Norma Cecilia Tanega (born January 30, 1939, Vallejo, California) is an American folk/pop singer/songwriter. She was a camp counselor in the Catskills when she signed to New Voice Records in 1966. Her debut single, "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog", reached #22 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, but she never came close to charting there again. In Canada it reached #3 in the RPM Magazine charts and in the United Kingdom it peaked at #22 on the UK Singles Chart.
Not overtly comedic, the title lyric ensured success as a novelty song, which was quickly forgotten as a one-hit wonder, but Tanega continued recording folk and folk pop material, including an album for RCA Records after moving to the United Kingdom in the 1970s. When she returned to the U.S., she got her Master of Fine Arts in painting and began teaching art in Claremont, California. She also began working with ceramic percussion instruments, and recorded with Brian and Amanda Ransom. She was also a member of world music ensemble Hybrid Vigor.
During the late 1960s Tanega had a romantic relationship with singer Dusty Springfield. Tanega wrote lyrics to a number of songs Springfield recorded during this period: "No Stranger Am I", "Earthbound Gypsy", "Midnight Sounds", "The Colour of Your Eyes", "Morning (Bom Dia)" and "Go My Love". They remained friends until Springfield's death in 1999. She co-wrote "Dusty Springfield" with Blossom Dearie.
In 2014, Tanega's song 'You're Dead' was used in the opening credits of the New Zealand film What We Do In The Shadows.
In 2015, They Might Be Giants covered "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" for their children's album Why?.
- Norma Tanega at Allmusic.com
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 549. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Connolly, Ray (2014-06-21). "How Dusty Springfield told me the sex secret that could have ruined her". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2015-03-06.