Toy Caldwell PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:08

Toy Talmadge Caldwell Jr.

Born: 13 November 1947, Spartanburg, North Carolina

Died: 25 February 1993, Spartanburg, North Carolina

Age: 45

Cause of death: Respitory failure.

Notable because: Founder and guitarist with Marshall Tucker Band.  Dickey Betts played 'Cant you see' at his funeral. Charlie Daniels plays his Gibson Les Paul on stage and covers a MTB track at his shows.


Toy Caldwell was the lead guitar player and a founding member of the 1970s Southern Rock group The Marshall Tucker Band. He was a member of the band from 1973 to 1983. He later formed the Toy Caldwell Band and released an eponymous CD in 1992; the record was later renamed Son of the South by Southern rocker and Caldwell's personal friend, Charlie Daniels. As guitarist for Marshall Tucker, Caldwell wrote almost all of their songs. Caldwell was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina and was the brother of Marshall Tucker co-founder and bass guitarist Tommy Caldwell. He married his wife, Abbie Caldwell, and they had 2 childre n: daughter Cassidy Caldwell; and son Geneal Caldwell. Caldwell was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who served in the Vietnam War, rising to the rank of sergeant; the Spartanburg chapter of the Marine Corps League is named the Hutchings-Caldwells Detachment in honor of Toy, his brother Tommy and another soldier. His death in 1993 was reported as respiratory failure

 

At MTB's 1995 South Carolina Hall of Fame Induction lead vocalist Doug Gray said "Toy was the backbone of the original Marshall Tucker Band and still, as far as I'm concerned, is the backbone of this Marshall Tucker Band today, even though he's in heaven."  Anyone who knows the music of MTB would have to agree.  While each of the original members brought something special to the band, it was Toy's incredible lyrics and music that laid the foundation.  He wrote 65 songs on the band's first 13 albums.  While the other members made their songwriting contributions, including classics such as Fire On the Mountain by George McCorkle, it was Toy's songs that established the Tucker sound.

 

In addition to his songwriting skills, his stage presence as a guitar player is unparalleled.  He is not the household name that Eric Clapton is, but he should be.  He was as amazing to watch as Jimi Hendrix.  Anyone who watched him flail away his lead guitar licks WITH HIS THUMB walked away awestruck, dumbfounded and mesmerized all at once.  Hopefully, someday, he will get his due... but until then Tuckerheads everywhere know what a true genius he was on the fret board.  Very few musicians can match both Toy's writing and playing ability... and when he sang Can't You See it was as if God was singning the blues!

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Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2012 07:46
 

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