Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
MARSHALL TUCKER BAND
Country-rock band formed in 1971 in South Carolina around Tommy Caldwell (b 1950, Spartenburg SC; d 28 April 1980) and brother Toy (b 1948; d 25 February 1993, Moore SC), bass and lead guitars. Their father was a semi-pro country musician; Toy had accompanied him. Toy led the Rants '62-5, then did four years in US Marines, joined his brother's band '71 bringing vocalist/keyboardist Doug Gray and multi-instrumentalist Jerry Eubanks with him from his previous group the Toy Factory; with drummer Paul Riddle and ex-Rants rhythm guitarist and songwriter George McCorkle (b 1947, Chester SC; d 29 June 2007, Lebanon TN), the group was renamed after the owner of a rehearsal room they used. Toy's guitar style was often compared to that of Dickie Betts (see Allman Bros), with whom they toured on support '73 to promote eponymous debut LP; every album went gold: A New Life '74, Searchin' For A Rainbow and two-disc (one live) Where We All Belong '75, Long Hard Ride '76, Carolina Dreams '77; the latter made platinum with top 15 single 'Heard It In A Love Song'. With other Capricorn label bands, they campaigned for Jimmy Carter and played at the White House '77 after he won. After Together Forever and a Greatest Hits album '78 they switched to WB, but success of Running Like The Wind '79 and Tenth '80 was marred by Tommy's death in a car crash. He was succeeded by ex-Toy Factory worker Franklin Wilkie; they continued to score with Dedicated '81, Tuckerized '82 and Just Us '83. In the mould of the Allmans, Wet Willie and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but a little more laid-back and tasteful, their country crossover potential was illustrated by Waylon Jennings's '76 hit with a cover of their first single, 'Can't You See', written by Toy, who was also in demand on guitar/steel guitar for sessions, appearing on LPs by Elvin Bishop, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr. McCorkle had written 'Fire On The Mountain' for his friend Charlie Daniels, who turned it down; the Marshall Tucker Band had a top 40 hit with in '75, and McCorkle later retired to become a full-time songwriter.