Doug Gray - vocals; Toy Caldwell - guitar, vocals; Tom Caldwell - bass; Jerry Eubanks - flute, sax, percussion; George McCorkle - guitar; Paul Riddle - drums
This recording captures the original line-up of The Marshall Tucker Band, four years after they hit pay-dirt with their debut LP, released in March, 1973. This self-titled album is still regarded as a southern rock classic today.
The group was formed in Spartansburg, South Carolina, in 1972, when their contemporaries, The Allman Brothers Band, were still very much a blues-rock band, and not yet revered as kings of southern rock. But with the advent of Capricorn Records in 1972, bands like Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, and Lynyrd Skynyrd walked through a wide-open door to chart success that label president Phil Walden unlocked with a very focused marketing campaign.
Of all the Southern Rock bands to emerge, Marshall Tucker was among the best and most successful. Spearheaded by vocalist Doug Gray and guitarist Toy Caldwell, the Marshall Tucker scored a number radio hits, among them "Take The Highway," "Fire On The Mountain," "Can't You See," and "Heard It In A Love Song," which reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Most of those hits are included in this 1977 performance that was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, while the band was promoting its sixth LP, Carolina Dreams.
It would be the last year the band would see any significant chart success and crossover acceptance, since "Heard It In A Love Song," was climbing the charts at this time. Although the band would continue to release an album or two every year through 1983, soon after this period, southern rock's popularity started to wane.
The group got its name when they rented a warehouse to rehearse in. Originally called Toy Factory (a reference to lead guitarist Toy Caldwell), the keys to the building had a tag that said "Marshall Tucker" on them. Turns out, Tucker was the previous renter, a blind piano tuner known to many in Spartansburg. They liked the name and adopted it, although no one in the band knew Tucker personally.
The Marshall Tucker Band's original line-up came to an end when bassist Tommy Caldwell died tragically in a jeep accident in 1980. Toy Caldwell, Paul Riddle and George McCorkle all left in 1983. Toy, a key member and chief songwriter in the band, would form his own group in 1988, then he too died tragically the following year from a heart attack in 1993. Lead guitarist McCorkle left to pursue a solo career; he passed away in 2007 from cancer.
The band continues to play in 2007, with lead singer Doug Gray the only original member still in the band. Marshall Tucker continues to tour and record, and released their latest album, The Next Adventure, in 2007.