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At one point, we were about as poor as a family could get, living in a beat-up trailer and eating government cheese," recalls Tanya Tucker of her childhood in the opening pages of her new star-studded book, 100 Ways to Beat the Blues. "One morning Daddy cranked up his old Ford truck and went out to look for work," she continues, "while I stayed home from school to take care of Mama," who was sick. Tanya's family had fallen $150 behind on their rent and, shortly after her dad left that morning, there was a knock on the door and two men in suits stormed into the living room and started yelling at Tanya's mother about the rent. "I yelled and cried," declares Tanya, "but those men dragged Mama outside, sat her down on the curb, and padlocked the doors to that beat-up trailer." Tanya and her mother waited outside for two hours before her dad arrived home with an advance on his new job-enough to rent his family a furnished room. "For two hours I had been as lowdown as I have ever been in my life," explains Tanya. "I will always remember that feeling." The lesson? "If you've got the blues," declares Tanya at the end of the story, "look back over your life. Think about other hard times and how you overcame them. Then give yourself a pat on the back." That powerful story from her own life is just one of many in Tanya's book on how she and her friends-some famous and some not-deal with the blues in their own lives. And what a bunch of friends she has! From President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, to Garth Brooks, and from Loretta Lynn to Big & Rich, plus Blake Shelton, Gretchen Wilson and more, they all deal with the blues in one way or another. Gretchen Wilson has been on the road a lot in recent months, and being away from her young daughter takes an emotional toll on her. So she thinks about hugs. "I just keep reminding myself," she explains, "that in a few days, I'll be with her on the couch, cuddled up, and her hugs and tickles will make me forget I ever even had the blues!" For Gretchen's buddies John Rich and Big Kenny of Big & Rich, dealing with the blues isn't complicated. For John, curing the blues usually involves an extremely loud honky-tonk, a well-stocked bar and a lot of pretty girls. "If that doesn't work," he writes, "I listen to Frank Sinatra and drink expensive bottles of red wine."
- David Scarlett
To read more of how stars beat the blues from Tanya Tucker's new book , pick up the new Country Weekly on newsstands now!