southern ambassadors of classic rock; One of the first southern rock groups of the 1970s, The Marshall Tucker Band performs only one night at Liberty

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From left to right, BB Borden, Rick Willis, Doug Gray, Marcus Henderson, Tony Black and Chris Hicks of the Marshall Tucker Band. (Photo submitted)

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Very few bands have influenced an entire generation with their style and have remained as relevant to rock and country music as the Marshall Tucker Band. Alabama, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, and Blake Shelton all cite the Marshall Tucker Band as one of their biggest influences.

Trendsetter, the voice of the American highway, legend, these names all suit the band that started out as a music rebel in the early 1970s.

With the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band brought songs from the southern United States to the world.

Their unique blend of rock, jazz and country influenced generations of musicians and the band’s work ethic stood out among others who enjoyed the party life a little too much. Marshall Tucker’s tours and live performances have become legendary. They developed the image of a band that works hard, never lets their fans down and always delivers.

With tours, openings for other group awards and gold records followed. The group recorded “Searchin ‘for a Rainbow” in 1975 and followed up with “Long Hard Ride” in 1976 while continuing to tour 250 to 300 days a year. With songs such as “Can’t You See,” “Heard It In A Love Song,” and “Fire On The Mountain,” the band was a constant on the country and rock’n’roll charts.

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During its long career, The Marshall Tucker Band has recorded 22 studio albums, three live albums, three DVDs and numerous compilations. The band’s music has also been featured in several movies and TV shows.

This year, the Marshall Tucker Band were invited to join Lynyrd Skynyrd on the road for their The Last of the Street Survivors farewell tour.

“We support Lynyrd Skynyrd and have been honored to join,” said Doug Gray, the last of the original group members and a veteran of the United States Army.

Gray’s childhood was strongly influenced by his mother Peggy, who at the age of 7 took him to different places. She and her father, a cotton mill worker, believed in her talent.

“I didn’t have a piano or a guitar,” Gray said. “She just told me to sing and I did. The latest Elvis songs have just been released and I will be singing “Love Me Tender”.

Gray’s parents greeted him at home after each tour. “I think I’m like my mother, I have her humor. The first question she asked me when I returned from a tour was: “When are you leaving?” », He said with a laugh.

Gray said being on the road for so long was difficult for his privacy. “It shows how many wives I had,” he joked.

After all this success, Gray said he was still amazed at his career. “I still can’t believe it when bands (and musicians) like Santana, Elton John and Lynyrd Skynyrd come jamming with us and my fellow band members.”

He added: “We loved what we did. That’s why we haven’t broken up. We had a family at home and we were a family on the road.

“When we started, we didn’t have all the accessories that young people have today. It was a lot of work. Today’s musicians cannot rest, they still have to work 365 days a year. Tapes today have the advantage of technology. We didn’t even have cell phones, ”Gray said. “Our first songs were on 8 tracks and 45 records. My daughter asked me: “How does it work? “I still have an 8-track player and showed it to him.

Gray is still a gentleman from the south, saying kindness to others is important. Also, that he would always open the doors to others, whether they are younger or older, male or female.

This is not Gray’s first visit to Roswell. He had come here as a visitor to learn about the UFO crash.

Gray said he was looking forward to meeting his fans at Roswell. “Come see me after the show. “

The first part of the group is local musician Robin Scott. “I’m excited to open the show for the pioneers of southern rock sound of the 70s – The Marshall Tucker Band is a role model,” Scott said.

The Marshall Tucker Band will perform at the Liberty Club, 312 N. Virginia Ave., April 19 at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. The concert is intended for adults 21 years and older who are members with their guests. For more information, visit thelibertyinc.com or marshalltucker.com.

Vision Editor-in-Chief Christina Stock can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 309, or vision@rdrnews.com.

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