Music that transcends generations: Tanya Tucker’s ‘What’s Your Mama’s Name’


Tanya Tucker was an American country music singer and songwriter with a successful career. She earned the spotlight with her hit song,

“Delta Dawn,” at a very young age. The country music star became one of the child singers who never lost their fans even after becoming an adult.

Her songs had gone through generations and were still close to the heart of all the listeners. Recently, one of her 1973 hit songs, “What’s Your Mama’s Name?” garnered much attention. This was because of Tucker’s beautiful voice, excellent storyline, and song’s meaning.

The song “What’s Your Mama’s Name” was written by Dallas Frazier and Earl Montgomery and sung by the talented Tanya Tucker. She had a melodious voice, and the way she used the vocal vibrato made the whole song unique.

Tucker was a prodigy with a lovely voice and charm of her own. “What’s Your Mama’s Name?” was her fourth hit single on the country music chart and was the first song that had topped the charts for an entire week.

The song was written as a flashback about a man named Buford Wilson. The song’s first few lines took the listeners 30 years to the past. Then, it talked about a young man who traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, searching for a woman with whom he shared a close relationship in New Orleans.

The man then spent several years asking people about this woman, but the poor fellow always got ignored. Finally, unable to find his loved one, the man turned into a drunkard. Then, one day, he encountered a beautiful green-eyed girl and asked her about her mom’s name. The song stated, “What’s your mama’s name, child? What’s your mama’s name? Does she ever talk about a place called New Orleans? Has she ever mentioned a man named Buford Wilson?”

Poor Wilson got arrested as he offered treats to the girl and asked if she would tell her mom’s name. The song’s final stanza describes Wilson as a homeless man in a ragged coat. The county people found a letter inside his coat pocket, which had a “Faded letter.” It stated, “You have a daughter, and her eyes are Wilson green,” which shows the man was just trying to find his lost daughter and reconnect with his lover. It was an incredible song with an emotional story that the listeners loved.

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