The Marshall Tucker Band

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The Marshall Tucker Band
Marshall Tucker Band on July 4, 2006
Background information
Origin Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA
Genres Southern rock, country rock, roots rock
Years active 1972–present
Labels Capricorn, Warner Bros., Mercury, Cabin Fever, Ramblin'
Associated acts Charlie Daniels, Allman Brothers' Band, Eric Quincy Tate, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Members Doug Gray
Marcus James Henderson
Chris Hicks
Rick Willis
Pat Ellwood
B.B. Borden
Past members Jerry Eubanks
Toy Caldwell
George McCorkle
Paul Riddle
Tommy Caldwell
Franklin Wilkie
Stuart Swanlund
Rusty Milner
Tim Lawter
Ronnie Godfrey
Bobby Ogdin
Bob Wray
James Stroud
Tom Robb
Ace Allen
Don Cameron
Frank Toler
Mark Pettey
Ronald Radford
Paul Thompson
Garry Guzzardo
David Muse
Chris Hicks
Clay Cook
Tony Heatherly

The Marshall Tucker Band is an American Southern rock/country rock band originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina. The band's blend of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, country, and gospel[1] helped establish the Southern rock genre in the early 1970s.[2] While the band had reached the height of its commercial success by the end of the decade, the band has recorded and performed continuously under various lineups for nearly 40 years.[2]

The original lineup of the Marshall Tucker Band, formed in 1972, included lead guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Toy Caldwell (1947–1993), lead vocalist Doug Gray (born 1948), keyboard player, saxophone player, and flautist Jerry Eubanks (born 1950), rhythm guitarist George McCorkle (1946–2007), drummer Paul Riddle (born 1953), and bassist Tommy Caldwell (1949–1980). They signed with Capricorn Records and in 1973 released their first LP, The Marshall Tucker Band.

After Tommy Caldwell was killed in an automobile 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.[3] The band's current lineup consists of Gray on vocals, keyboard player and flautist Marcus James Henderson, guitarist Rick Willis, bassist Pat Elwood, and drummer B.B. Borden.[4]

Origin of the name

The "Marshall Tucker" in the band's name does not refer to a band member, but rather a Spartanburg-area piano tuner.[5] 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 "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 rented the space before the band, and his name was inscribed on the key.[1] In his book, Top Pop Singles, 1955-2002, music historian Joel Whitburn attributes "Marshall Tucker" to the owner of the band's rehearsal hall.[6]


Early history

The original members (and some later 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;[7][8][9] Toy Caldwell was wounded in Vietnam.[10]

By the 1970s, Toy Caldwell and George McCorkle had returned to Spartanburg, and the Toy Factory had resumed playing in area clubs.[11] In fact, 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, 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.


The Marshall Tucker Band's self-titled debut, produced by Paul Hornsby, was released in 1973, and certified gold in 1975.[12] All of the tracks were written by Toy Caldwell, including "Can't You See", which was released in 1973 on Capricorn 0023 ("Bubbled Under" at No. 108 on 1 September 1973) and re-released in 1977 on Capricorn 0278 (peaked at No. 75 on 24 September 1977). After the album's release, the band began touring, playing upwards of 300 shows per year throughout the decade.[12] Southern rock fiddler Charlie Daniels later recalled that the Marshall Tucker Band "came onstage and just blew it out from start to finish."[13]

Daniels' first of many collaborations with the Marshall Tucker Band came on the band's second album, A New Life,[13] which was released in 1974, and certified gold in 1977.[12] Daniels and blues guitarist Elvin Bishop were among several musicians that joined the band for Where We All Belong,[13] a double-album (one studio album and one live album) released by the band in 1974 and certified gold that same year. The following year the band's Searchin' for a Rainbow was also certified gold the year of its release, and contained the track "Fire on the Mountain," which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard charts. Long Hard Ride, the band's fifth consecutive gold album, was released in 1976,[13] and its instrumental title track (which again features Charlie Daniels on fiddle) was nominated for a Grammy.[14] Carolina Dreams, released in 1977 and certified platinum that same year, proved to be the band's most commercially successful album, and included the track "Heard It in a Love Song," which reached No. 14 on the Billboard charts.[12] The band's final Capricorn release came with 1978's Together Forever, which was produced by Stewart Levine.[13] Following the bankruptcy of Capricorn, The Marshall Tucker Band moved to Warner Bros. Records for their ninth album, Running Like the Wind (the band's eighth release was a compilation album entitled Greatest Hits), and they retained Levine as the album's producer.


Following the completion of the band's tenth album, entitled Tenth, tragedy struck The Marshall Tucker Band. On April 22, 1980, the band's bassist and co-founder, Tommy Caldwell, suffered massive head trauma in a car wreck, and died six days later. Former Toy Factory bassist Franklin Wilkie replaced Caldwell, but the band was never able to recapture its commercial success of the 1970s. On 1982's Tuckerized, only two songs were written by band members; 'Sea, Dreams & Fairy Tales' by Toy Caldwell and 'Sweet Elaine' by George McCorkle. Main songwriter Toy Caldwell only contributed three songs to each of the two albums released in 1983; Just Us and Greetings from South Carolina. After 1983's Greetings from South Carolina, all the rest of the original band members split, sans Doug Gray and Jerry Eubanks.[2]

In 1988 Gray and Eubanks recorded the album Still Holdin' On, their one and only release on the Mercury Records label. Although Gray and Eubanks added new members Rusty Milner, Stuart Swanlund, and Tim Lawter, Still Holdin' On was primarily recorded with studio musicians. The newer members (including newly added keyboardist Don Cameron) had a much greater role, however, on the band's 1990 album, Southern Spirit, released on the Sisaspa label. The album marked a return to the band's country and blues roots.[15]


In 1992, the Marshall Tucker Band produced its first album for the Cabin Fever label, Still Smokin', which managed to crack the top 70 on the Billboard charts. The band's 1993 release, Walk Outside the Lines, marked a transition to a more country sound, relying less on long improvised jams that were the trademark of the band's early career.[16] The album's title track was co-written by country music star Garth Brooks, a long-time fan of the band who considered writing a track for them a "milestone" in his career.[12]

For 1998's Face Down In the Blues, the band added Spartanburg-area guitarist Ronald Radford and Firefall's multi-instrumentalist David Muse, the latter replacing Jerry Eubanks, who had retired in 1996.[13] Gospel, the band's 1999 album, featured the band's rendition of traditional songs such as The Wayfaring Stranger and Will the Circle Be Unbroken, and several original tracks.

Recent history

The Marshall Tucker Band continued recording and performing into the 21st century, playing between 150 and 200 shows per year.[1] The band reissued many of its albums from the 1970s on its new Ramblin' Records label, as well as two two-disc compilations, the first (Anthology) being a 30-year retrospective and the second (Where a Country Boy Belongs) being a collection of the band's country songs. In 2004, they released another studio album, Beyond the Horizon, and the following year released a Christmas album, Carolina Christmas.

Can't You See was used for the opening and closing credits of the Kevin Costner 2008 motion picture Swing Vote. Take the Highway was also used in the movie.

"Can't You See" is also used in the 2001 film Blow. Blow is a 2001 American biopic about the American cocaine smuggler George Jung, directed by Ted Demme. David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes adapted Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All.

The band was mentioned in the Florida Georgia Line song "Cruise", which peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100, and spawned a remix featuring rapper Nelly which peaked at #6 on the Hot 100. "Cruise" was certified 6x-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, becoming the second-highest selling song in country music history, behind Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now".


Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions RIAA Label
US US Country CAN
1973 The Marshall Tucker Band 29 Gold Capricorn
1974 A New Life 37 35 Gold
Where We All Belong 54 91 Gold
1975 Searchin' for a Rainbow 15 21 Gold
1976 Long Hard Ride 32 21 64
1977 Carolina Dreams 23 22 7 Platinum
1978 Together Forever 22 26 24 Gold
1979 Running Like the Wind 30 Warner Bros.
1980 Tenth 32
1981 Dedicated 53
1982 Tuckerized 95
1983 Just Us 204
Greetings from South Carolina 202
1988 Still Holdin' On Mercury
1990 Southern Spirit Capitol
1992 Still Smokin' Cabin Fever
1993 Walk Outside the Lines
1998 Face Down in the Blues K-Tel
1999 Gospel
2003 Stompin' Room Only Shout! Factory
2004 Beyond the Horizon
2005 Carolina Christmas
2006 Live on Long Island 04-18-80
2007 The Next Adventure
2008 Carolina Dreams Tour '77
2010 Way Out West! Live From San Francisco 1973
2011 The Marshall Tucker Band's Doug Gray: Soul of the South
2013 Live! From Spartanburg, South Carolina

Compilation albums

Year Album Chart positions RIAA Label
US US Country CAN
1978 Greatest Hits 67 19 68 Platinum Capricorn
1994 The Capricorn Years Era
1996 Country Tucker K-Tel
1997 The Encore Collection BMG
MT Blues K-Tel
2005 Anthology Shout! Factory
2006 Where a Country Boy Belongs
2008 Collector's Edition Madacy
2009 Love Songs Shout! Factory
Essential 3.0
2011 Greatest Hits Ramblin'


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US Country US Rock CAN CAN Country CAN AC
1973 "Can't You See" 108 The Marshall Tucker Band
"Take The Highway"
1974 "Another Cruel Love" A New Life
1975 "This Ol' Cowboy" 78 Where We All Belong
"Fire on the Mountain" 38 81 Searchin' for a Rainbow
1976 "Searchin' for a Rainbow" 104 82
"Long Hard Ride" 63 Long Hard Ride
1977 "Heard It in a Love Song" 14 51 5 38 24 Carolina Dreams
"Can't You See (Live Version)" 75 57 39 Greatest Hits
1978 "Dream Lover" 75 80 Together Forever
"I'll Be Loving You"
1979 "Last of the Singing Cowboys" 42 97 Running Like the Wind
"Running Like the Wind"
1980 "It Takes Time" 79 Tenth
"Without You"
1981 "This Time I Believe" 106 Dedicated
"Silverado" 60
"Tell the Blues to Take Off the Night"
"Love Some"
1982 "Mr. President" Tuckerized
"Reachin' for a Little Bit More"
1983 "A Place I've Never Been" 62 Just Us
1987 "Hangin' Out in Smokey Places" 44 Still Holdin' On
1988 "Once You Get the Feel of It" 79
"Still Holdin' On"
1992 "Driving You Out of My Mind" 68 Still Smokin'
1993 "Walk Outside the Lines" 71 Walk Outside the Lines
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Video Director
1981 "Even a Fool Would Let Go"
1992 "Driving You Out of My Mind" George Bloom[17]
1993 "Walk Outside the Lines" D. Gray, J. Gerik
"Down We Go" D. Gray, J. Gerik, K. Mandel[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Marshall Tucker Band – Biography. 2009. Retrieved: 9 June 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Colin Larkin (ed.), "Marshall Tucker Band." The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Vol. 5, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 521–522.
  3. Ted Olson, "Marshall Tucker Band." The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 325–326.
  4. The Marshall Tucker Band – Current and former members page. 2009. Retrieved: 9 June 2009.
  5. Herring, Melissa (February 15, 1983). "Blind piano tuner turns talent into a key business". Associated Press. Retrieved 2016-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "GEORGE MCCORKLE". Retrieved 3 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Ryan (May 4, 2011). "Marshall Tucker Band to Entertain Troops in Iraq & Kuwait". Retrieved 3 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Dudley Brown (Jun 29, 2003). "Marines salute Hutchings, Caldwells". =Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved 3 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Toy Caldwell Jr., 45, a Founder of the Marshall Tucker Band". The New York Times. February 26, 1993. Retrieved 3 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Michael B. Smith, Toy Caldwell's Carolina Dreams. Retrieved: 9 June 2009.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 James Elliott, "Marshall Tucker Band." Definitive Country: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and its Performers (New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1995), pp. 504-505.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Barry Alfonso, Notes to The Marshall Tucker Band: Anthology [CD liner notes]. Ramblin' Records, 2005.
  14. Amy Cortner, "Marshall Tucker Band." Encyclopedia of Appalachia (Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 2006). p. 1186.
  15., Still Holdin' On Review. 2002–2008. Retrieved: 9 June 2009.
  16. Craig Cumberland, Walk Outside the Lines Review. Retrieved: 9 June 2009.
  17. "CMT : Videos : The Marshall Tucker Band : Driving You Out of My Mind". Retrieved 2011-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "CMT : Videos : The Marshall Tucker Band : Down We Go". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2011-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links