DOWNLOAD THE SONGSHEET
Tracy Nelson, who sang backup on Harvey's recording, performed "Delta Dawn" in her live act. After hearing her sing the song at the Bottom Line in New York City, Bette Midler added the song to her repertoire. Nashville-based producer Billy Sherrill heard Midler sing "Delta Dawn" on The Tonight Show and wanted to sign her to Epic Records and have her record the song. Finding out that Midler was already signed to Atlantic Records, Sherrill cut the song with Tanya Tucker who was newly signed to Epic, and Tucker's version was released in April 1972 to reach number 6 C&W that spring.In the meantime Bette Midler had recorded "Delta Dawn" for her The Divine Miss M debut album from which her bluesy version was planned as the lead single. The June 1973 single release of Reddy's version was two days before Midler's, necessitating the amendment of the latter's single so that the original B-side "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" was shopped to radio, becoming a Top Ten hit. "Delta Dawn" was also a 1972 top ten country hit for Tanya Tucker and a 1973 number one hit for Helen Reddy.