HOT DISH: Tanya Tucker Is Moving to Malibu

After Selling Her Tennessee Home, She'll Be Neighbors With Leo and Sting

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by veteran columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also shares her recipes at

Tanya Tucker sold her estate near Nashville for a reported $15 million. And sort of like The Beverly Hillbillies — without the oil — she loaded up her stuff and she moved to … Malibu. Malibu, Calif.

Do these original lyrics of mine work?

“Listen to a story ’bout a girl named ’T’/Sold her belongings in Tennessee/Loaded up a truck with clothes and shoes/Moved to a place they call Malibu!”

The former wild child of country headed off to California with her two daughters, Presley and Layla. She sent her son, Grayson, to live with his dad, Ben Reed, the actor who has five other children, so I was told. Where will mama and the girls live? Not to worry, according to my sources. They’ve found shelter in Malibu in a house Tanya bought between homes owned by Leonardo DiCaprio and Sting.

I don’t think Tanya and company will have monkeys playing around their cement pond like Jed Clampett’s pretty daughter, Elly May, but I am betting Leo and Sting are going to see some hillbilly goings-on next door, especially when Tanya drives that big loaded truck into the driveway and starts to unload all of her stuff. Surely reality TV is along for this ride.

A Note From Sara Evans
I received a really nice thank-you note from Sara Evans for the Hot Dish column I wrote about her here at a few weeks back. Sara’s one of the good guys, and she’s doing a bang-up job raising her three children. So anything good that can be written about Sara should be written. God bless her for keeping the faith.

Jack Ingram’s Panties and Boots
I heard some news about one of my faves, Jack Ingram, through my friends at WFMS in Indianapolis. Apparently, Jack’s merchandising table at his concerts includes several items, including ladies’ panties featuring his autograph. He told my pals he was sending me a pair. Lord knows, unless he had them tailored by Nashville Tent and Awning, I won’t be wearing ’em!

Jack may have brand new ladies undies on sale, but his old boots need selling or resoling. Walking around Raleigh, N.C., his feet felt damp. Lo and behold, one look revealed not one but two holes in his two-year old boots. Some rich body in Texas needs to get that boy some boots or do some patching.

Martina Is Red Hot
It’s good to learn that Martina McBride is one of the top touring acts in country music so far this year. For many weeks, Martina was the 2007 top female touring act in any genre and is currently second only to Gwen Stefani. Says Martina, “We really went all out with this tour, and I’m excited about how it has been received.”

The success of Martina’s tour is certainly no surprise to me. For years, I’ve told parents, “Take your children to see Martina McBride perform. She is first and foremost a mom who travels with her husband and three daughters. Martina does not do anything tasteless or vulgar, and she sings great.”

Writers at newspapers and magazines are taking notice of Martina these days. One claims Martina is elbowing Chesney, McGraw, Urban and Reba for a spot at the top entertainer’s table.

Martina is red hot, but she’s still as down-home as ever. That’s what makes her so great.

More News From Nashville and Elsewhere
Brad Paisley set an attendance record at Jamboree in the Hills at St. Clairsville, Ohio, where 40,000 attended. New dates are being added to his Bonfires & Amplifiers tour, and the sellouts keep coming. Remember, I predicted two years ago Brad would be a superstar by August 2007. He is that.

“Never Wanted Nothing More” reached No. 1 faster than any single Kenny Chesney has ever released. Kenny says, “That thing hit the air and never looked back.”

Jason Aldean joined a mix of country and rock artists to help gaming giant Electronic Arts launch its new game, NASCAR 2008. At the party for the unveiling, Aldean was chosen to perform several of his hits, including “Hicktown” and “Johnny Cash.”

Baseball fan Jason Michael Carroll was in Los Angeles watching the Dodgers play when he was hit in the elbow by a powerful foul ball slammed by Jeff Kent. Ohhhhhh!

Garth Brooks is set to be at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 18 to perform at the Dream Concert featuring Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana, Queen Latifah and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. The concert will raise money for the completion of the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington, D.C. Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons and Tommy Hilfiger are organizing the event. Tickets are priced at $250-$1,000.

Good-hearted Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are donating all net proceeds from Friday’s (July 27) in Biloxi, Miss., to continue Hurricane Katrina relief efforts along the Gulf Coast. Faith, a native of Star, Miss., is aware of the continuing struggles in the area.

I see where Lynyrd Skynyrd will be raising funds for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Maybe some bighearted country stars would like to do a benefit for our Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I’m sure they could use some extra funds.

Dwight Yoakam is set to honor his hero, the late legendary Buck Owens, with his new CD, Dwight Sings Buck. That sounds like a great project to me. Fifteen songs will be on the CD that’s set for an Oct. 23 release on New West Records.

Speaking with Earl Scruggs, I was saddened to learn his last living sibling had passed away. Earl went home to Boiling Springs near Flint Hill, N.C., for the funeral of his brother, Horace Scruggs. Sympathy to Earl and his family.

Southern Fried Flicks
You won’t want to miss CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks on Aug. 12 featuring Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, a man almost as rich as Eddy Arnold! We had too much fun watching Jim Varney in Ernest Goes to Camp in between cheeseburger pie and other goodies made from my cookbook and Bill’s cookbook. I made cheese potatoes and homemade egg custard from Bill’s book, Award Winning Whispers From the Kitchen. Anderson’s list of songs he’s written for himself and for others is second to none.

And you will want to watch Southern Fried Flicks again on Aug. 26 when my special guests are the Whites. In view of the fact they were featured in the movie, O Brother, Where Are Thou, that flick is a great fit for the TV show. And it gave me the opportunity to surprise them with a couple of the recipes the late Patty White gave me for my cookbook. Patty is the mama of the girls and the wife of Buck White. I used the recipe for her dressing with turkey and the one for their Aunt Kathryn’s chocolate cake. It’s great fun having great friends in my kitchen

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Pecan Pie.