Gabriola country music veteran Gary Fjellgaard remembers Tanya Tucker’s mother would sneak onto the wings to hear him yodel when he toured with Tucker in the early ’90s.
He said the touring schedule was “pretty frantic” because of all the sound checks and the band having to set up equipment. The last place the two played together was at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.
“It was kind of neat. She’s pretty awesome,” said Fjellgaard about the experience touring with Tucker.
Fjellgaard said Tucker is “very talented” and has produced some wonderful songs over the years, including her debut single Delta Dawn, which she recorded at just 13 years old. The single garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and launched Tucker into the spotlight. In 1972, she won Top New Female Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music.
She continued to create hits, with songs such as Can I See You Tonight, Two Sparrows in a Hurricane and It’s a Little Too Late. Her album T.N.T., released in 1978 became a gold certified album and peaked at number two on the album charts, according to Tucker’s website.
Fjellgaard gets to reminisce with Tucker during her Nanaimo show at the Port Theatre Friday (March 24) at 7:30 p.m. He’ll open the show with a 30-40 minute set.
With more than 45 years in the music industry, Fjellgaard’s accolades are vast. In 2004 he was inducted into the B.C. Music Hall of Fame and in 1990 and 1992 he was named Entertainer of the Year by the B.C. Country Music Association. He’s won numerous B.C. Country Music Association awards over the years in the Album of the Year, Composer of the Year and Song of the Year categories.
His fascination with playing the guitar started when his mother ordered a guitar for his brother. Fjellgaard said his brother didn’t show much interest in the instrument, but he did.
“It had a picture of the Lone Ranger on it,” said Fjellgaard, adding it was like a slide guitar, but at the time he didn’t know how to use it properly. “I ended up using a kitchen knife on it, sliding it up and down the strings.”
He eventually wore out the guitar, but by that time his love for the instrument was cemented for life. Fjellgaard was fascinated with the instrument and remembers listening to radio shows to hear musicians.
Tickets to the show, presented by GeeDan Productions, are $65 available by calling 250-754-8550 or visiting www.porttheatre.com.