Sunday, August 12, 2007

In Praise of The Marshall Tucker Band

This is an example of me really, really liking a group when their first album came out and 34 years later saying, I like these guys even more, even after all of those listenings. Of all of the so called "southern rock" bands, these guys had the sweetest music. I first heard The Marshall Tucker Band right after the first LP came out because a friend of mine just returned from St. Louis and told me about this great song called "Can't You See" that he had heard on KSHE. I went to my favorite record store and they happened to have the LP opened and available to be played at the store. One listen to "Take The Highway" and I was gone. Lately, I have had a lot of MTB in the CD player.
It still sounds as sweet as ever. When working at KY in Kansas City, I found out that Tommy Caldwell had been hurt in an accident and I called the news station in Spartansburg and got the name of the hospital he was at. I talked to Toy personally and wished him and his brother well from all of the MTB fans in Kansas City. He was very appreciative and very nice. Tommy died two days later, then Toy passed a way in 1992 from a supposed cocaine overdose. George McCorkle, another member just recently passed (see previous post). With that in mind, here are my top ten MTB songs...

1. "The Last of The Singing Cowboys" 1979. This was their swan song, and what a way to go, wonderful, poetic lyrics and just about some of the best playing around.
2. "Take The Highway" 1973. Way too many memories for this song not to be in the top two. This song was an outlet for my wanderlust.
3. "This Ol' Cowboy" 1974. Southern redneck love song, I know every word to this. This was released the summer I got married and was listened to greatly.
4. "Desert Skies" 1977. Sleepy, loping ode to a guy who wants to "die with his chaps on". Yeah, I can relate. So laid back, it saunters.
5. "Searchin For A Rainbow" 1975. This may have been the highpoint of the band. Another story about a cowboy that's getting ready to leave. It that time in my life, so was I and I was determined to find that rainbow.
6. "Fire On The Mountain" 1975. Another great song from this release, the heyday of rock radio, too.
7. "Can't You See" 1973. This just gets points taken away because I have heard it so much. this is their "Stairway to Heaven"
8. "How Can I Slow Down" 1974. This song cooks. Nuff said.
9. "Heard It In A Love Song" 1977. Another song about a guy getting ready to go...hmm, someting new. I was glad that these guys got their big hit.
10."A New Life" 1973. A song about leaving prison, sung with emotion and passion.

Here's a video of The Volunteer Jam in 1975. At the 2:34 mark, there is a scene with Tommy and Toy Caldwell along with George McCorkle, all dead.
Charlie Daniels kicks ass.


Wes said...

Two that did not get a great deal of airplay, but they did at my station....24 Hours at a Time and Everyday I have the Blues.

Great Group.

Brian Holland said...

I always liked an MTB song that I think came out around the time of Tommy Caldwell's death called "It Takes Time" (not to be confused with "Love Takes Time" by Orleans). I haven't heard the song in years, but I do remember Doug Gray's vocals really stood out on that one. "Fire On The Mountain" is a fave of mine too...

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