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  • May 09 2016 Great New Article from the Tahoe Onstage

    Doug Gray, Marshall Tucker Band’s long, hard ride of triumph and tragedy

    By Tim Parsons for Tahoe Onstage

    Doug Gray is not just a quintessential ramblin’ man. He is the Ramblin’ Man.

    Some childhood friends started what was to become the Marshall Tucker Band before they went off to serve in the Vietnam War, and during its heyday the group played more than 300 concerts annually. It experienced revolutionary success and horrific tragedy. At age 68, Gray, the lead singer, is the only original member remaining on the long, hard ride, which these days has about 172 travel days a year.

    Doug Gray

    Doug Gray was all smiles, stories and songs during a May 7 performance at the MontBleu Theatre at Stateline, Nevada.
    Tahoe Onstage photos by Conrad Buedel

    Gray’s been onstage thousands of times, so it certainly it would be naïve to ask him about a particular show from 40 years ago. However, a person who attended a particular concert remembers it vividly because it was the first time he was truly moved by live music. So he took a chance and asked Gray about a summertime show at the Santa Barbara County Bowl in 1978.

    “Little Feat opened that one, right?” Gray said. “Yes. I remember. They had a sound-level ordinance because of the houses on the hill. The way I remember that stuff is because I am talking to somebody who it mattered to. I can pretty much pull it back in my mind.”

    The Ramblin’ Man said he is moved when fans share their Marshall Tucker memories with him, and he can recall them from his smoky past. Doubtless, that’s a reason he keeps the band active. Moreover, the music he continues to sing makes the former members immortal. So do the stories he tells.

    “We mostly all grew up together,” Gray said. “We competed in bands when we were in junior high school. We were mainly pop-oriented then.

    ... read more







 RELIX Magazine logo

For a band classified by many as Southern rock, The Marshall Tucker Band never seemed satisfied with just rocking.  From their beginnings in the early '70s, their sound took plenty of changes musically -- swinging, grooving, jamming and going country -- and always stretched the boundaries.  Always a confident live act, MTB brought their A game to their South Carolina Music Hall of Fame Concert, recorded at Spartanburg S.C.'s Memorial Auditorium on Sept. 19, 1995.  Stellar sound quality enhances every detail, from the excitement of the crowd to lead singer Doug Gray's spirited drawl to multi-instrumentalist Jerry Eubanks' talented turns on flute, sax and Hammond organ.  MTB keep the energy high high from the start to finish with highlights aplenty, drafting fellow legends Charlie Daniels (dig his fiery fiddle work on "Long Hard Ride") and Allman Brothers stickmen Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, who join in with Daniels on the moving tribute to deceased guitarist / songwriter Toy Caldwell, "Searchin' for a Rainbow."

 -James Haag





One of the major Southern rock bands of the '70s, the Marshall Tucker Band was formed in Spartanburg, SC, in 1971 by singer Doug Gray, guitarist Toy Caldwell (born 1948, died February 25, 1993), his brother bassist Tommy Caldwell (born 1950, died April 28, 1980), guitarist George McCorkle (born 1947, died June 29th, 2007), drummer Paul Riddle, and reed player Jerry Eubanks. The group's style combined rock, country, and jazz and featured extended instrumental passages on which lead guitarist Toy Caldwell shone. The band was signed to Capricorn Records and released their debut album, The Marshall Tucker Band, in March 1973. They gained recognition through a tour with the Allman Brothers Band and found significant success during the course of the '70s, with most of their albums going gold. Their peak came with the million-selling album Carolina Dreams and its Top 15 single "Heard It in a Love Song" in 1977. Since then, the group has continued to write, record, and tour, and entertain fans from around the world. Friend them on Facebook!

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