It seems that everything old is new again, and no act is a better example of that than the Marshall Tucker Band. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the group, and they have gone back to the future with the Shout Factory release of a vinyl edition of their Greatest Hits release.
Billboard’s The 615 caught up with founding member Doug Gray, who says fans have been clamoring for the new release.
“It’s extremely exciting because everyone seems to be doing that again,” he said. “People had been asking for it, so we told them ‘We’ve got the Greatest Hits coming out.” But, you get your money’s worth with a dose of the past and the present, Gray says. “There’s also a digital download card inside. People will be happy because they get two for the price of one,” he says.
When asked about why vinyl has made somewhat of a comeback over the years as opposed to cassette tapes or reel-to-reel, Gray doesn’t miss a beat. “Have you listened to a vinyl record? That’s what it is. If you listen to it, you sit back, and it’s a rarity that you get that opportunity to sit back and listen and then start reading, you’re more involved.”
He says there are some that have no idea what it was like to go to the store and pick up the vinyl back in the day.
“There was a 20-year-old girl who was working at a TV station in New York City. She says ‘My God, what is this?’ I thought that was hilarious,” he snickers. “I explained to her that we used to sit around, smoke a joint, and pass around ideas off these records whether it was Eric Clapton or Cream. You had the ability to listen and read the liner notes without having to squint or put the glasses on.”
Though the band has already been together for decades, they haven’t stopped making history — like their November debut on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. How did the southern rock legends feel about taking to the stage of country’s biggest show?
“I felt I was someplace that I wasn’t supposed to be. But, I was honored to be there,” he says, admitting that late members Toy Caldwell, and his brother Tommy would have been humbled and very proud. “I was honored to go upstairs and see Jimmy Dickens and some of the younger people there. And, to get a standing ovation was something. I don’t know if we deserved it because we did nothing but go out there and play our butts off. That’s what made Marshall Tucker all along.”
Gray is currently working on remixing their induction performance into the South Carolina Hall of Fame from 1995, and as always, fans can catch the legends on the road. After all, he says, “That’s what we love to do.”