MTB Radio Player

The Marshall Tucker Band, One of the Top 10 Best Out of SC

Doug (and the Marshall Tucker Band) was recently noted as one of the most influential acts out of South Carolina. Here's what Paul Grimshaw of The Weekly Surge in South Carolina said about one of their hometown favorites:


The principal players in the original Marshall Tucker Band lineup are from the Spartanburg region and though there is no one named Marshall Tucker in the band, he is a real person. The band chose its name in 1972 after finding a key fob in its Spartanburg rehearsal space imprinted with the name of a blind piano tuner from town, Marshal Tucker, who is now in his 80s and living in Columbia.


Of the original six members, only Doug Gray, the band’s primary lead vocalist, remains in the group. Toy Caldwell (1947 – 1993), who wrote most of the band’s material, was the lead guitarist and lead vocalist on the iconic tune, “Can’t You See,” though Gray sang virtually everything else. Tragedy struck the Caldwell family, when, in 1980, bassist and founding member brother Tommy Caldwell died in an auto accident. Toy Caldwell left the Marshall Tucker Band in 1984 and toured and recorded with The Toy Caldwell Band between 1985 and 1992. He died from complications resulting from heart disease. George McCorkle, who once lived in Conway, was rhythm guitarist and writer of “Fire on the Mountain.” He died of cancer in 2007.


“It’s the fans that keep the spirit [of Marshall Tucker] alive,” said Gray, who owns a second home in Garden City Beach and tours regularly, performing in the Myrtle Beach area almost annually. “I love Myrtle Beach. I bought a place there when I was 21-years- old and I’ve been back and forth ever since.” When asked about the most influential South Carolina band, Gray didn’t hesitate. “There’s so many bands from South Carolina but there’s one that came out of Spartanburg that I love called The Sparkletones. It was Joe Bennett and The Sparkletones. Man, they had their own TV show and a song called “Black Slacks.” They played it on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ back in the 1950s. As far as I’m concerned that was probably the strongest song anybody from South Carolina ever had.”


“Black Slacks” hit the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1957, peaking at no. 17, but stayed on for four consecutive months. In the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll, which we now call rockabilly, some acts from South Carolina and other southern states added a decidedly country twang to their electric guitars and vocals, but it was rock ‘n’ roll none the less. Considered a classic of the 1950s “Black Slacks” is featured in the films “Crazy Mama,” “The Rescuers Down Under,” and Johnny Depp’s “Cry Baby.”


You can read about the rest of the notible South Carolina artists here!

  • Posted on   05/19/09 at 10:45:48 PM   by Liza  | 
  • RSS
  • |
  • More
Posted in News

Reader Comments (1)

Arlene 07/08/11 10:22:21 PM

Hi Rick,
I want to thank you for taking the time and also offering to have your picture taken with me and then my sister.
I saw you up in Ashland, NH.
I did find out where you where playing in Plymouth. Too bad I didn't know before, or I would have been there screaming with everyone else, just to see your band play.
It's nice to know, that there are still great people among us little people, that take the time to say hey and feel we deserve, what you put forth this morning.
In my younger days, I was the female vocalist in a country band. We played from Canada to Georgia. I play rhythm and bass.
Those days have gone by for me, but I still play in our church band and sing a few times a year in VT
Once again, thank you for your kindness.
Much respect to someone who really deserves it,

Comment Post Comment