Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Marshall Tucker Band

Can a one-hit wonder deserve a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?  I have asked that question before and answered in the affirmative, as when one deals with a band like Talk Talk, their one hit does not even begin to hint at their influence in creating whole genres of music.  In most cases where an artist or band worthy of entering into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has only one hit, there is a massive gulf between the achievements of the act and the popular appreciation of that act at the time.  For example, Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead are both one-hit wonders and both are already in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and obviously so.  The question is not always so much how many hits a band has made, but how much they influenced the music of others.  As we have already written about the worthiness of Charlie Daniels for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it is worthwhile to consider at the same time the worth of the Marshall Tucker Band, who in many ways is deeply connected with Charlie Daniels as a blend of that Southern rock and country tendency that Charlie Daniels also had, in a case where both acts mutually influenced each other as well as a wide variety of artists that followed in their wake.

The Influence Of The Marshall Tucker Band

In order to understand the influence of the Marshall Tucker Band, it is important to note the way their music served to shape and influence others.  For example, their first single was “Can’t You See,” a song that did not chart for them but charted for a Waylon Jennings cover version and later on a version by the Zac Brown Band with Kid Rock.  Already we can begin to see the sort of massive influence that the Marshall Tucker Band has had on others through their compositions.  Their first top 40 hit, the #38 charting “Fire On The Mountain,” had been written by a member of the band in hopes that it would be recorded by Charlie Daniels, but it didn’t happen and the band recorded it and made a minor hit out of it.  Their only real hit was the #14 “Heard It In A Love Song,” and that particular tune has been covered by Mark Chesnutt and Crossfire.  Although southern rock acts are often thought of as being very similar to country bands, and even though quite a few country acts have covered The Marshall Tucker Band, they only had one country top 40 hit with 1990’s “Stay In The Country.”  With the Marshall Tucker Band we see a band that had at best modest success with its singles but made songs that a lot of other artists have appreciated and covered, which is a clear sign of influence.

Why The Marshall Tucker Band Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

We have already seen that the Marshall Tucker Band was closely related to Charlie Daniels (they even shared a producer in Paul Hornsby) and that they wrote songs that have resonated with later musicians in a way that makes them the Laura Nyro of southern rock (which is not the worst thing to be).  Did their own material resonate with fans, though?  Obviously, they have enough fans to make a request of me to write about them, so that is a start.  Of their seven Capricorn releases, six of them hit at least gold, with 1977’s Carolina Dreams going platinum [1].  The fact that these certification levels were hit without having very much in the way of hits, simply out of the music resonating with a body of fans, suggests that they were indeed a band that is worthy of induction on the quality of their music.  Their music is still covered and appreciated to this day, and that’s a solid case for induction.

Why Aren’t The Marshall Tucker Band In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

I’m not sure.  It’s quite possible that few people in the nominating committee realize how iconic they are and don’t tie them to the songs of theirs that have been covered by so many others.  In addition, Southern rock is definitely an underrepresented genre when it comes to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame so there’s that too.

Verdict:  Put them in.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marshall_Tucker_Band

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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6 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Marshall Tucker Band

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    The song “Can’t You See” may not have hit nationally for them, but I remember their version very well. It filled the airwaves and resonated well locally. There are bands that have a distinctive sound; ones that, when the song come on, the listener can pinpoint exactly who is performing it, such as the Charlie Daniels Band with its fiddling and distinctive, gravel-sounding vocals. The Marshall Tucker Band, for me, was harder to detect. It has a multi-faceted sound. This speaks of a wide range of talent, to be sure, and it’s not nearly as schizophrenic as Manfred Mann, but it’s songs, to me, don’t have a common thread or one that bind them together (just my opinion.) However, this observation does not in any way reflect negatively on them (I am a fan of theirs) or take away from the popularity of their releases. History has proven their viability in the music industry and how their contribution to it has helped to shape the careers of musicians today.

    • I must admit that I am not as familiar with the contributions of the Marshall Tucker Band, at least not enough to consider them a fan in the same way I would consider myself a fan of, say, Foreigner or Golden Earring, but I certainly would like to be more familiar with their music and think their career deserves more recognition.

  2. mothfire says:

    I think that the Marshall Tucker Band was overshadowed by Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Charlie Daniels Band, Molly Hatchet, et al. I liked them a lot when I was a kid and I still do. I am not convinced they should be in the RRHOF.

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