Tanya Tucker Reveals the Lesson She Took Away From Her New Documentary

by Blake Ells
(Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)

Tanya Tucker brought her documentary, The Return of Tanya Tucker (featuring Brandi Carlile), to the Nashville Film Festival this year. The film and her accompanying “return” were much delayed due to the pandemic. And she says she’s still not convinced that such a return has happened because she “was still washing her dishes and taking out [her] garbage three hours” before she sat down with The Tennessean to discuss the film. But it was. She earned a GRAMMY for the comeback record in 2020. In the sprawling conversation, she discussed her relationships with the late Loretta Lynn and her new writing partner Brandi Carlile.

She also discussed the lesson that she took from making her movie.

“I realize that I still work too much,” she said. “But I do that because one of these days I’m going to get it all together – the career I want, with the man I have and the horse I need. But, of course, once that happens, I’ll probably die the next day.”

Tanya Tucker noted that working with Brandi Carlile on the project was an experience unlike she’d had in her career.

“Brandi’s the first person who ever sat in the booth with me while I was recording,” she said. “Of course, at first, I had no idea that she was even there. But I know I want her – or someone like her – there from now on because I depend on it. Her support and understanding she knows how to get the best work out of me at this point in my career matters.”

Tanya Tucker ‘Gives Loretta Lynn Her Flowers’

The album was released in 2019. Tanya Tucker’s While I’m Livin’ was so named for a line in the album’s final track, “Bring My Flowers Now.” It’s a song about making sure people know that you appreciate them while they are still alive. And she shared the track with her good friend Loretta Lynn before it was released.

“I sang the song’s chorus to her while in Austin taking the bus to Los Angeles for the first recording sessions you see in the documentary,” she shared. “To me, that song stayed with me and continued onto Brandi as its’ eventual songwriter because it’s like having a great friend. If you meet a great friend, you never quite remember when you met them, so it feels like they’ve been around forever.”

She got her flowers. Tanya Tucker got that GRAMMY. But she didn’t particularly care.

“Honestly? I don’t know where in the hell those GRAMMYs even are,” she said. “I have been living between my boyfriend’s ranch in Texas and my house in Lose Angeles since I won it, so I haven’t seen it in a while.”