Marshall Tucker, beloved piano tuner who inspired the Marshall Tucker Band’s name, has died. He was 99.
The Marshall Tucker Band shared a photo of Tucker seated at a piano on their social media channels this week. The band wrote in a statement that Tucker, whose historic name is known by countless fans despite the fact that he was never a member of the group, had “passed away peacefully” on Friday (January 20). They honored Tucker in a tribute:
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of someone very special to our hearts, for very obvious reasons. 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. In the early days when we were rehearsing in an old warehouse in Spartanburg, we found a keychain inscribed with his name. We needed a name asap… and the rest is history! Marshall was blind since birth but amazingly could play the heck out of the piano. 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.”
The Marshall Tucker Band is known for incorporating blues, country, jazz and other genres into their rock music. The Spartanburg, South Carolina-based artists “came together as a young, hungry, and quite driven six-piece outfit” in the early 1970s, reads the band’s bio, and “duly baptized themselves with the name of a blind piano tuner after they found it inscribed on a key to their original rehearsal space — and they’ve been in tune with tearing it up on live stages both big and small all across the globe ever since.”