Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Marshall Tucker Band: Can't You See

The Marshall Tucker Band is an American Southern rock/country rock band originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina. The band's blend of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, country, and gospel helped establish the Southern rock genre in the early 1970s. While the band had reached the height of its commercial success by the end of the decade, the band has recorded and performed continuously under various lineups for nearly 40 years.

The "Marshall Tucker" in the band's name does not refer to a band member, but rather a Spartanburg-area piano tuner. While the band was discussing possible band names one evening in an old warehouse they had rented for rehearsal space, someone noticed that the warehouse's door key had the name "Marshall Tucker" inscribed on it, and suggested they call themselves the "The Marshall Tucker Band," not realizing it referred to an actual person. It later came to light that Marshall Tucker, the blind piano tuner, had rented the space before the band, and his name was inscribed on the key.

The original members (and some later members) of the Marshall Tucker Band had been playing in various lineups under different band names around the Spartanburg area since the early 1960s. In 1966, members of several such bands merged to form the Toy Factory, named after guitarist Toy Caldwell. The Toy Factory's constantly shifting lineup included, at times, Caldwell, his younger brother Tommy, Doug Gray, Jerry Eubanks, George McCorkle, and Franklin Wilkie. In the late 1960s, four of the band members served in the U.S. Armed Forces; Toy Caldwell was wounded in Vietnam.

By the 1970s, Toy Caldwell and George McCorkle had returned to Spartanburg, and the Toy Factory had resumed playing in area clubs. In fact, in 1970 the Toy Factory was the opening act for the Allman Brothers when the Allmans played at the "Sitar" music lounge in Spartanburg.

In 1972, Caldwell and McCorkle once again revamped the band's lineup, eventually settling on Tommy Caldwell on bass, George McCorkle rhythm guitar, and Jerry Eubanks, flute/tenor sax, while adding Paul Riddle on drums; the new lineup adopted the name "Marshall Tucker Band." Wet Willie lead singer Jimmy Hall told Toy Caldwell to book the band at Grant's Lounge in Macon which he did. After hearing the band play at Grant's Buddy Thornton and Paul Hornsby recorded the band's demo at Capricorn Studios in Macon, Ga. Frank Fenter and Phil Walden signed The Marshall Tucker Band based on those demos.

The Marshall Tucker Band's self-titled debut, produced by Paul Hornsby, was released in 1973, and certified gold in 1975. All of the tracks were written by Toy Caldwell, including "Can't You See", which was released in 1973 on Capricorn 0023 ("Bubbled Under" at No. 108 on 1 September 1973) and re-released in 1977 on Capricorn 0278 (peaked at No. 75 on 24 September 1977). After the album's release, the band began touring, playing upwards of 300 shows per year throughout the decade. Southern rock fiddler Charlie Daniels later recalled that the Marshall Tucker Band "came onstage and just blew it out from start to finish."

The Marshall Tucker Band continued recording and performing into the 21st century, playing between 150 and 200 shows per year. The band reissued many of its albums from the 1970s on its new Ramblin' Records label, as well as two two-disc compilations, the first (Anthology) being a 30-year retrospective and the second (Where a Country Boy Belongs) being a collection of the band's country songs. In 2004, they released another studio album, Beyond the Horizon, and the following year released a Christmas album, Carolina Christmas.

"Can't You See" is a song written by Toy Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band. The song was originally recorded by the band on their 1973 debut album, The Marshall Tucker Band, and released as the album's first single. It was re-released in 1977 and peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100. Can't You See was used for the opening and closing credits of the Kevin Costner 2008 motion picture Swing Vote The song was also featured in the Johnny Depp film Blow, the Christopher Walken film Scotland, PA, in a 2011 commercial for Busch Beer and a 2012 ad for tourism in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

A live version of the song is included as the final track on the band's 1975 album, Searchin' for a Rainbow.

The song is noted for its flute introduction done by Jerry Eubanks.

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