MTB Radio Player

Jerry Eubanks: Livin' Life in a Song!

Livin' Life in a Song!

Questions & Answers from the Sax Man!

By Craig Cumberland

Photos by Craig Cumberland


Jerry was a founding member of MTB and played flute, sax and keyboards in the band for 25 years before retiring in 1995.


"I wandered this whole world over

Searchin' for a four leaf clover

Til I finally found

That the music had made me free"

Disillusion, 1980


Jerry Eubanks




Q: Tell us the story of how you originally became involved in the band?

A: I had known Toy, Tommy, & Doug for quite some time. The way I remember it, I was trying to recruit Toy for an R&B band I was playing with and he had a better idea....


"Yes a man who writes for a living

Has the spark of the highway in his soul

The fever is sweet, it's tuggin' at his feet

It's tellin' him he's just got to go

Blood Red Eagle, 1983


A: I'd love to take the credit, but I honestly don't remember if any one person had the idea originally.


"No one really knows why,

No one takes the blame"

Tan Yard Road, 1992


Jerry with MTB, 1986


We tried all kinds of ideas with MTB.....heck, I think we would've used bagpipes if anyone could've played 'em. Here's a few that I remember.... Mini-Moog, mandolin, harmonica, fiddle (that's an easy one, but which players played on what songs?), banjo, bullwhip, vibes, alto flute, tuned soda pop bottles, back of a guitar played like congas, guitar thru a Leslie speaker, I'm sure there's more.....these are just a few that come to mind.


Q: Tell us about some of your favorite MTB songs and why they are special to you.

A: A short and perhaps flip answer to a serious question: I liked them all.....each for a different reason. I particularly enjoy the "Running Like The Wind" and "Together Forever" albums.


"Listening to a faint sound

Gazing out the window

I see Winds blowing clouds

Wish they were taking me

A lonesome song on the radio

Reminds me of where I'd like to be"

Everybody Needs Somebody, 1978


Q: Who were your musical influences?

A: King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, many old jazz and R&B artists. For a little more in depth answer check out my website!


"What makes two people together from the start

In love with the life of their own?

Choose to live their lives in the songs that they sing

And always bein' alone

Livin' their life in a song"

Life in a Song, 1977


Q: What was the best of times for you in the band and why?

A: Jeez, Craig, you ask difficult questions. I guess I enjoyed the very early days the best. We were all so young and the music was so all encompassing then. It was very exciting even if we didn't know what we were doing.


"Just outside of town there's an old dirt road

It's full of trash and old memories of stories left untold

Where legends say ghosts walk at night

By the light of the cold dark moon

And sprits cry out in the night

For loved ones who died too soon"

Tan Yard Road, 1992


Q: Did you ever imagine the band would get as big as it did?

A: I imagined that it might. There was a lot of talent there, but it took a lot of lucky breaks for it to happen.


"You know this life of rock and roll

Can be a devil with two heads

Do you sell your soul for the smell of gold

Or live for the music instead?"

Disillusion, 1980


Q: What are you involved with now since retiring from MTB?

A: I've been spending a lot of needed time with my family. Twenty-five years doing ANYTHING is a long time, but that amount of time on the road can seem like an eternity. Between Little League baseball, volunteering at school, and raising a house full of kids, my days have been pleasantly filled since leaving MTB. I'm still semi-active in music, and looking forward to playing professionally again one day....I'm just not sure when or in what capacity.


"But one day he tires of the movin'

He's thinkin he'd like to settle down"

Blood Red Eagle, 1983


Q: Why did you decide to retire from the band?

A: See previous answer ....LOL!


"Weeks ago I left you in sunny Caroline

Sittin' in our home in the pines

I got a job to do that takes me away from you

But your love still remains on my mind"

Windy City Blues, 1976


Q: Do you still live in Spartanburg?

A: Yes, for now....again, that might change soon.


"But the legend goes

If you travel the road

You won't come back the same"

Tan Yard Road, 1992


Q: Did you know that the '95 tour was your last?

A: I suspected that it might be, but didn't make that decision until late in the year.


"I've lived my life on dreams

I planned my share of schemes

But the lines on the road and the telephone poles

Sometimes seem like a bad, bad dream"

Disillusion, 1980


Q: Any plans to re-join Doug and the band in the future?

A: Life's all about change.....never say never.


"Each man has the choice

Of the road which he will choose

Each man has to figure out

Just what he's willing to lose"

Tan Yard Road, 1992


Q: Do you stay in touch with George, Paul or Doug much?

A: Not as much as I'd like, but yes, I think we're still friends.


"Everybody needs somebody

To help 'em make it through life

Arms to hold, words to soothe

Someone to say it's alright"

Everybody Needs Somebody, 1978



Jerry Eubanks' flute and sax is one of the things that distinguished MTB's music from everyone else's. They "never sold their soul for the smell of gold", choosing to always "live for the music instead". And because of that, the music has endured. And I bet if given the chance, Jerry, as he wrote in Disillusion "would do it all again". He's a true southern gentleman. Thanks, Jerry, for the music, and the memories.


In addition to his playing, Jerry wrote or co-wrote several of the band's songs, including:

"Windy City Blues" with Doug and George from Long Hard Ride

"Life in a Song" with George on Carolina Dreams

"Everybody Needs Somebody" on Together Forever with Doug & George

"Dream Lover" on Together Forever with George

"Disillusion:" with George on Tenth

"Long Island Lady" with Doug on Just Us

"Blood Red Eagle" on Greetings From South Carolina

"Tan Yard Road" with Rusty on Still Smokin'

  • Posted on   03/11/09 at 04:01:14 AM   by Ryan  | 
  • RSS
  • |
  • More
Posted in Interviews

Reader Comments (2)

RCS 02/17/11 07:56:32 PM

Jerry (Mr. Eubanks) - your flute playing added so much to MTB sound - thanks for all of it!

Randy Smith in Texas

Charlie 05/16/13 02:53:28 AM

Jerry, I have loved your woodwinds playing for a long time- an outstanding MTB trademark. But, for me, one of your finest moments was not on the flute at all. It was that awesome wall of saxes in "Life In a Song," to this day one of my favorite MTB songs (and one you co-wrote, no less). In particular, the spectacular call-and-response duel where you engage Toy's soaring guitar lines at the beginning of the song still (36 years later!) sends chills down my spine, such instrumental excitement packed into several opening bars, and one of the outstanding moments in popular music.

Comment Post Comment