01 Jun THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND- “EMERGING FROM THE ALLMANS SHADOW”

TOY CALDWELL OF THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND PERFORMING LIVE IN CHENEY, WA. ON MAY 26, 1977. PHOTO ART BY BEN UPHAM. MAGICAL MOMENT PHOTOS.

TOY CALDWELL OF THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND HITTING THE NOTES IN CHENEY, WA. ON 5-26-77. PHOTO ART BY BEN UPHAM.


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MARSHALL TUCKER BAND-
“EMERGING FROM THE ALLMAN BROTHERS SHADOW”
BY BRENT BROWER
THE ANDERSON HERALD,
ANDERSON, INDIANS
JULY 27, 1975

There aren’t enough good things to say about the Marshall Tucker Band. Not only are they great musicians, they’re great people! The band played at the Indianapolis Convention Center recently to a very enthusiastic crowd, which called for two encores.
The Marshall Tucker Band consists of Toy Caldwell, Tommy Caldwell, Jerry Eubanks, Paul Riddle, Doug Gray and George McCorkle. The group derived its name from an old man in their home town Spartanburg, S.C. He was a blind piano tuner and during the 1930s had a record shop in the hall they rehearsed in. They added an extra L to the name and become Marshall Tucker. However, they got billed as Marshall Tucker and his band and the Marshall Tucker Band frequently enough they changed the name to its present form.
At last the band seems to be emerging from the shadow of the Allman Brothers and is becoming well known in its own right. George McCorkle said, “You can’t be associated with a better band. “I’ve never been in competition with the Allman Brothers Band. We’ve played many a date with them. All I know is if we go out there and cook, they better cook,” he continued. The association apparently has been good for both of them. It’s interesting how they got their big break. They went to Capricorn one day and said, “Man, we want to play.” They had their demo tapes with them which George says were “pretty bad.” Anyway, Capricorn had them play for a few nights in Grants Lounge in Macon, Georgia and the executives came to see them the second night. The band played two sets. After the second set somebody broke out a bottle of champagne and they were told to be in the office Monday morning. Monday morning they were standing at the front door waiting for them to open. When they went in, the contracts were already drawn up. They’ve been with Capricorn ever since.
The MTB plays a little bit of everything. If you tried lo label it you
would have to come up with something like country, funky, blues, rock and roll soul and go on from there. The band occasionally has been known to draw a somewhat rowdy crowd. George said he read somewhere the Dead draws acid freaks, The Who draws teeny bops and The Marshall Tucker Band draws drunks and wino’s. Even though they tour a lot, the band seems to find time to do numerous benefits. They’ve done a lot of work for the American Indian Foundation and the Pediatric Care Center in Miami.
They’ve even played for the prisoners at the Atlanta Federal Prison where the show was broadcast live over radio in Atlanta. They were well received and were asked back. They plan to go back again, soon. MTB never does a benefit for something they don’t believe in completely.
The bulk of this interview was done with George McCorkle who plays banjo, acoustic guitar and electric guitar. A nicer guy you could never hope to meet. To quote directly from George, “I don’t really feel like I have an enemy in the world. I dig people. I don’t care if they paint themselves up and wear a bumble bee suit, it don’t make a damn to me. If they enjoy doin’ it and that’s what they’re into, hell I’ll buy em’ a bumble bee suit. “I saw a guy wearing a bumble bee suit once. I laughed to his face too and I told him he looked pretty weird. But if that’s what he wants to do I mean I’m a country boy, man. The first time I ever saw anything like that it flipped me out. “The first group we ever played with like that, I guess, was Slade and they sorta freaked me out. I thought something was wrong with ’em. I said well, if that’s what he wants to play. I don’t see how he got to his guitar, them big old tentacles sticking out of his head.”
Times have not always been so good for MTB. They learned their craft by playing a lot of bars, a lot of it soul music and a lot of it their own
material. George wished he had a quarter for every time he’s played
“Hold On I’m Comin.” They’ve also been thrown out of a lot of bars for
playing their own material instead of what the crowd wanted to hear, In fact, George remembers a time when the band played for a week and netted the huge sum of one penny.
The band members are all close friends. It’s not just a professional
relationship. They haven’t changed members since the beginning. George feels if one member left, the band would probably break up. He wouldn’t want to tour with anyone else as the MTB, but he wouldn’t mind doing a guest appearance with another band.
The group presently has three albums out. On the early albums they played slide and dual harmony leads but they do not play these styles on stage anymore. If you play slide, “you almost have to play a lick at one time or another that Duane (Allman) played, ’cause Duane played every damn lick there was made to play on a slide guitar,” commented McCorkle.
“In four years he played every lick possible, so if you play slide, people automatically say you’re rippin’ off Duane’s licks.”
Speaking of licks, George takes a lot of pride in his musical knowledge. Basically he taught himself to play the guitar. “I know every lick B.B. King ever thought about playing and some he’s still thinking about,” he boasted.
“There is nobody better in their own right, than B. B. King.”
MTB has just completed a new album which should be released around Aug. 5. After that there will be a major coast-to-coast tour with Charlie Daniels Band. This is one show I wouldn’t want to miss. If you enjoy good, honest, “feelin” music, you couldn’t ask for better than the Marshall Tucker Band.

MARSHALL TUCKER BAND DISCOGRAPHY:

1973 The Marshall Tucker Band
1974 A New Life
1974 Where we All Belong
1975 Searchin’ For A Rainbow
1976 Long Hard Ride
1977 Carolina Dreams
1978 Together Forever
1979 Runnin’ Like The Wind
1980 Tenth
1981 Dedicated
1982 Tuckerized
1983 Just Us
1983 Greetings From South Carolina
2003 Stompin’ Room Only (1976 Live)
2006 Live on Long Island 4-18-80
2008 Carolina Dreams Tour 1977

TOY CALDWELL DISCOGRAPHY:

1992 Toy Caldwell
1998 Can’t You See (Live)
2000 Son of the South

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