The Marshall Tucker Band’s Doug Gray talks with Pollstar about the group’s 45-year anniversary. “We didn’t know where we were going. All we wanted to do was make that audience want more. And that’s what we’re still doing,” Gray said.
Formed in Spartanburg, S.C., in 1972 by musicians who had played together under the name Toy Factory during the ’60s, The Marshall Tucker Band took its name from a local piano tuner whose name was on the key to a rehearsal hall. The original lineup included brothers Tommy and Toy Caldwell along with Jerry Eubanks, George McCorkle, Paul Riddle and Doug Gray. Nearly half a century later and The Marshall Tucker Band continues its long ride by performing timeless classics like “Fire On The Mountain,” “Can’t You See” and “Heard It in a Love Song.” Gray has kept the band alive, not only through constant touring, but by digging deep into the vault for concert tapes recorded during some of the group’s epic shows.
Why do you think The Marshall Tucker Band has lasted so long?
It has to be the fans that like the music. The memories were created by the music that they first heard. Then they kind of forced it down their kids’ throats by listening in the car going back and forth to work. … It’s a continuous cycle that I’ve seen two or three different times. We’re not a real country band. We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band that can play some jazz, can play some heavier rock ‘n’ roll if we want it to. When Poison does one of your songs … when Kid Rock does one … Waylon Jennings charted better than we did with “Can’t You See.” Kitty Wells did one of our songs and changed the lyrics from “I’m the kinda man” to “I’m the kinda woman.” These things happened over the years and … people have a memory that goes with a live Marshall Tucker song in a concert.
Marshall Tucker Band is available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.