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article imageSuccess of Marshall Tucker Band reaching younger generation Special 

By Zach Gilliland     Jun 21, 2014 in Music
Today's generation may not know exactly who the Marshall Tucker Band is, except for a couple of songs. The older generation may know them well, but fail to realize that the band is still touring heavily across the country.
Marshall Tucker, one of the greatest southern rock bands ever, is enjoying its 43rd year on the road, and the band still carries on one of the greatest traditions in southern history. For Doug Gray, he and the band haven't changed over the years, even after their name got popular.
Gray and his "high school buddies" became very serious about the band after he and Toy Caldwell returned home from Vietnam. He knew it would be a sacrifice for everyone, as they would spend a lot of time practicing and performing, but the sacrifice paid off. The band got its chance to shine when it was given the shot to open for The Allman Brothers Band in 1973.
People became intrigued with the band in the following years, mostly due to the unique sound. They couldn't be classified necessarily with one genre, because they played a little bit of everything. "We all had different styles of music in our head. We didn't really set out to make any one particular sound," Gray said.
The rest was history, as The Marshall Tucker Band became one of the most popular bands of the 1970's, but a tragic accident occurred while the band was still in their prime.
In 1980, band member Tommy Caldwell passed away due to injuries suffered in a car accident, and the band took some time off. "A lot of people said that maybe it wouldn't be the same band, and in our hearts we knew it wouldn't," said Gray. To keep his mind occupied, Gray began to look for something to do in the studio. He recorded songs that would later be released in 2011 on his "Soul of the South" album.
In 1984, other band members including Toy Caldwell, Paul Riddle, and George McCorkle decided to retire, but Gray and fellow band member Jerry Eubanks decided to keep playing.
Even after Eubanks retired in 1996, Gray kept the tradition going and he continues to serve as the lead singer for The Marshall Tucker Band today. The current "Take the Highway" tour is about 140 shows, and Gray says it's "going to turn out to be quite a success."
Marshall Tucker continues to give fans a blast from the past, playing legendary hits like "Can't You See" and "Heard It In a Love Song".
"It's not gonna sound like the record no matter what," Gray said, but stated that "we play those songs with as much energy as we can." This energy and passion for music has kept older fans loyal and new fans excited.
The Marshall Tucker Band has the opportunity to reach younger fans when they play with today's singers. They have recently done shows with Kid Rock and The Zac Brown Band. "They (Zac Brown Band) took us in and treated us with so much respect," Gray recalls.
Even after all these years and playing with the likes of B.B. King, Charlie Daniels, Kid Rock, and The Zac Brown Band, Doug Gray has remained as humble and down-to-earth as always. "I'm still the same person I was as when I was in high school. I'm always ready to carry on a good conversation with everybody."
Although the younger generation may not realize the impact The Marshall Tucker Band had on southern rock-n-roll, they can still appreciate and be blown away with how smooth the band sounds today and how the band is simply made up of regular guys doing what they love.
More about marshall tucker band, Music, Rock, doug gray
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