Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tommy Tucker on Hi

Tommy Tucker - A Man in Love (Hi 2014), 1959

I won't go into detail here on Tommy Tucker's life and career because an upcoming feature on him in American Music Magazine in the near future will do this. Anyway, some of you may know this song, some may not. "A Man in Love" is a really beautiful track that was also recorded by Nick Lowe. Personally, I consider Charlie Feathers' demo recording of it as one of the best recordings Feathers did. The simplicity of it just speaks for itself.

Tommy Tucker
Tommy Tucker was a local Memphis artists and friends with Charlie Feathers. They would perform together on occasion at bars and clubs during the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes also with Ramon Maupin. In the early 1960s, Tucker was also a regular guest on Gene Williams' "Cotton Town Jubilee" on KWAM in West Memphis. 

He started his recording career in the late 1950s in the newly founded Hi record label and released his first disc in 1959, comprising "A Man in Love" and "Loving-Lil," the latter being an excellent Memphis cashalike song from the pen of Charlie Feathers and Jerry Huffman. "A Man in Love" was written by Charlie Feathers, Quinton Claunch, as well as Bill Cantrell and possibly dates back to the mid-1950s, when the trio was working at Sun Records. Feathers had recorded a demo of this song in 1958 at Royal Studio with just his guitar and him singing. Tucker's version featured a vocal chorus and a banjo picker, thus it had a certain Johnny Horton feel to it.

After another single on Hi, Tucker switched to RCA-Victor and recorded "Return of the Teenage Queen" / "Since You Have Gone" for the label. Both songs were also released in Australia and New Zealand. Tucker kept on recording for various small Memphis labels, including XL, Pen, Western Lounge, and others. He also left behind several unreleased tapes. Tucker died in 1985.

3 comments:

Mike Ralph said...

Tommy was a good friend of mine. He borrowed my Takamine guitar to do some recording just before he passed away. He also recorded a demo of a song I wrote during that period. I'll always treasure it.

We all miss Tommy....

Mike Ralph- Memphis, TN

Mellow said...

Mike, thank you for sharing your memories with us. As I wrote, there will be an extended article on Tommy in the September issue of American Music Magazine. That might be interesting for you!

Melanie Shoffner said...

Hi. I have a student who is doing research on his ancestry and thinks he is related to Tommy Tucker by marriage. How did he die?