Marshall Tucker Band Reveals Marshall Tucker Has Died

Marshall Tucker, the blind South Carolina piano tuner whose name was adopted by The Marshall Tucker Band, has died. He was 99. The band, known for their hits "Can't You See," "Fire on the Mountain," and "Heard it in a Love Song," shared the sad news on Saturday.

"We are saddened to hear of the passing of someone very special to our hearts, for very obvious reasons," the group said in a statement. "Our band's namesake, Mr. Marshall Tucker, passed away peacefully yesterday morning at the age of 99. Though he was never a member of our band, we wouldn't be here today without his historic name."

We are saddened to hear of the passing of someone very special to our hearts, for very obvious reasons. Our band’s...

Posted by Marshall Tucker Band on Saturday, January 21, 2023

The group went on to recount the story behind their name. While rehearsing in a warehouse in Spartanburg, South Carolina, they saw a keychain with Tucker's name. They needed a name quickly and someone suggested "The Marshall Tucker Band," and it stuck. They later learned that Tucker was a musician himself. He was a piano tuner who worked for another band that rented the space before they did.

"Marshall was blind since birth but amazingly could play the heck out of the piano," the group continued. "He always said his talent was simply God-given. He tuned pianos in South Carolina for decades. We are thankful for Mr. Marshall Tucker and the life he lived! Sending blessings to his wife and family."

Tucker died on Friday, Jan. 20, according to his obituary. He was born in Givhans, South Carolina, and graduated from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. He was a charter member of the National Federation of the blind of South Carolina and an active member of Calvary Baptist Church. His funeral will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at Calvary Baptist Church. Tucker is survived by his wife of 50 years, Lois Boltin Tucker, two daughters from a previous relationship, three grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

In 2018, Tucker told Cola Daily he learned about The Marshall Tucker Band in 1972 when a friend of his told him he saw he was playing that night. "I said no I'm not going to be playing, I'm just sitting here with you," Tucker recalled. The pianist later noted, "In a way, my name has been as far as Russia... My mother always told me, 'son, your name will go further than your face,' and that is for sure."

The original Marshall Tucker Band line-up included guitarist Toy Caldwell, singer Doug Gray, keyboardist Jerry Eubanks, rhythm guitarist George McCorkle, drummer Paul Riddle, and bassist Tommy Caldwell. Gray is the only original member still with the band, which continues to tour. The current lineup includes drummer B.B. Borden, bassist Ryan Ware, keyboardist Marcus James Henderson, and guitarists Chris Hicks and Rick Willis.