Monday, July 10, 2006

Redneckin'

Today in Music History:

In 1977, Cher gave birth to a baby girl Elijah Blue. Gregg Allman from The Allman Brothers was the father.
The Redneck Games, a ten-year-old tradition in East Dublin, Georgia, drew thousands of people this weekend for a lowbrow celebration of all things tacky. I had planned to attend to compete in the arm pit serenade contest, but it wasn't meant to be. A local radio station started the event in 1996 as a spoof of the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. It's grown in popularity over the years, garnering media attention from around the world, and last year drew more than 15,000 visitors according to organizers.

Featured competitions include mud-pit belly flopping, toilet-lid tossing and the "arm pit serenade." The top prize for most events is a trophy topped with a crushed Bud Light can. Since I couldn't be there to defend my crown, it got me to reminiscing about some of my favorite redneck rockers.marshall tucker band My favorite redneckers have always been Molly Hatchet. Everyone thought the sun rose and set on Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yet I found them to be only OK. By 1978 I had kicked Skynryd to the curb when Molly Hatchet released their debut album. It kicked ass. I was at the point that if I heard Freebird one more time it would have sent me postal. During the mid 70's there were alot of southern rockers kickin' around.

One group that I never payed much attention to was the Marshall Tucker Band. They wuz a bit mellow for my tastes. Turning into an old codger I have learned to appreciate their music and wish I had indulged much earlier. I really dig the way they sneak that flute into their stuff, like it naturally belongs in a southern rock song.

The Marshall Tucker Band was formed in Spartanburg, SC, in 1971 when Doug Gray teamed up with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks. Her's an interesting anecdote about how they chose their name. When MTB first got together in their native Spartanburg they were rehearsing in an old warehouse. They had yet to decide on a name and were discussing what they should call themselves one evening. Someone looked at the tag on the key and it said "Marshall Tucker" and it was suggested they call themselves the Marshall Tucker Band, not knowing it was a real person's name. Because it was time to go to dinner and everyone was hungry they said "sounds great" and the rest is history.
A few years later they found out that Marshall Tucker was the name of the person who rented the building before them. His name was still on the key tag because the warehouse owner hadn't changed it yet. Mr. Tucker was a blind piano tuner, who, along with his partner, used the building for their piano business.

In 1972, they signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and others to national fame. The MTB opened shows for The Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album. The group's style combined rock, country, and jazz and featured extended instrumental passages on which lead guitarist Toy Caldwell shone. Most of their albums have gone gold or platinum.

The band was slowed down by the death of Tommy Caldwell in a car accident in 1980 and faded from the album charts after 1982. As one might expect there have been several lineup changes through the years, but the Marshall Tucker Band have never stopped touring or recording. I believe their last studio album came out in 2004, but I may be mistaken. Here's a couple old classics in honor of the Redneck games.

This one is one of my all time favorite songs. Never get tired of it.
Can't You See by The Marshall Tucker Band

We're starting to see some forest fires up this way so this song is fits the bill
Fire On the Mountain by The Marshall Tucker Band
Buy It

My apologies for being away so long. Normalcy has almost returned.

Funny Toon

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