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Musician offers peek inside song selected for Showtime

June 28, 2019
In this Jan. 27, 2014, musician Tim Tucker, who wrote and performed "Go Easy On Me," a song that aired on Showtime's "City on a Hill," poses at his home studio in Decatur, Ala. (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily via AP)

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — For months, Tim Tucker sidled up to the piano and repeatedly played the first line of what would become a stirring duet. Over and over again the notes of the melody flowed off of his fingers as he sang, “Stormy weekends, they get me down, ain’t nothing left for me in this town, come on baby, go easy on me.”

“I had the first line and the whole idea of ‘Go Easy on Me’ for a while, but I couldn’t ever finish it. I would play it on the piano over and over again. Finally, it just all came out,” the Decatur singer-songwriter said.

Last Sunday, the song Tucker worked a year and a half on sounded through hundreds of thousands of homes across the country as part of the second episode of Showtime’s “City on a Hill.” The series premiere of the 1990s Boston crime drama starring Kevin Bacon and executively produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon was watched by more than 1.38 million viewers.

“I had no idea when it was coming. I just had to sit there and watch. About 10 1/2 minutes into the show, it cut from a street scene to a guy in a room trying to hide stolen money and I heard the first notes of the song’s bridge. I knew it was that immediately. They played almost a minute of it,” said Tucker, who watched the episode from his Northeast Decatur home. ...

Guided by his father, a music minister, and his mother, a pianist, Tucker’s musical journey started early in life. As a child, he balanced little league baseball practice with piano lessons. At 16, he received his first guitar, a present from his grandfather. In his 20s and 30s, Tucker performed gigs with The Whitey Herzogs, Tim Tucker and The Uh Huhs and the Cheesebrokers across the Southeast, including local hot spots, The Brick and Cafe 113.

Now, at 48, Tucker’s soul-stirring lyrics and melodies are catching the attention of music industry executives through agencies that pitch songs for film, TV and commercial placements. Tucker started submitting his songs to the agencies six years ago.

“There have been probably 15 to 20 times one of my songs has been placed on hold. To get placed on hold is a big thing in itself. That means you are down to the final three or four songs,” Tucker said. “One of the guys I deal with is very encouraging. He keeps telling me, ‘Your songs are good enough, just hang on.’ It’s pretty cool when you hear that. It gives you the encouragement to keep going.”

“Go Easy on Me” represents the first selection of one of Tucker’s songs. Written as a duet, Tucker initially performed the song with Tasha Jones. The song included on “City on a Hill” featured Tucker and Atlanta musician and former Decatur resident Michelle Malone.

“Michelle heard me play it at a gig and said we should play it. The first time we played it was at Eddie’s Attic. The place went bananas,” Tucker said. “I’m not sure what it is about the song people like so much. Maybe it’s the marriage of the way the music sounds and the lyrics. For me, there are a couple of lines in there I really like and a couple I wish I could change. But that’s just a normal songwriter for you.”

Along with Malone on vocals and Tucker on acoustic and electric piano, guitars and organ, the song featured Phil Skipper on bass and Sigurdur Birkis on drums.

“This ranks up there as one of the highlights so far,” said Tucker. “You’re sitting there watching the TV in your living room and it’s difficult to imagine how many people are hearing that song. But once that sinks in, it is pretty amazing.”

Tucker currently has three other songs placed on hold.

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Information from: The Decatur Daily, http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml

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