers brought their Texas values with them. While living in St. George, Utah, pre-teen Tanya had her first paid job in entertainment. It wasn’t singing but acting that drew her first show business paycheck. It was a part in the Robert Redford western Jeremiah Johnson. The movie production company set up an office in the town in the early months of 1970. “All my friends were renting their horses out and I said I’d rent myself out, not my horse,” Tucker recalls. “I went down to the office every day and bugged them until they finally wrote in a part for me, just to get rid of me. It was fun. It was cool. It was a neat thing to have on the resume.” Tucker