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About The Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band is an American rock band from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Noted for incorporating blues, country, and jazz into an eclectic sound, the Marshall Tucker Band helped establish the Southern rock genre in the early 1970s. While the band had reached the height of its commercial success by the end of the decade, it has recorded and performed continuously under various lineups for 45 years. Lead vocalist Doug Gray remains the only original member still active with the band.


The original lineup of the Marshall Tucker Band, formed in 1972, included lead guitarist, steel guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Toy Caldwell , lead vocalist Doug Gray , keyboard player, saxophone player, and flautist Jerry Eubanks , rhythm guitarist George McCorkle , drummer Paul Riddle , and bassist Tommy Caldwell . They signed with Capricorn Records and released their first album in 1973, The Marshall Tucker Band.


After Tommy Caldwell was killed in a car accident in 1980, he was replaced by bassist Franklin Wilkie. Most of the original band members had left by the mid-1980s to pursue other projects. The band's current lineup consists of Gray on vocals, keyboard player, saxophonist and flautist Marcus James Henderson, guitarists Chris Hicks and Rick Willis, bassist Tony Black and drummer B.B. Borden.


The "Marshall Tucker" in the band's name does not refer to a band member, but rather a blind piano tuner from Columbia, South Carolina. While the band was discussing possible band names one evening in an old warehouse they had rented for rehearsal space, someone noticed that the warehouse's door key had the name "Marshall Tucker" inscribed on it, and suggested they call themselves "The Marshall Tucker Band," not realizing it referred to an actual person. It later came to light that Marshall Tucker, the blind piano tuner, had tuned a piano in that rented space before the band, and his name was inscribed on the key. Music historian Joel Whitburn erroneously attributes "Marshall Tucker" to the owner of the band's rehearsal hall in his book, Top Pop Singles, 1955-2002.


The original members of the Marshall Tucker Band had been playing in various lineups under different band names around the Spartanburg area since the early 1960s. In 1966, members of several such bands merged to form the Toy Factory, named after guitarist Toy Caldwell. The Toy Factory's constantly shifting lineup included, at times, Caldwell, his younger brother Tommy, Doug Gray, Jerry Eubanks, George McCorkle, and Franklin Wilkie. In the late 1960s, four of the bandmembers served in the U.S. Armed Forces; Toy Caldwell was in the USMC, received Purple Heart after being wounded in Vietnam.


By the 1970s, Toy Caldwell and George McCorkle had returned to Spartanburg, and the Toy Factory had resumed playing in area clubs. In 1970 the Toy Factory was the opening act for the Allman Brothers when the Allmans played at the "Sitar" music lounge in Spartanburg.


In 1972, Caldwell and McCorkle once again revamped the band's lineup, eventually settling on Tommy Caldwell on bass, George McCorkle rhythm guitar, vocalist Doug Gray, and Jerry Eubanks, flute/tenor sax, while adding Paul Riddle on drums; the new lineup adopted the name "Marshall Tucker Band." Wet Willie lead singer Jimmy Hall told Toy Caldwell to book the band at Grant's Lounge in Macon which he did. After hearing the band play at Grant's, Buddy Thornton and Paul Hornsby recorded the band's demo at Capricorn Studios in Macon, Ga. Frank Fenter and Phil Walden signed the Marshall Tucker Band based on those demos.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Marshall Tucker Band", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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