HOMETOWN ENTERTAINMENT: Marshall Tucker Band coming to The Coves Amphitheater on 50th anniversary tour

The legendary southern rock group will perform Saturday, August 20 at the venue in Union Hall
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 5:50 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Reaching the golden anniversary for The Marshall Tucker Band is a milestone that founding member and lead vocalist Doug Gray never imagined when the band started in 1972.

“Honestly no. We didn’t even know when we were going to buy our next beer. I mean, that kind of answers it right there,” says Gray.

The legendary band’s story began when they were high school students in Spartanburg, South Carolina. After graduation, they served in Vietnam. When they came home, music brought the friends back together.

“I was working in a bank, I got offered--the same day we got offered a recording contract is the same day that I got an offer to go run a bank down in Atlanta. So, look which one I took,” says Gray.

Gray didn’t become a banker, but instead, a lifelong southern rocker.

For five decades, the Marshall Tucker Band has produced timeless hits like “Heard it in a Love Song” and “Can’t You See.”

But did you know not one of them was actually named Marshall Tucker? They found the name while rehearsing for a show in an old warehouse.

“He come down and said ‘I need a name.’ We said we don’t have anything but a keychain and on a keychain was a name that said Marshall Tucker,” says Gray.

That Marshall Tucker was actually a blind piano tuner.

“You know, he never played with us. Never got up and played. We just took the name off that keychain, added an “L” and that was it,” says Gray.

Gray is the last remaining original member still active in the band-- one that helped create the genre of southern rock.

“It comes from rhythm and blues. It comes from country, and I started out singing James Brown stuff,” Gray says.

“There’s room for more southern rock. There will be more southern rock, and I say it with Blackberry Smoke and Zac Brown, my nephew is in Zac Brown,” says Gray.

While Gray has lost a lot of friends and band mates along the way, he says their spirits are always with him. And he’s proud to carry the torch.

“I will never be the guy that gives up,” he says.

For the link to buy tickets to the August 20 show, click here.

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