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Pioneer Southern Rockers Take the Stage Aug. 6

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PWFAA Welcomes The Marshall Tucker Band to Crockett Civic Center

By Jason Jones

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – For years it was assumed by many that Marshall Tucker was likely the name of the lead singer, or possibly another founding member of the legendary Southern/Country Rock band. As it turns out, the assumptive amateur historians were wrong. The name Marshall Tucker was found inscribed on a keychain at the band’s original rehearsal space and was adopted by the band without knowing it belonged to an actual person. As it turned out, Marshall Tucker was the name of a blind piano tuner from Columbia, South Carolina, who had recently tuned the piano in the rented space. 

The rest is musical history.

The original lineup of The Marshall Tucker Band was formed in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1972. When their self-titled debut album was released in 1973, it began a process of founding and influencing an amalgamated sub-genre of rock that would become what we know as Southern Rock or Country Rock. Alongside groups such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band would forge a path that brought the songs of the American South to the world. Artists such as Alabama, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt and Blake Shelton all name The Marshall Tucker Band as one of their biggest influences. 

70s radio staples such as 1973’s “Can’t You See,” 1975’s “Fire On The Mountain,” and the 1977 classic “Heard It In A Love Song” set the tone for a generation longing for a down-home, emotional music that invited, if not compelled, listeners to sing along. Many people, from die-hard fans to casual listeners, have been caught at a stoplight with the windows down belting out lines like 

“I’m gonna buy a ticket, now
As far as I can
Ain’t a-never comin’ back
Ride me a southbound
All the way to Georgia, now
Till the train, it run out of track…”

Doug Gray, the band’s lone original member and only lead singer to ever front the band, sees no end to the road that lies ahead for The Marshall Tucker Band, whose legacy is being carried forward by the man himself and his current bandmates, drummer B.B. Borden, bassist/vocalist Ryan Ware, keyboardist/saxophonist/flautist/vocalist Marcus James Henderson, guitarist/vocalist Chris Hicks, and guitarist/ vocalist Rick Willis. “You know, I think it was (founding guitarist/songwriter) Toy Caldwell’s dad who said, ‘There’s more to gray hair than old bones,’ and we still have a lot of stories yet to tell,” said Gray. “People ask me all the time what I’m gonna do when I turn 80, and I always say, ‘The same thing that we’re continuing to do now.’ We’re road warriors, there’s no doubt about that — and I don’t intend to slow down.” 

While the train isn’t ready to “run out of track” anytime soon, it is ready to pull into the station and grace east Texas with a truly legendary experience from one of the most influential bands of all time. The Marshall Tucker Band will take the stage at the Crockett Civic Center as a featured artist on Pineywoods Fine Arts Association’s 2021-2022 Signature Series this Friday, August 6 at 7:30 p.m.

For ticket information visit www.pwfaa.org or call (936) 544-4276

Leave your inhibitions at home. Singing along is virtually unavoidable.

Jason Jones may be reached via email at jjones@messenger-news.com

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