local music scene south carolina
The Marshall Tucker Band
Georgia has The Allman Brothers Band, North Carolina has The Charlie Daniels band, and South Carolina has The Marshall Tucker Band. There is a great feeling of pride and assurance when I make that statement, it gives me a sense of an even playing field if you know what I mean. I cut my teeth as a musician growing up in South Carolina listening to and performing Marshall Tucker songs, especially “Can’t You See” which for all intents and purposes is a staple song in just about any decent southern cover bands song list as well it should be. I have always been and will always be proud of The Marshall Tucker Band and what they represent to our state, what they say about us in their music, how they have lived their lives before the rest of the music world never pretending to be anything less than true southern gentlemen.
The Marshall Tucker Band got its start in Spartanburg, SC when Doug Gray teamed up with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks, borrowing the name "Marshall Tucker" from a piano tuner whose name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space. In 1972, they signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and others to national fame. The Marshall Tucker Band opened shows for The Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album. They toured constantly playing sheds, stadiums, theaters, fairs, and festivals.
In years to come, The Marshall Tucker Band would wow critics and influence major country acts like Alabama, The Kentucky Headhunters, Confederate Railroad, and Travis Tritt with its definitive blend of rock, rhythm & blues, jazz, country, and gospel. Now, thanks to the expanding scope of today's music, a new generation of fans is learning what the rest of their fans have known for so long- that good music knows no boundaries. Along the way, the band has recorded twenty two studio albums, three DVDs, three live albums and many compilations.
In 1980 Tommy Caldwell died as a result of injuries from an auto accident. In 1984 Toy Caldwell, George McCorkle, and Paul Riddle decided to retire. Doug Gray and Jerry Eubanks with the blessings of the other three continued to record and perform as the Marshall Tucker Band. 1n 1993 Toy Caldwell, who wrote the majority of their songs, passed away, as did George McCorkle in 2007. Jerry Eubanks retired in 1996 and Doug Gray continues to lead the current band of fine musicians winning new young fans as well as satisfying the loyal fans of several generations.
Years of rigorous tour schedules earned the band the respect of critics and countless dedicated fans. With hit singles like "Heard It In a Love Song", "Fire On The Mountain", "Can't You See", and "Take The Highway", The Marshall Tucker Band earned seven gold and three platinum albums while they were on the Capricorn Records label. During the 90's, The Marshall Tucker Band scored four hit singles on Billboard's country chart and one on Billboard's gospel chart. Their music has also been featured on the soundtracks of movies such as Smokey and the Bandit, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, Shipwrecked, Crank 2, Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Stop Loss, Swing Vote, Taking Chance and many others as well as many TV Shows.
“The buying public never really cared whether we were country or rock and roll" says Gray. "They called us a Southern rock band, but we have always played everything from country, jazz, blues, Rock & Roll and all things in-between. As we've become older, our Southern heritage seems to come out even more. But no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off." Gray also notes that people have gotten "married and buried" to classic Marshall Tucker Band songs like "Desert Skies" and "Can't You See". After 41 years, The Marshall Tucker Band continues to be played on classic rock and country radio, and they have never stopped touring.
Today the band records on its own RAMBLIN’ RECORDS label which is distributed by SONY by way of a joint venture with SHOUT! FACTORY and continues to record new material and continues to regularly tour the country to the delight of their fans, old and new. Still led by founding member and lead singer Doug Gray, they represent a time and place in music that will never be duplicated. Gray is quick to credit the band's current dynamic members with carrying on the timeless essence of the Marshall Tucker Band sound. Current members include slide guitarist Stuart Swanlund who joined the band in 1989, the highly respected drummer B.B. Borden, a former member of both Mother's Finest and The Outlaws, multi instrumentalist Marcus Henderson of Macon, Georgia, plays flute, saxophone and keyboards in addition to lead and background vocals, Pat Elwood on bass guitar, and Rick Willis on lead guitar and vocals, both of Spartanburg SC, are disciples of the Caldwell Brothers. Together they present a powerful stage presence as they continue to tour the country and continue to be powerful force in the world of music.
Doug Gray – Lead Vocals
Pat Elwood– Bass
Rick Willis– Guitar, Vocals
B.B. Borden – Drums
Marcus James Henderson – Keyboards, Saxophone, Flute, Vocals
Chris Hicks - Guitar, Vocals