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Can't You See

by

The Marshall Tucker Band



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This became the anthem song for The Marshall Tucker Band, similar to "Free Bird" for Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was never a Top 40 hit, but was very popular on Album Oriented Radio (AOR) and continues to get a lot of airplay on Classic Rock stations.
The open in unusual - it starts with the picking of a guitar and the playing of a flute. Jerry Eubanks of the Marshall Tucker Band played the flute, giving the song a very distinctive sound - it's not a common instrument in the world of Southern Rock.
This was featured in the soundtrack for the movie Blow. (thanks, Aaron - Twin Cities, MN, for all above)
There is no Marshall Tucker in The Marshall Tucker Band. They saw the name on a key ring where they used to rehearse and decided it would make a good name for their band.
The song was named the #1 greatest Southern Rock song ever recorded by Ultimate Classic Rock with Sweet Home Alabama as runner-up.

Said the site, "Next time you hear this song in public, take notice and you'll make the strangest observation, especially if there is booze involved. There seems to be something about this particular song that makes the majority (very ironically) close their eyes and sway their head from left to right while singing the song's famous 'Can't you see' line. That universal connection earns this song the top spot on our southern rock songs list.”
The Marshall Tucker Band
More The Marshall Tucker Band songs
More songs about heartache
More songs about getting away

Comments (50):

"I'm pretty sure that Marshall Tucker was either the fellow who owned the old hall that the band used to rehearse at..." That's the story I know, about the band got their name. As for the other comments on here... the only "truth" that matters is what a GREAT song "Can't You See" is and always will be!
- Mary, Havertown, PA
I was born in Atlanta and have lived in Georgia all of my life. I remember when I was young, being in the car with my family driving to East Point, Georgia and asking Daddy why East Point was named East Point when it's on the southwest side of Atlanta (right at ATL airport). I've always remembered his answer and think of my late daddy when I drive through or to there. He said that that in the "old days" that's where the east end of the railroad ended (i.e ran out of track). He said that West Point, GA was the west end of the Georgia part of the railroad at the Alabama line.

The first time I heard Marshall Tucker was in my college days. They were singing "Can't you see" and I loved it the first time I heard it . I remembered what daddy had said about the train track ending in East Point, but the way I thought about the song was more of an abstract way: "all the way to Georgia" just sounding like a far away place. I also pictured in my mind a train going off the track into the Atlantic ocean.

You yankees know that Toy wrote the song. Shame on you again, always trying to rewrite history to show yourselves in a better light. Just the same old same old . . .
- Pam, Newnan (Metro Atlanta), GA
I am Rainbow who Doug wrote the song about, I remember meeting Will the radio DJ who posted the comment above, Rainbow was my nickname back then, we all used to do a lot of LSD and smoke pot. Doug and I fell in love, he was such a sweet man. Please feel free to contact me at Twitter - @marygillespy
- Mary, JACKSONVILLE, FL
That song is about me, Mary Gwin Blair Gillespy. Doug wrote it about our love story.
- Mary, JACKSONVILLE, FL
To those who think that Capricorn Records bought this song from someone from Philadelphia and "gave it" to Toy Caldwell, how do you explain the demo recorded by Marshall Tucker, prior to being heard by Capricorn, that contains Can't You See? Also, why would a record label buy a song and just give it to an artist, and let him put his name on it? The label could have given him the song and still retained the rights. It doesn't make any sense. Last of all, the prices being quoted on here for what Capricorn allegedly paid for this song are outrageous. $100,000.00? No one would pay that kind of money for an unproven song. This is all just bizzare.
- john, Orlando, FL
I've heard the Pa stories, but until recently I had never heard the girlfriend/dog story. This is so bizarre, it is funny. Someone wrote me to ask about it. If it happened , I do not know what year. We married in 1969, after he returned from VN, before that he was in high school, living at home. I am not sure where it was possible to squeeze the story in. There is nothing else to say, He would have had to be in high school, and I am pretty sure, his mother would have mentioned to me, this tragic story, that Toy "shared". To Kim, in KS>.NO your stories are not boring at all, interesting. WOW..just read the story about the song Doug wrote by the DJ from Frisco. Sounds like a tale you heard from Doug Gray! Toy wrote "Searchin for a Rainbow". No doubt thugh Doug tells many things
- Abbie, Spartanburg, SC
the song was written by Toy... here is the inspiration for the song... Toy was in a relationship with a gal... he was in love with her.. It was a very rocky one. they lived together... they owned a dog together... she was crazy with jealousy and rage ... Toy sought counseling .. he was counseled to move out and stay away from her... she was likely to kill him one day if he did not... He moved out... she refused to let him take the dog... he stayed away.... She continually attempted to lure him back into the relationship. He stayed away... one day she called him and told him to come and get the dog... he said he would... he would be right over for it. Toy received another call and got diverted for half a day .. when he showed up for the dog... She was dead, and so was the dog... she shot the dog and then herself... police at the time theorized that ... If Toy had showed up on time... she would have shot him the dog and herself... he didn't show... that diversion saved his life... Toy was in recovery and shared this... many years ago..
- JAMES, FSTRVL TRVOSE, PA
From a friend of the family somewhere in SC...

We shouldn't be seeing this kind of bickering. Just enjoy.

United States Copyright Office: Can't you see? By Toy Caldwell / EU396045 (1973) & EU347698 (1975)
- anon, Liberty Hill, SC
I too am a product of the Philly music scene of the late 60s, 70s. I was privileged to have sat in with Nick Jamison one time when in high school, he was a master. I had no idea that he penned this tune, but the words always kinda sounded like someone from these parts did. (Riding a southbound all the way to Georgia) resonates.
Reminds me of the story I hear about the dude (Valenti?) who wrote 'Get Together', supposedly selling the rights for $200 to make a car payment, and never receiving a nickel more.
- Odanak, Media, PA, PA
Great song this is one song that Toy Caldwell wrote and sang lead and also played lead guitar on.Toy and Tommy are still missed today "GREAT BAND"
- jimmy, Knox, TN
I'm a blues harp player singer/songwriter originally from Philly. I started playing harp in 1966. Through the 40th reunion for the South Street people, I just found Nick Jamison listed on their memorial page.
From 1966-68 I used to sit in with Nick Jamison Smoothdog in his band American Dream at occasional shows and garage practices. He was a most amazing guitarist. I'd love to see some footage of him if anyone has any to upload.
His music should be carried on and enjoyed by others.
As for authorship of "Can't You See" I have no clue. None of that was part of my experience with Nick. I would have loved to have jammed with him now. After All this time I bet he would have been beyond incredible, as he was amazing then. Blessings and love to you Nick. I imagine you and Danny Starobin from Sweet Stavin Chain I sat in with back then too) are layin down the licks in that forever jam in the great beyond. Octavia
OctaviaBluesBand.com, Octavia Blues (facebook) myspace.com/OctaviaBluesAndJazz
- Octavia, Lancaster, PA
there sure is alot of yankee bulls--t on here ain't there. toy caldwell wrote the damm song, waylon's version is good, hank jr's version is good, but toy's version is the best. hell i don't think someone from philly could even write a song like this. end of story
- ed, lake city, FL
there seems to be a lot fo bs about this tune...I agree with ms abbie...but really all that aside...the most endearing signature of the marshall tucker band was that thumb of toy caldwell...it cast a tone to that les paul that I have yet to hear from anyone else...great stuff...enjoyed the one brief moment in the CMT show called "southern rock" back in 04...where toy was hammering down on the solo to "cant you see"....it was a classic moment indeed...
- jeff, panama city , FL
I had not thought about smoothdog in a long time . however , " Can't You See " brings me to Collingswood NJ and 1973 . Well , I was there . I lived with Jamison , played music with him , made many trips to the Cherry Hill music city store for amps and guitars . Played the regent sessions with him and have full knowledge of the song in question . Jamison was a powerful force . He knew many people ,played with many more . This man was not to be triffled with . He was serious . " Can't you See " ? All I can say is he had very strong connections with Electric factory concerts , He did have a girlfriend that was connected there ,and that , none of you out there seem to know . Then , there's the atlantic record thing . I'm still playing , the venue is an amazing turnabout for me , I still have the juice and remember with mixed emotions my relationship with Jamison . He was powerful , both in performance and personality . His influence is there for me . hvpeters@yahoo.com
- Pete, harrisburg , Pa., PA
It's very odd that if you go to u tube and search Jamison Smoothdog Can't You See comes up with Kid Rock Covering it, singing with whats left of the Allman Bros. Band...in addition to that if you do a google on the name the same video will appear on Skynerd dot com.....no i do believe, that this is a Jamison Smoothdog Song and which version of the story sold for a hundred thousand or was a studio songwriter and the masters of stuff he wrote ended at Capricorn records...he also had photos of him drinking with a very young Greg Allman......till the train run out of track!
- paul, D.C, DC
Jamison Smoothdog, Jimmy Hendrich
Was a neighbor of mine In collingswood where he had His last 2 Collectable stores Before His passing..
I used to live upstairs from him when I was wanting to be a chef....At that time I was starting a job as a breakfast Line cook top the ttaval lodge in Mt Laural nj (I think)so I had so learn how to cook eggs o I was bringing Him Brakfast Every Morning For about 3 weeks With his selection of toast and came to know a wonderfal person.
He told me many stories about the item he had in his store and I brought oters I knew to hear his fantastic versions of many things...
My Name Is Daniel J. Kosinski from collingswood nj and my email is dankosy2000@yahoo.com
- Daniel, Camden, FL
Wow - I've been singing this song for 17 years at my gigs and had no idea of the controversy surrounding who actually wrote it. I always just said "a song by The Marshall Tucker Band".
However...after reading all the posts below and being that I'm from the "Philly" area (actually Perkasie, mentioned below),I think I'll go with the Jamison Smoothdog story. Sounds like a sad one.

Also being a songwriter myself, you can't help but put the things you see in your daily life into your songs. I've seen the "End Of Track" sign in Philly and it makes sense that "The Dog" would slip that reference into the song.

The song has now taken on a new meaning for me and I'll be playing it and talking about if more often.
- Johnnys Cousin Steve, Villas, NJ
Jamison Smoothdog, Jimmy Hendrich, was my cousin. He was the best cousin ever! He had his ways, just like everyone does. He was honest and you always knew where you stood with him. He told it like it was. I loved him. He passed away on his birthday...that even made it much more heartwrenching! He was a talented musican who loved music and loved his family. May he rest in peace. His memory lives on.
His loving cousin, Karen, Philadelphia,PA
- Karen, Philadelphia, PA
Lets be honest, its a beautiful song, the lyrics, the way its sung, and the vocals. dont ruin such a great piece of history and a major credit to southern rock.
- amanda, byron, GA
I hope this sheds some light on the Jamison Smoothdog issues and the Song Can't You See credited to Marshal Tucker. My name is Paul Kurrey and I am most likely the person who played music with Jamison the longest he was not the easiest person to get along with. I was nick named Nevada Paul by Stewkey the former singer with Todd Rundgrens Band Nazz. Stewkey sang with us for a short time. I never use the name but am referenced in another comment on here by that name. So that's my credentials for this comment.
I am a singer songwriter myself, and know how important it is to own your music. I also know that it is true that songs are bought and sold like a stock market, and can have the original writer erased completely from any recognition what so ever. It's happened to me. Creativity is strongest during te struggling artist days, and when a act makes it the writing tends to slow. In the late 60's and 70's everyone had a guitar and was a songwriter. Some good some bad and some for money while being unknown were caught in shady deals that striped them of a song they wrote. I find it exceptionally credible that this happened to many, including the Late Jamison Smoothdog.
Jamison never talked about this song, for many of the early years we were associated. He only listened to classical radio as he did not want to be influenced by any rock or other modern music. He also never played any cover songs, and we had some fights over playing my songs which we never did. I may be the only person that ever co-wrote a song with him and arranged many of his tunes. We did have a falling out and never got to make up as he passed away. He started dating my ex wife who never wanted me to play with him and ironically use to say some pretty nasty things about him. Some how she was his last girlfriend and she went and had all his music copy-written after his death. She not Kenno as is stated in a comment here, holds them to this day, including the song I co-wrote with him. I did a version of the song and was threatened with copyright laws, so I let it go. I did not know she was low enough to copyright something that she had nothing to do with. But there that story ends, and maybe the rights to ever play any of his wonderful music in a manner he would have liked. As far as Can't You See is concerned, this is how i found out he wrote it. We were playing a gig, which was always without a set list and went with the groove of the show. You never knew what song was next, and had to bust out with something right away. Most of Jamison's music, like this song are simple 3 to 4 chord tunes as far as the rhythm is concerned
and builds on the creativity and ideas of the players and the moment. He use to brag that no sog was every played the same way twice, which is true. On day we were doing a gig at J.C. Dobbs the famous music bar in Philadelphia and after doing 2 acoustic songs in which the band did not play he broke into Can't you See, instead singing Have you Heard in place of the title, I kicked in and the rest of the band followed and it brought us back to the plugged part, and also brought the house to it's feet. I asked him between sets why out of the blue did he do a cover song, he told me he wrote Can't You See and was screwed out of it by an ex-girlfriend that was involved in some way with Marshall Tucker. We did play the song at a few more shows, but it never seemed comfortable to Jamison and it faded out of our shows in a short period of time. I totally believe him as, I knew him to be very honest about his music and even accused me of copying some obscure bands bass line in one of the tunes, which I had no idea I did, nor do I think I did, but changed it anyway. NO he would have never played a cover tune and listening to classical music, kept songs to cover very much away. Like others have said here, there is a sign in the Philly subway that is referred too, the 3 chord simplicity leaving ample room for improvisation such as the flute thing, is a clear sign of a Smoothdog song. Shows were always filled with that. Both of the people that claim to have written the song have passed away. It is the biggest hit Tucker ever had that I can remember and is different from the other Tucker songs. I do believe it was written by Jamison Smoothdog. If you would like to keep up with my music and recordings www.myspace.com/paulkurrey
- Paul Kurrey, Philadelphia, PA
After thinking about some of the bizarre comments, I think some of you need to check your facts before "knowing for a fact" some of what has been written. Will- you mention you know why Doug wrote Rainbow, I suppose you mean Searchin' for a Rainbow. Toy wrote this song also. After his return from his tour in Viet Nam while serving in the Marines. He went straight to Parris Island after graduation from high school in 1966.. And to Paul, since Toy died in 93, your remark is news to me. Guess I missed that episode of CMT, since I haven't a clue as to the how and why he wrote it, I know I enjoyed it. However, it never occurred to me to grill him on it. He wrote the song simple as that, I do not understand why this song or any song is being analyzed. MTB owned the masters to correct the person that said they did not. And Marshall was always spelled with 2 ll's, that's nonsense about fear of the good man getting royalties. They chose the name never having a contract, or making a demo. Toy also enjoyed Hank's version, being such close friends it really meant a lot to Toy. There's some factual comments listed, then some hateful, seemingly frustrated guitarist, songwriters, who are writing things that make no sense at all. Check the copyright site. You'll find the songwriter for all songs written and copyrighted. Songs should be enjoyed, not analyzed and questioned. If you do not enjoy them do not listen. I know of no songwriter that maps out the exact location of everything mentioned in a song. That would seem to make it a chore rather than a passion. I agree with Scott, after all the gold and platinum albums MTB was awarded,why is this song being put through the ringer? Finally, to Hell on Wings. MTB did not start touring until 72 or 73 when they opened for the Allman Bros, next tour they headlined. You mention Jimi Hendrix, I believe he died in the 60's. Your 'facts"are extremely confusing. Too confusing for me to waste any more time trying to understand what you are saying. You appear to have an enormous ego to think most fans do not know singers, for the most part, do not write their songs. And they do not claim to. The fans are not stupid, stop writing as if you are teaching anyone anything. They are far smarter than you.
Abbie Caldwell
- Abbie, Spartanburg, SC
I knew Jamison Smoothdog from Collingswood. He told me he wrote the song and was paid 100,000 dollars for the rights. He also once said that he hated the song because of "all the trouble" it caused him. I can tell you that he was a really great guy. We met because my son used to go into a shop he owned,Time Travellers, to buy Ghost-Buster's Toys; later Jamison openned a shop across the street called Jamison Smoothdog Presents. I helped him move from one place to another, in the process of the move I dropped a huge Space Invaders video machine and accidently broke another helper's nose trying to get out of the way. The machine was fine. Anyway,he was one of the most genuine, and kind people I ever knew.The last time I saw him he was recovering from a stroke and working really hard to get his guitar chops back. Our family was really sad when, several years ago, we heard that he had passed away.
- mick, collingswood, NJ
By accident I found this site. I don't understand all the questions about the author of Can't You See. My late husband wrote this song before they were ever signed by Capricorn. Waylon Jennings was a friend of Toy's and did record it years after it was released. I answered the phone the day Waylon's wife called, and asked if Toy was available to speak with Waylon. Of course, he was. He wanted to ask Toy if he minded if he recorded the song. Toy was honored that such a legend would want to record the song, and be so considerate to ask Toy first. No matter what version any one prefers, Toy wrote this song.
Abbie Caldwell
- Abbie, Spartanburg, SC
Great song, and even Skynyrd liked and respected their colleagues in the Marshall Tucker Band, as shown clearly in the demo song "When You've Got Friends."
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
It's good to see that Jamison's name lives on! I met him when I was a kid growing up in Collingswood, N.J.! He became like a "big brother"! This was in the late '60's. I can remember him and his lead player Randy working on this song! All I can say is "YES", Smoothdog wrote this song, and "YES", he got screwed! Let it rest! Remember him as talented, among other things! I could go on, but, I'll close for now!
- Anthony, Conway, SC
An awesome tune indeed! This song was also recorded by the "Minglewood Band" in 1979 in Canada. Matt Minglewood added a story line that anyone could relate to about a young man, making choices in life for his future. His woman leaves him and everything seems to fall apart. "...He'd find himself at 4 o'clock in the morning down at the nearest railroad station.
He don't really care where he goes. He don't really want to go home to Cape Breton yet.
Something about country boys
They don't like to go home a failure, you know what I mean". The story then changes to song with Toy Caldwell's original lyrics. Very Cool!
- Robert, C.B., NS
Well here's total bulls--t for you "Toy Caldwell wrote . . . " I'm not even gonna say it!

I grew up with the Dog. At one time we fought like dogs, and later became best friends. The only one that knows more about Jamison is his mom, Mom Hendricks. His dad had Parkinson's Desease and Jamison lived his life in fear of inheriting it. Yeah, he married Jamie, Capital President's daughter. Had three top antique stores in New York City. And one time outside of Dirty Frank's in Philly he zoned and passed out from too much acid mixed with beer; I shipped him to the hospitla, kept his shoes, and he had to walk home barefoot in the snow.

About "Can't You See"

"gonna ride til the End Of Track" the sign at the Broad & Snyder subway stop, the End Of Track, a very unique sign. You saw it every time you went home to South Philly when you rode in the front car. A lot of other clues are in the song. And there ain't no "End Of Line" in any fast train to Georgia; that train line ends in Florida, which Toy, apparently, didn't know.

In addition, MeatLoaf wanted to buy "The Ballad of Ginny West." Jamison said no to $5,000.00 As far as Kenno holding the CopyRights, bulls--t Kenno, how could you do that to Jamison!

A lot of stars don't write the songs they say they wrote, Patsy Cline "Crazy" which Willie Nelson wrote, "Change Of Heart" which Essra Mohawk wrote [I know, I was living in her basement when she wrote it and played it for me]. And I took a lot of people into the recording studio, including Jamison and Essra.

Jamison played this song all over Philly and NYC and I was with him, singing along with him from the audience, he wrote it, there's no doubt about it.

Marshall Tucker didn't know s--t when they met him.

Jamison Smoothdog "Jimi Japp and real name Jimi Hendricks, which he dropped in San Francisco because the other Jimi Hendrix had 'The Name' sewn up in a contract," was my best friend in the Projects, the Wilson Park Federal Housing Project at 26th & Snyder in South Philly. We simply called him "Dog." A lot of imitators, but nobody as great a SongWriter as The Dog.

I toured with him in the 80's and 90's, and was sad to learn of his death when I got back home, one more time, to South Philly.

Toy Caldwell and Marshall Tucker can erase "Leonardo DaVinci" from the Mona Lisa and put their name there as well, but it won't change the truth, the fact that they are not the Authors of "Can't You See."

Terry James
Lead Vocals & Guitar
Hell On Wings
- HellOnWings, Philly / Beverly Hills / NYC , CA
Real men play flutes! Fabulous haunting notes from the flute as well as vocals exquisitely expressing passionate pain make this tune a classic. If you're a woman, you can only hope that you possibly have this kind of effect on some adorable men.
- Camille, Toronto, OH
There are more than a few in the metropolitan Philly area who feel strongly that Jamison Smoothdog (RIP), aka James Hendrick may very well be the one true author of 'Can't You See'. The story goes that as a somewhat unruly inner city teenager Jamison had been invited to record - with a pick-up band in NYC as a tax write-off for the studio owner. Smoothdog had reportedly been paid maybe $200. for a week's worth of writing / recording. This took place circa 1972, by his own admission, many illicit drugs of that era had clouded his memory however he did claim that the studio players told him that they heard the song that he wrote live-in-session on the (FM rock) radio; 'Can't You See'. The masters were said to have been sold to Capricorn Records - the home of the Marshal Tucker Band & others. See AllMusic.com and Wikipedia.com. Jamison's nephew is none other than California jazz guitar phenom - Skip Heller. He rebuilt the new 1991 Gibson Songbird that had been purchased for 'The Dog' from Flamin' Harry / Perkasie Pa's McGonigle Music. Said Skip via e.mail, "I'll never sell it..." Smoothdog's last known band was Little House with lead guitarist Joel Hornikel, playing Philly, NYC's West Village & Harlam among other locations. The 'Hello Philadelphia!' Volume One, Philly Rock Guide (later Rockpile 1989 - 2006) compilation offers one track, 'Sadie', recorded at the former 1020 RPM, Delaware Ave, Philly, adjacent to the Rockpile offices & Boys To Men, Patti Labelle & Dead Milkmen's often utilized rehearsal studio's. The late, great Toy Caldwell had been known to regale his version of how he wrote, "Can't You See" on CMT back in the early 90's. Ultimately it may be up to the listener to decide who the true author might be. At least until some otherwise convincing and autheticated documentation becomes available that would vindicate Smoothdog, it's guitarist and vocalist Toy Caldwell's song. It's also been suggested but no less unsubstantiated that JS had been married young (and subsequently divorced) to the daughter of a significant corporate music mogul who had in-turn blacklisted Smoothdog. Jamison died as the result of diabetes and alcohol related symptoms in Southern NJ, somewhat reclusive and said to have become increasingly bitter over his supposed dashed opportunity's, absence of recognition and appropriate remuneration for his efforts. He has authored dozens of other compelling original songs, available in demo form along with an early 1980's 12 inch EP, 'Streetheart' that featured Essra Mohawk, drummer Scott Tattar and others. Tunes include 'The Ballad Of Sad Cafe'. He also appeared on an early Philadelphia live videocast from Somerton, PA's Sweeney's Station Saloon along with his then rock trio (Nevada Paul: bass, vox, Kenno Kenno: Congas, JS: gtr, vox) Boom.- PM (Former Jamison Smoothdog Manager)
- Paul, Jamison, PA
It's ridiculous that this is the only one of their songs on Songfacts. No "Take the Highway" or "Heard It In a Love Song"?
- Scott, Boston, MA
I met the woman who this song was written about, accidentally. I'm a radio DJ, and while I was in school for broadcasting in Oklahoma City, I came across this guy who wanted to learn bass guitar. The man didn't know a THING about music, nothing. I went to his house and taught him how to play. After my 3rd time with him, we went into the front room to chill and his sister was there(somewhere around 50-60 yrs old) and complimented me. I'd never met her before and we talked for hours. She said that she used to date Doug Gray of The Marshall Tucker band. They used to call her Rainbow, and more than likely if you see a picture of the band and there is a woman in it, it's her. She told me that there was a night where the band finished a show then went back to the hotel to party. Everybody was on acid and everything else, it was the late 60s, what else would you expect. Something was said that flipped the "lets start fighting" switch, then everything went crazy. They trashed the hotel room and had one hell of a fight. After that night, she went back to her home, and they didn't speak to each other for almost 20 years. They played in Tulsa, OK and they played "Rainbow" and she was in the front row, and made eye contact with Doug, then went backstage and met up again and caught up on old times. I now know why Doug wrote the song. There's much more detail, but I'll keep that for me. Cheers
- Will, Frisco, CO
As a teenager in the South in the early '70's, this song certainly hit a chord with me. It is a wonderful expression of the Southern blues, describing the frustration of a man trying to have a relationship with a woman who is just toying with him. I love the line:

"Ride me a Southbound
All the way to Georgia now
'Til the train run out of track"

The melody, the flute, and the guitar all seem to mimic the mournfull sound of a train at night, somewhere off into the distance.
- Rick, Seattle, WA
He was not a janitor he WAS a piano tuner. The band spelled The name Marshall. The piano tuner spelled his name with one l. They did in case the old man might want some royalties for the use of his name one day. That's straight from the horse's mouth, Doug Gray, the lead singer.
- Bill, Greenville, SC
I read on one of the CD covers that Toy Caldwell wrote the song in 1970, but the band did not record it right away, not until 1973.....BUT, Waylon Jennings recorded it on March 22, 1971.
- Teresa, Cairo, GA
I heard the Waylon Jennings version before I heard the Marshall Tucker Band version. I liked the WJ version better of the two.
- Tom, Dozier, AL
The name Marshall Tucker is derived from an old key chain left in the practice space the band used while in Spartanburg. The man was a blind piano tuner from Columbia, where he still lives, and he is also my former next-door neighbor.
- willie, Columbia, SC
A much better version of this song was done by Minglewood, a band from the Canadian East Coast. I don't belive it is still in circulation, but if you ever get a chance to listen to it you won't be disappointed.
- Mark Pridham, Saint John, Canada
I liked the Hank Williams, Jr. rendition much better than Marshall Tucker. GREAT guitar work in the Hank version and much better song arrangement!
- Don, San Jose, CA
This song brings back the feelings of a southern night on the orch its great!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- KC, Kansas City, MO
It has the same chord progression as Led Zeppelin's song "Thank You"
- Addison, Versailles, KY
Growing up in the South makes you love certain bands, even if you don't like country (hell, my favorite band is Pink Floyd). But Skynyrd, Allman, and Marshall Tucker have some great songs. They should have "Heard It On a Love Song" on here.
- Alex, Fort Mill, SC
i saw them live and it was awesome because they sound the same live and on the album so i was impressed i love them.
- Caitlin, sailsbury, NC
The story about the blind piano tuner in sc.is the correct answer as to how they got their name.They found his keyring which had his name on it.also if you want to see soemthing awesome,order the mtb dvd from 1981 live at the garden state.think it was mtv's 1st live concert,its a great,great dvd.
- steve, louisville, KY
This is kinda off of the topic.. but i will tell it anyways because i think its pretty cool lol. My uncle(he lives in los. angelas)Know's the marshall tucker band members personally! i was shocked when i heard this because they are a famous band! They call my Grandmother MOM! I didnt believe it until i actually asked my uncle. He also know's a guy by the name of Ted Nugent. if your wondering how.. my uncle used to record songs for them. but you guys are probably getting bored from me rambling on. -bye
- Kim, Hays, KS
Marshall Tucker was a blind piano tuner in the Spartanburg / Rock Hill SC area.
- Terry, New Smyrna Beach, FL
I'm pretty sure that Marshall Tucker was either the fellow who owned the old hall that the band used to rehearse at, or he was the janitor at said hall who let them in for free.
- Tom, Scranton, PA
I really like the long instrumental beginning. The lyrics aren't that imaginative, but I think they fit nicely into the "southern blues" genre... the nice simple 3 chord pattern is consistent throughout the entire song. I wonder if Bob Segar or Joe Cocker ever covered this tune. Does anyone know?
- Bob, Wilmington, DE
I thought I had read that their name came from the owner of a grocery store.
- Bo, Albertville, AL
This was always one of my favorite "blues" songs. The dispair of frustrated love just overflows, and you can almost feel like you are back in the South during a humid, rainy, night.
- Rick, Seattle, WA
This is such an amazing song. Great solos (very Allman Brother-esque I think) and lyrics.
- Steve, New York City, NY
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