The Marshall Tucker Band has been around for more than 40 years, releasing their self-titled freshman album in 1973, which included the now-historic single, "Can't You See." The six-man group, which still includes founding member Doug Gray, hasn't really stopped in the past four decades, and has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
"I think it freaks everybody out when I say I'm 71," Gray conceded to PopCulture.com. "We all know that Charlie [Daniels] is in his 80's. There's other people, Hank [Williams, Jr.] and all them other people that's just out there doing it. If we leave, we're going to leave a legend of songs and preparation and stuff like that. Songs and preparation like that. And then certainly the songs are not going to die.
"I leave it up to my band now, and the band that we have made the decision to keep this thing going as long as we possibly can," he continued. "And as long as I know that we're still drawing as many people as we are and still playing one small place, or a big place or a huge place, it doesn't really matter. It really doesn't. As long as 20 or 30 people that are standing out there go, 'My God man, I need an autograph from you tonight,' or, 'Where can I buy some of your stuff?,' that's a pleasant thought. It really is. All this is kind of funny and I wouldn't trade it for nothing in the world. I really wouldn't."
The Marshall Tucker Band recently performed several shows with Lynyrd Skynyrd on their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour, but whether opening or headlining, they vow to keep playing in years to come.
"There's absolutely no reason for me to ever tell anybody that I would let them down. Period, as long as I am physically able to get out there and do the best job I could," Gray maintained. "You know all my guys. You know they're far superior musicians than I am. I'm just the director of traffic. I'm the guy that's directing traffic. But every so often, in my head, I luck out and hit a good note. And I just think that there's no reason to say, 'That's going to be the end.'
"If they roll me out, and hopefully they will roll me out, not carry me out, they'll roll me out of the concert hall with 20,000 people screaming and people not knowing that I'm gone and they'll know it later," he added. "I hope they don't cry. I hope they've been happy with joy."
Find tour dates on the band's official website.
Photo Credit: Getty images/John Shearer