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Namesake for Marshall Tucker Band Lives in the Midlands

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - One of the most famous bands to come out of South Carolina got its name from someone who lives right here in the Midlands.

Music has a way of telling a story. Marshall Tucker has been putting his story to music since he was 11.

"Piano means everything to me. I've loved piano ever since I was a child. I'm a child of God and I go to church. I try to do the best I can," explained Tucker.

Tucker is a native of the Palmetto State. He first learned of his love for piano from someone tuning the keys in his classroom.

"I walked up to the piano and I said, “Why do you strike this F note,” and he said, “I'm tuning the piano but how did you know it was F,” and I said, “I don’t know, I just knew it," said Tucker.

Only one out of every ten thousand people have the gift of perfect pitch, the talent to name a note from just a sound.

"It's a gift. It's nothing that's credited to me. (God) gave it to me and I've been able to use it in my work," said Tucker.

Credit: WLTX

There's a saying that, “Our talents are God's gift to us and what we do with them are our gift back to Him.” At the age of 94, he knows what some might consider his greatest challenge is really his greatest gift.

"We are people that happen to be blind. Not because we've had any special talent because a lot of people have more talent than I got," explained Tucker.

With his love for music and piano, he made a living being a professional piano tuner until he retired in 1991.

Blind since birth, he couldn't imagine how far his name would go.

You've probably heard of the Marshall Tucker band, a group that came out of Spartanburg back in the 70's. It was one of the groups credited to developing the southern rock sound.

Tucker says he was told that one day the band used one of the old buildings Tucker worked in to repair pianos for rehearsal.

"They were talking about the name of their band and one of them looked at the tag that the key was fastened to for the building and they took my name off the tag and they looked at it and said let's just name it the Marshall Tucker Band and let's go eat," said Tucker.

Tucker eventually did get to meet Doug Gray with the Marshall Tucker Band and received a plaque he’s put on his piano.

With a band that's traveled the world, music has helped his name travel places he's never been.

"My mother said your name is going to go further than your face and my name has gone to Russia so I guess it's gone a good ways," said Tucker.

It's a life dedicated to serving God while playing his music.

"I've had a good life. It's been wonderful. My motto is it's not what happens to you, it's how you look at it," said Tucker.

Although Tucker is retired, you can find him playing piano on Sundays at Calvary Baptist Church.

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