Gary James' Interview With Toy Caldwell Of
The Marshall Tucker Band

In 1980, The Marshall Tucker Band were ridin' high. They released their album "Tenth" on Warner Brothers Records. It was the band's 10th album, marking nine years that the group had been together. At the time, this Spartanburg, South Carolina group was preparing to embark on a major fifty city tour of the U.S. I spoke with Toy Caldwell, Marshall Tucker's lead guitarist, steel guitarist and vocalist.

Q - When did this group get together?

A - We got together in late '71.

Q - When did you sign with Phil Walden and Capricorn Records?

A - We took a demo to Phil Walden in '72. He liked it and we signed with Capricorn in '72.

Q - You left Phil Walden's Paragon agency for I.C.M. Was that move designed to mainstream the group in America?

A - Exactly. We're trying to get more national exposure. We didn't want to be labeled as a Southern musical group anymore. We've done Midnight Special and In Concert, but we'll be doing a lot more TV work in the future.

Q - Why do you suppose you have so many fans in the Northeast?

A - I don't know. The music draws 'em to it. Marshall Tucker has some pretty die-hard fans.

Q - Did people discourage you in the early days when you were starting out?

A - People tried to discourage us from playing our own material. That's when we took our demo to Phil Walden.

Q - Do you think Rock groups should do benefit concerts for political candidates?

A - No, not really. It has more downfalls than good points.

Q - How do you manage to get along so well?

A - We've known each other all our lives, so it's pretty easy.

Q - What advice would you give young groups just starting up?

A - Just stick with it. Don't listen to anybody who says you look and sound like somebody else. Play the music yourself. Believe in yourself. Be yourself.

© Gary James. All rights reserved.

Note: On February 25th, 1993, Toy Caldwell died in his sleep. He was 45.

The Marshall Tucker Band