Billboard #1 Hits: #304: “Delta Dawn”- Helen Reddy. September 15, 1973. #1 for 1 week in Billboard Hot 100.
- Single: “Delta Dawn”- Helen Reddy
- Record Company- Capitol
- Genre: Pop
- Written by Larry Collins and Alex Harvey
- B-side:” If We Could Still Be Friends”
- Album- Long Hard Climb
- Grade: B
- Peaked at #1 1 week in Billboard Hot 100. #1 in Australia and Canada.
“Delta Dawn” was first a top 10 hit for Tanya Tucker on the country singles chart a year earlier in 1972 but it had also been earlier recorded by Bette Midler as an album cut. “Delta Dawn” was the first of six singles in a row that Helen Reddy took to the top of the adult contemporary singles chart.
“Delta Dawn” was co-written by a rockabilly star named Larry Collins- it was about his mother who died of suicide when Collins was a teenager growing up in Tennessee. Collins and co-writer Alex Harvey wrote it together in twenty minutes and Harvey released it in 1971. Back to Bette Midler he single came out a few days after Helen Reddy’s and Reddy’s version had already gotten traction- so Midler’s version went nowhere. It was Helen Reddy’s second #1- her first was “I Am Woman” in 1972.