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Ab,

I remember so many times we had in Spartanburg a long time ago. We used to go down to the Caldwell's basement and watch the guys practice. We went to the T-Club to see the New Generation and Sitar to see The Toy Factory. We had so much fun. I can't believe so much time has passed. You and Toy moved right around the block from Mother and Daddy when you first got married. We were all so young!! And remember all the time we spent at the Beacon. That's where I met Toy and Tommy. The website is great - love you so much.

Ann Wolfe (McLean)

 

 

Abbie....I love the website!

Toy Caldwell remains one of our most beloved Sons of the South..... a prolific songwriter, musician and founding member of the Original Marshall Tucker Band (not the novelty act you may hear today). Toy left us with music that brings back memories of our youth and is still relevant today. THANK YOU, my dear friend, Abbie, for keeping his memory alive and for sharing personal "Toy Stories" with me in such a way that I feel as if I knew him. He left us way too soon. His music will continue to endure for many generations. Thank you, Toy. And thank you, Abbie, for keeping his legacy alive in such a gracious, respectful, loving and GRAND way. Most of all, thank you for being my trusted, loyal Angel Mama....you are truly one of a kind and I love you.

Dana Lyn Hoover
Greenville, SC

 

 

It is so great to see a website dispelling the myths behind Toy and Abbie’s journey. It is awful to think that two wonderful, gracious, generous spirits were hurt in so many ways. Thank you, Abbie for sharing your stories of triumph with those of us who love Toy’s music.

Susan Bufano

 

 

Dear Abb.,

I wanted to give you a few words on your new web site for Toy. I have found the site to be very informative and full of facts. But most of all I have found the site to be a testament of your undying love for Toy. This is a most special love, a love like that of which Toy has shared with us fans in countless beautiful songs he wrote and played for so many years.

I am so glad to have become your pen-pal. There are so many insights to Toy and Tommy and George that I have been privileged to have learned from you. And it makes me smile to know that the love for The Marshall Tucker band and Toy that I and so many other fans have shared with you was some of the motivation for this web site. And I hope this web site brings joy to so many other fans as it has me. Toy may have rode on to that big southern sky, but he is with us in heart and song each and everyday. Thank you Abb and may the lord continue to bless you each and everyday to come.

Your pen-pal Karl Blevins.

 

 

I am sure this must have been draining for you, especially with the anniversary date.  Get your well deserved rest, and smile that you are no longer censored!

Robert Putignano
http://bluesrevue.com/category/blueswax-weekly-table-of-contents/

 


 

I have known Abbie for over 10 years and have shared all of her heartaches with her through the years.  I am glad that she finally has the opportunity to share all of her stories with everyone else.  As she says she has been there from the beginning and I feel is the only person left who can speak for both Toy and Tommy and give them a voice.
She has been a great friend through the years and I am thrilled that she finally has a place to set the record straight so enjoy the website, look at the wonderful personal pictures, read some great stories and get to know the great man behind the music for the Marshall Tucker Band and the Toy Caldwell Band.

Dennis
www.cornerstoneforge.com

 

Hi Abbie,

I don’t know if you remember me,  I was an engineer at Capricorn and helped Paul Hornsby record the Marshall Tucker Band’s demos that finally got them signed and then worked on their first album. I have some pictures of Toy, Tommy, and others from that time.  I became friends with everyone in the band and loaned them my old Dodge van to haul their equipment to gigs around Macon.
This picture of Toy is  from Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta where they played a show that was transmitted on radio to the Atlanta area;  I went along to help set up the sound, what a scary gig. I would like to share some pictures and stories with you.
Stay in touch,

Buddy Thornton

Toy

PS > I distinctly  remember the day we recorded Ab’s song at Capricorn:

if i die at 23
won't you bury me
in the sunshine?
please let me know
that you're still mine.
though i'm gone,
my love for you
is, oh, so strong.

and when the grass grows over me,
let me know
you still love me.

never put nobody else
above me.
then i'll know
my love for you
will always grow.

 

 

I am a lover of the Tucker Boys, They were gig when I first saw them at the Spectrum in 1973, I just loved their sound, so different from anything else, not really a Southern Rock Band. They introduced me to The CDB who opened for them once at the Spectrum. It was like having 2 headliners at the same show. Charlie Daniels was playing material from Saddle Tramp mostly as he had just released it. It was great. They had a real Allman Brothers type sound with the dual guitars. My Favorite MTB show was in the summer of 76 or 77, they were playing down at the Jersey Shore, at the Wildwood Convention Hall, a Small, but real nice concert venue. I remember that a traditional old timey country band opened for them, I had never heard of them. They were playing traditional country with fiddles and pedal steel. The crowd was not really into it. You could hear people start chanting "Marshall Tucker", Real soon, they were moved off stage and the MTB were already to go, I was standing 10 feet in front of stage, They busted into "Take The Highway", what a great show!!!!

Jim Moulton

 

Ab:

I can't tell you how many times I've seen MTB, but I saw them as many times as possible. I still have a bunch of their albums on vinyl. I've since re-bought everything on cd. Can't live without it.

I do remember the first time I saw MTB - Memorial Day, 1978 or 1979 in Omaha, NE at Rosenblatt Stadium. It was the most beautiful sunny day, about 75 degrees - just perfect. A local group called Jonesin' opened the show - they were basically an ABB cover band. Then Santana played a great set. Then MTB came out and just killed us. We were dancing and partying and just having the best time. Toy was just pickin' away with that magic thumb. Later in the show, Carlos Santana came out with a cowboy hat on that had a big long feather sticking out of it and played with MTB. It was one of those carefree days from my youth that I'll never forget. The weather was perfect, all my friends were there, and the music was just the best. I have pictures of it in a trunk somewhere.

I'd also like to just thank Toy for all the great music and also for the song he wrote for you, Ab's Song. The only criticism I have of it, is that it's too short. I have probably cried every time I've ever played it. I has now become a real favorite of my 22 year old son...the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

As a matter of fact, I just posted on Dickey Betts' website the other day that I was having kind of a gloomy morning and I put Long Hard Ride in the car cd player and I perked up in no time.

Toy is well loved on Dickey's site. There is a thread there called "Ode to Toy." You might want to check it out. There are stories of people's MTB recollections and lots of photos of MTB. Here is the url:
http://www.dickeybetts.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=XForum&file=viewthread&fid=11&tid=3769&page=3&orderdate=

Anyway, thanks for everything. Peace and love to you.

Kitty

 

I'm just a very grateful long time fan of MTB. I was a student at Wofford College during the heyday of the Band and I will never forget the the pride they made me feel to be a South Carolinian. They were probably some of the best ambassadors this State has ever had. I still listen to the simple heartfelt songs by Toy Caldwell and have every note of music he ever produced of which I am aware. God bless you for this tribute website for the enjoyment of his fans. Til the end of my days - which seem to be approaching a lot quicker than expected - I'll still be diggin' Toy's chicken pickin'!

Unfortunately, It wasn't me and I don't recall reading the interview, but it would have been one of the great honors of my life to have met Toy. I first saw MTB at the Charlotte Motor Speedway I think in the summer of '72 or '73 - I think it was called the August Jam and had the ABB, ZZ Top, and a whole lot of other bands for a day long event. For some strange reason, my memory of the event is somewhat obscured! The first MTB album had just been released and I was completely captured by it.

Anyway, Toy was truly blessed with the gift of being able to reduce deep emotions into simple phrases. As much as I truly loved his amazing guitar playing, his songwriting is what I will always treasure about him. I was an English major and have read a lot of poetry in my time but very little has spoken to me like Toy's. He must have been a pleasure to know. Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I wish you the very best always, Ab!

Walter Early
Lexington, SC

 

Greetings,
I have been a "Tuckerized" Member of the Clergy since the fall of 1973. It was that fall that I listened to my very first album by the Marshall Tucker Band.  At the time, I had just started as a student at Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine. My very first MTB concert was in February of 1974 at the Bangor Auditorium. The concert was on a very cold and snowy night. Talking with Doug Gray years later he remembered that trip north. It was a bad night for driving even by Maine standards. He said they weren't quite sure they would make it all the way to Bangor. But, they pushed on through and arrived for the show. Due to the snow the crowd numbers were small. However, the way the CDB and the MTB played it felt like a big house party with friends and Toy was the host. The Charlie Daniels Band opened the show and set the house rocking. The night was pure southern rock magic with everybody getting into jamming on each other's sets. I converted a bunch of my seminary friends into "Tuckerheads" that night. Charlie played fiddle on "24 Hours at a Time" just like he did on the track of the "Where We All Belong" album. Heavenly! I still have the ticket stubs from that night ... over the years I have been to shows with many different configurations of the MTB. The MTB has been a big part of the soundtrack of my life and I have seen them more than any other band.  The night that I heard of Toy's passing, I was at a CDB concert in Torrington, CT. As the show opened, Charlie Daniel's announced Toy's death which hit us like a ten pound hammer. He dedicated the show that night in Toy's memory and played some the classic MTB songs. I offered my own prayers that night and extend them today as well. I also want to extend my thanks you for putting up this site and telling the story of Toy and the MTB.
Grace and Peace,

The Rev. Karl Duetzmann
Pastor, The United Church of Christ in Devon Milford, CT
aka "The Rev." -- "Tuckerized" Member of the Clergy Since 1973

 

Abbie,

I don't know if you will remember me or not but I was one of Toy's first big fans by mail. I was from Aiken and I think I was one of the first, if not first, who wrote him for an autograph.  And then later I met him several times.  In fact when I was in high school, I met you both backstage at the Township Auditorium show in Columbia, probably in 1975. We corresponded many times over the years, and then in 1988 or '89 I talked to Toy at one of his shows in Atlanta (at the time I owned a travel agency in Atlanta).  We ended up talking on the phone several times after that night. Ultimately he invited me to your house in Moore. I spent a great afternoon talking to you both. I think I wound up sending you an early photo of Toy and Tommy from an old magazine where they both had really long hair. You especially liked that photo. One of my fondest memories in life is being backstage at their show in Augusta, Ga, in 1975, a few months after we met in Columbia. Toy gave me a backstage pass and I watched the whole show from just behind the band. Today I live in Orlando and work for Disney as a Development/Promotions Director. One of my responsibilities is working with bands for our Christian music event Night of Joy and mainstream bands for Grad Nite. I also work with a lot of music industry contacts in New York and Nashville.  So I have been able to translate my passion for music into a career. If you are ever in Orlando, I would live to meet with you.
Take care,

John Horton

 

 
 

Thank so much for the site, and the you tube response. I've always been a fan of Toys musical achievements. if I like a someones music, I rarely care what kind of person they are in their personal lives. I.E.- elton john, dickey betts, etc. but the more I learn about Toy's life, the more I'm in awe of the man. A war hero, family man, dedicated friend. It seems he didn't care for drugs, alcohol, or any of the things some musicians get caught up in. in early interviews he talks of family not life on the road. He was a "mans" man. You must be very proud to be such a large of his life. bless you and your family and long live the memory of the Caldwell brothers. P.S. - can you tell me anything about his brother that wasn't in the band? I know he lost his life in a car also.

YEAH, Dickey is my fav, but be proud to know that Toy is above even Hendrix and Clapton on my short list of favorites. now i want to tell you a kind of long winded story about me, my bro and the MTB. I graduated HS in 1982 and was not a big southern rock fan. my brother who was 7 years older was a very big fan of all the so. rock bands especially the MTB and saw them several times thru the late 70s.(always my absolute favorite hand me down t-shirt) I remember that sometime in the mid 80s MTB came to our area and were to play a pretty small club. I was excited to to let my brother know and thought we would go see them. when I told him, he said, and I remember almost exactly, "there's only like two original members left in the band and without Toy Caldwell they got some balls still calling themselves the Marshall Tucker Band. You couldn't get me to go to that show if you paid me." My brother passed away last year way too young, and hearing all of Toys classic tunes or even the mention of his name bring back this story and so many other memories of my bro. I recently bought a ticket to see what is now called the MTB cuz I figured it would be good enough to enjoy those songs and think of my bro. after learning of the lawsuits, the lies and just seeing what a jerk Doug Grey is, I'm not going. I did already buy the ticket (front row too), so that ass is gonna get some of my money(UGH), but instead of ripping it up, I think I'll try to have a local radio station raffle it off for charity. Thanks again for for all your time.

Brian Hoag
Thanks Abbie for this website and your friendship. No one has contributed more to my life and happiness than you two...

Terry Sack

 

Ab,
Thanks for the nice response. It was the highlight of my weekend. As I said, if you or your children are ever in Orlando, please feel free to contact me. If I can help with anything "Disney" let me know was well.

Sometime I should send you a list of the video material I have on Toy. You probably have everything, but I do have few hard to find pieces such as Toy's death being announced on CMT -- they played "I Hear The South Calling Me" video and then closed with his photo and statement of passing.

Take care,

John

 

A fan with a few MTB stories. Hope you are doing good Abbie.

Johnny Tatt

 

Abbie,

Having known Toy, George, and you for a long time, this site is a testament to a love that was very true. (and) The painfully true historical account of a great Southern Rock Band that rose to great fame by a concerted effort in the Seventies. Those times and memories for everyone are golden and precious. It was a sad day in Spartanburg SC when Tommy (Caldwell) died.  Marshall Tucker was well on its way to the top of the mountain, headlining all the way (yes, I feel they had NOT hit the top yet-at that time). Flash forward to now. I know this may sound weird to some, (but) quite frankly  I’m sad that Toy was taken to soon, however,  I thank God above that he NEVER knew just how many people he supported during the 70’s-80’s- and beyond. He trusted so many people, they were *hometown* people. People whom he thought were straight shooters-- as in integrity.  Most of who have abandoned you, especially after Toy’s death even to this very moment. There is an old saying about the character of people whom are around when the money is good, but scram when it’s not.

Abbie, I am very proud of this remembrance/official web-site to your husband. It has taken great effort just to have lived through this mess once. As time moves forward I hope that people realize that this comment section is for all of us that just loved the (original) MTB music.  Just a simple...”I loved their music” will do…and I truly love their music, still. I listened to an interview last night that Tommy did back in the latter ‘70’s that is on YouTube. Tommy was spot on. I think if Toy were alive today he would say “Ditto”…well in his own way.

On a personal note, thank you for allowing me the privilege to stand/work beside you as a Nurse. I thank God more for the gift of you and your friendship that has endured time. You are a beautiful soul and I love you.

Marie Matheson/Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, GA. / Spartanburg, SC.

 

Hi Abbie, I’m a long time fan of the original MTB. Just wanted to say thanks for starting this great website, and for keeping Toy and Tommy’s memory alive. Lots of great stories and photos.
It was compelling to read about the issues involved with Toy’s copyrights, and the perseverance you had to prevail in the legal action, in addition to the friends who came to your support. From everything I’ve read about Toy, he was the kind of person whose handshake was his word, and it’s sad that some of the people he worked with chose to take advantage of that.
I still remember the first time my friends and I saw MTB, at New Haven Coliseum in April of 1975. It was their first time as a headlining act, with Grinderswitch opening the show. From the minute they came on stage, and even after 3 encores, their energy just never stopped. It was the same every time I saw them afterwards. I always got the impression that Toy and Tommy wanted to give the fans more than their money’s worth, and that built a very loyal following over the years.
The last time I saw Toy play was with his solo group in 1989, at a tiny place called Club Tip Toe in Bridgeport CT. What a treat it was for us, to see up close how he played his guitar with only his bare thumb.
Toy really seemed to enjoy his new career as a solo musician. He was having a lot of fun singing his own songs, and very happy to play for the crowd of about 200. I got the feeling that he would have still played his heart out even if it was for only one person.
He and the band did 2 sets and 2 encores, and then Toy even came back out from the dressing room (which was the kitchen of the club) to sign autographs for the fans.
We all came away that night being floored at what a truly genuine person Toy was. There simply was just no question, writing and playing music is what God put him on earth to do, and he absolutely loved doing it.
I never quite understood why Toy didn’t get more of the recognition he deserved for his talents, but it is so great that you are a voice for Toy and Tommy, to honor their legacy and protect the integrity of their music.

Thanks again Abbie,

Andrew Darcangelo
Bradenton Florida

 

I just want to thank you for this site, I didnt know about it untill now. Toy was and is my biggest musical hero since the 70s and MTB but I like him better solo, Midnight Promises being his best. I will be following your effort closely - I'm from Sweden by the way.

Abbie, I hope I don't offend you by using your first name. In the future when I respond on any topic on the internet, I will defend Toy in every way that I can. I am already doing this by pointing out the one thing that takes him to the top - He was one of the best singers, guitarists, and southern people ever.

Lars Viklund

 

My oldest brother Bernie owned a bar (Elysian Inn) in South Nashville in the early 80's . My other brother Danny (who works for Charlie Daniels) were playing one Saturday night at the Elysian Inn and Toy showed up and played some songs with them!! It was an awesome experience for me to get to watch him play! I am #9 of ten children and we grew up listening to Southern Rock and The Marshall Tucker Band is one of my all time favorites!! We still listen to them therefore I believe he lives on through his music!! Thank you for starting up this site and I will pass it on to others around Nashville.

Sincerely, Michael Curran

 

Love the site Ab! Toy would be proud. I cant thank you enough for all of your kindness, generosity, and friendship. I will keep the OriginalMarshallTucker.com site alive until they band is inducted into hall of fame. Love you Sweetie!!!

Bruce Wall

 

Hey Ab

I'm a professional actor who spent many years in hollywood, I'm originally from Spartanburg and I'm currently living in Charlotte and engage to someone in Spartanburg. I have fought the entertianment battle as a Southerner and let's just say it ani't easy!!

MTB had a major influence on me growing up and still to the day is my all-time favorite band. I lived in Spartanburg until I was 18..my uncle Phil owned Capri Lounge on St. John and my dad and all his brothers at one time owned bars that had live music. I have been in love with music since i was old enough to hear it. My heart told me to follow acting and it worked out ok.

I started a Facebook page called "Vote Marshall Tucker Band in Rock n Roll Hall of Fame..

I feel like this is something LONG over-due and would only hope to help the cause and honor what your late husband started (which changed my life).
RIP TOY, TOMMY, and GEORGE!

Thanks

Fred

 

Hello Ab,
I just ran across your website listening to Carloina Dreams and reading about the band's history. I'm 51 and have had Marshall Tucker releases in my collection since I developed my own taste in music at age 16. I was really into Pink Floyd, Genesis, The Who, the Eagles, The Allman Brothers, and the Marshall Tucker Band. My friends used to talk about their favorite guitarists in high school, like Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Hackett, and Steve Howe. My friend was a guitarist and said it's all a matter of whose style you like. I always liked David Gilmour and Toy, and without fail I use to reply, "You know who I like, Toy Caldwell. He's fast, and I love the leads and licks in some of his music. He really attacks the guitar. I really like his style". I was fortunate to see Marshall Tucker once. I think it was in Niagara Falls, NY, my hometown as a child but I can't be sure. I used to work in the kitchen at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center as a teenager and through some of my college years. One vivid memory I have is in the pot room of the kitchen on a bright sunny day where I sometimes was assigned to washing the big old pots used to cook dinner for all the patients. I remember standing there washing pots singing Ab's song and becoming choked up from the words, thinking of love and the imagery of a sunny resting place with people in peace, at rest. It was such a beautiful song. What an experience it must have been for you to have such a popular beautiful song written for you by such a talented man, and I'm cerrtain you deserved every word. It's so nice to share my memory of this song that I loved so much with someone who can relate to it, especially the woman it was written for. It makes me feel great to communicate this to someone who really knows the song and can appreciate it like I do, and even more.
God Bless,
Paul Imbert
Kenmore (Buffalo), NY

 

Happy to see this site......... I never got to meet any of the guys, but sure saw my fair share of shows from the beginning............... still a "must daily listen too"!!!!!!

- Mike

 

This a wonderful thing for Toy's (and Tommy's) memory. I'd crossed paths with them several times over the years and never met finer Southern gentlemen.
Thank you!!

- Joe (Skydog) Clem

 

I knew from the first time i heard The Marshall Tucker band that they were going to be great. It opened my eyes to learn just who was in this band, so i bought all the albums and learned all their names and realized they were like family to me. Dougs voice and Toy's guitar stood out, but then the backing of George Mcorkle, Tommy on bass with Paul Riddles drumming, and then that defining sound, the flute, by Jerry Eubanks. They made it cool to be a cowboy. They were the sound of the Carolina's, a unique blend of jazz and blues and country and rock. They were a huge part of my life growing up in the south, helping me get through hard times and really enjoying the good and i know alot of other people felt the same way. I never got to see the original band perform, only their records, . In the end, well i just hope the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has enough scense to realize the great talent that was The Marshall Tucker Band and induct them into the Hall of Fame. It's only about 20 years overdue. God Bless you Toy Caldwell, for all you've givin to people, and thanks Ab for this site.

Rickey C. Blankenship (RIP - 2011)

 

Dear Ab,

I'm just a fan writing to say hello and how much I still enjoy listening to your husband's music. Growing up in Southern Connecticut just outside of NYC, I first sawe the MTB on Don Kirshner's TV concert series in late 1973. I've been a diehard fan ever since.

I followed the band devotedly followed the band through Tommy's death and saw then in concert in Jan. 1978 (must've been the "Carolina Dreams" tour) in Springfield, Mass.

I remember driving through Hartford when I learned of Toy's death over the radio. I was profoundly affected.

To this day I still listen to his MTN music more than the rest and, in my recent recital/concert (for guitar lessons) performed "This Ol' Cowboy."

It remains my favorite song.

Sincerely,

Kyle Minor

Danbury, Conn.

 

Abbie,  Wonderful site, well done, very touching,  I've been a fan of Toy and MTB from the beginning,  I've never written any type of fan letter so this is a first.  Recently " MTB" was playing at a small venue where I live.  Not knowing it was a cover band with Doug fronting  I bought 2 tickets for the show.  Noticing that most of the crown was 55 and older (I'm 60) was unsettling because I still see myself as 23.  When the band started playing it sure sounded like MTB and then Doug opened his mouth to sing and my jaw dropped.  I could'nt believe what I was hearing.  It was sad.  After the crown booed him he asked what they wanted and a fan yelled out "retire".  It went downhill from there. Thanks for your site.

Mike

Hi Ab,

How ironic, guess who was performing here last night?  You got it, Doug and his band.  Of course I needn't waste my time.  He's an old fool.  It was a beautiful day here in Philly today, 79 with bright blue skies.  I put the top down and played Toy's Son Of The South cd.  My favorite cuts are Midnight Promises and Shadow Rider.  He did a great job.  The feelings are palpable.  I see you do some animal rescue, my wife and I recused Greyhounds for 20 years, now all we have is a 13 year old deaf long haired dachshund.  Hope you have a happy and healthy weekend.

Mike

 

That you Toy for the great music! MTB have always been a part of my life.I got to meet Doug,I was told I was the last one to get an autograph from George a week and a half before his death.My Band still plays MTB song with the memorie of the ones gone home in mind.I'm glad there's a site to keep Toys Memorie Alive. God Bless!

- Chris Dobbs

 

I was never fortunate enough to meet Toy in his lifetime.  I love his music and his special wife Abbie!  But I'm not writing to praise the musician but to praise the man I have learned he was.  His music is without a doubt special and timeless but his character and love of Abbie is a far more important trait.  I wish I would have known him but his life lives on a daily from Abbie with the stories she tells me.  The world is missing a musician but more importantly we are missing a great person!

I love you Abbie,

Tyler Hoover

 

Regarding the article from "Town Magizine", Thank you on behalf of my father, son, step-father, brother, husband, both father-in-laws, nephew, even my ex-husband, and all living and fallen soldiers and their families of the United States Armed Forces for Standing Up on your husbands personal tribute web site for what is right, what is just, and what keeps America free. God Bless you. This will be here long after both of us are gone, right along with Toys wonderful music- for it is eternal and THAT IS THE TRUTH! KUDOS also to the magizine for a most excellant cover picture. Job well done.

Bless you on your long rode traveled,
Marie Matheson, Los Angeles, Atlanta

 

It's been a long time since ive been on any music site as i am a father of five including an austic daughter. came upon this site after clicking on links on cdb site. lifetime mtb fan and tcb fan as well. origionally from long island and now reside with my wife of 28 years and family in albany area ny. just wanted to say high, still play old mtb and toy and george cd. god bless.

Tom Spinelli

 

Ab:
Well, there are plenty of musicians who CAN read music who can't hold a candle to Toy. Being a musician is not all about reading music ... it helps, but isn't necessary.  In reality, it's all about feeling, ability and creativity ... Toy has a ton of that.  It's funny that you say he played by ear.  Ear training is an important part of musical education, so to confirm his natural ability at that is very cool.  When you get a chance, ask some of your musician friends to watch a video of Toy with you with my comments in mind. They can probably point out what I mean by learning from the lick.
BTW, on another topic ... I've read of your legal tribulations on the website.  I'm an attorney in New York.  So, while I may not be familiar with the specific laws of your State, there are certain Federal and common law concepts of which I have a fair amount of knowledge.  So, should you have legal questions, please feel free to ask before spending money on a lawyer.  Perhaps I can help to steer you in the right direction before you go spending bucks on a road to nowhere; attorneys can be expensive and I've seen too many of them willing to take money where there's a very slim chance of recovery.  Since I'm a musician who became an attorney because my parents (also musicians) insisted on it, I've seen and experienced how artists and their families can get railroaded.  So, it would be a pleasure to help if I can.
Randy
So glad someone has a site for Toy.I was raised in Alabama but my Mom was from Spartanburg was proud of the Marshall Tucker Band and the Caldwells, so peace and much love from Spring Garden, Alabama
Sidney Goss

 

This website, which is long overdue, is a fitting tribute to the memory of Toy Caldwell and the great musician, songwriter and person that he was. Moreover, it was created at the behest and direction of Abbie Caldwell, Toy's widow. Thus, it offers a firsthand, insider's account of the career of Toy Caldwell that few, if any, can offer.

Toy was one of the leading proponents of the so-called "Southern Rock" sound. Toy and The Marshall Tucker Band forged way beyond the boundaries of traditional Southern Rock, melding elements of Jazz, Blues, R&B and Country in to their own distinctive, inimitable sound which was The Marshall Tucker Band. It was the ability to incorporate these diverse elements, coupled with the timeless songs, composed by Toy Caldwell that has allowed this sound to endure all these many years. Although Toy is gone, his songs live on for generations to come!

Casey Del Casino

 

 

Toy and Tommy Signing Photo Of Ben Upham's Son

Abbie, you are doing one of the moust important work in the music history,keeping Toys work and legasy for every one to see and listening to,and that is the thrue MTB of the days of Toys and even better Toys solo years,i do my best here in Sweden and hope some day get hold of his solo album Son of the South.

I would love to send you a picture of me with Toy, Charlie Daniels, Mickey Fowler and Randy Hendley taken in Greenville in 1975 after the makeup concert for the Children's Hospitcal. Very much like the new website, thanks for doing it.

Robert McAfee

Mickey, Mark McAfee, Toy, & Mike 1979

Taken in Greenville in summer of '75 after the concert at the auditorium for Shriners Hospital. Mickey Fowler, CD, Toy, Robert McAfee and in front Randy Hendley Toy's pickup is right behind us!

 

 

“The Marshall Tucker Band was a country-rock group formed '71 in South Carolina around brothers Tommy and Toy Caldwell's bass and lead guitars. From 1973 to '79, the Marshall Tucker Band released a string of albums that included hits "Can't You See," "Heard It In a Love Song" and "Fire on the Mountain." Tragedy struck the Southern rockers when bassist Tommy died in '80, and the kinship began to dissolve although the group reconstructed in the mid-'80s with the revival of the Southern comfort style. Unfortunately, lightning struck this band twice when Toy Caldwell, who released his first solo album in '92 and was commencing a promo tour, died in his sleep February 25, 1993.”

 

Wolfgang’s Vault

 

 

Hi there Ab,

I was in touch with you several years ago regarding my fond memories of the Original MTB and of Toy, and Tommy....I was just surfing the net when I found this website...It's great! Thanks for putting it up. Every now and then, I reach back into my formative years when I would play the MTB very loud and see them in concert in the good ole days of the 70's.  Times hava changed! But, I was grateful you actually took the time to respond to some of my comments about the death of Tommy and its impact on this band.

I was a young teenager when I first listened to the band and all of the connecting bands that I found then such as Grinderswitch! Holy Cow....I havn't seen that name in so many years...until now. They still live on in me to this day...I hope you're doing well and thanks for offering this web page!

Todd Pschierer
Rochester, NY

 

Dear Abbie

...If I had a Hundred years i couldnt tell you what Toy meant to me...I was born in the Bronx In 1960..My Dad moved us to Nanuet, Ny  at about the same time...growing up in a catholic household my music input from my Am radio... Chuck Berry, Elvis, etc..around 1975 my oldest brother Charlie turned me on to pot and a radio station WRNW Briarcliff Manor... and damn if i didnt hear Toy and the band playing Cant you see...WOW...I saw them many times at the Schaffer concerts in Central Park....loose joints...I might have seen them with the Dead  ...dunno..but he was the bridge that opened me up to all the music that matters...Pink Floyd, Zepplin, Clapton, The Who, The Dead., Allmans,...etc...He lead me from the dark ages of AM music to FM...

God Bless Tommy and Toy...yours truly,

Robert

 

Hi Ab!
This is a great site ... just today at work I was thinking about how much I used to love the MTB and recalling how I saw them play 6 or 7 times back in the mid-'70s ... a couple times with Charlie Daniels sitting in ... my first time was at the massive August Jam in Charlotte, NC, back in '74 the day after Nixon resigned -- a wild scene for sure.  I had never heard their music before, but an older friend had, so the two of us crowded up near the stage and were rewarded with the best performance of the day.  The band was so excellent... several of the friends I was with that day have passed on and yet we were so young then!

... So I starting surfing the web while listening to MTB and stumbled upon your site.  I'm sorry to read of your legal problems after the untimely deaths of Tommy and Toy.  May God watch over you and many thanks.

- Jerry in Ohio

 

Hi Abbie,

I wanted to thank you for your honest blogs and sharing your personal stories and pictures for Toy’s fans.  Your husband was an amazing musician who is truly missed.  It is very sad that you have had to go through such a struggle for so long for things that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.  It is just so wrong that all of those people who you thought were your friends would do all that to you.  I can hear the hurt in your words and the pain that you had to suffer.  It should never have happened.  Not only do you have to go through life without Toy, you have had to fight for the truth and what is rightly yours. You are a very strong woman to have gotten through all of this and I admire your courage.  Many others would have folded given what you have gone through.  I wish you much peace and happiness.

Take care,

JoAnne
Baltimore, MD

 

Hi Abbie,

I just found your site.  I've been a MTB fan for over 40 years, but focused on the 1972-1980 era.  The music Toy and Tommie and the rest of the guys created is just as special today as it was then.

God Bless,

Dennis Greaney

 

Hi Abbie

Just wanted to say thank you again for your wonderful Website for us fans. It means allot.  I really liked the picture of you & Toy's Christmas Tree in 79 you put up. I remember that Christmas with lots of fondness. I turned 17 at the time and got Skynyrds Gold Platinum and and Allman Brothers LP for Christmas and that was the beginning of my love for Southern Rock and started me on my way to becoming a musician.. Anyway thanks for sharing and helping bring back allot of warm memories for me.

Mike

 

Hi Abbie,

I purchased tickets to see the MTB at the pier in NYC, I couldn't wait to see the show.  When the band came on Doug made the announcement they were touring w/o Toy and George and they started playing I was so pissed I grabbed my wife and walked from the back of the pier to the front of the stage and during the song I screamed at Doug and let him know they weren't the MTB band w/o Toy and George.  He heard me and he had a look of dis-belief on his face,  I walked out on the show and I have never supported the Doug Grey version of the band since.  Toy, Tommy and George were the  backbone of the band and Toy was and always will be my favorite guitarist and songwriter.  Just wanted to let you know how I feel about Toy and how his music has made my life better.  Never a bad day when you can blast This Ole Cowboy or Can't you see.

God Bless!

Dave

 

After all these years i can still remimber the show in Cola at Township. Have been a fan since the 1st album. To this day i still listen to one of the many CD's that my dauther had recorded from th orginal albums for me.I can still see toy doing the short steps in place on stage that thumb working its magic. As you are well aware of his sound and the words he wrote will never be forgotten. Even though i'm kinda like the old man in BLUE RIDGE  my dog has grown to old and so have i. But the love for his music is still with me.Always a fan of the music

Hank

 

 

"Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again."  Tell it Ab!  We're listening!

Dale Frye
Carthage, N.C.

 

 

Hello Abbie,

My name is Michael Hall and I am from Lexington,KY. Thank you so much for this wonderful website and tribute to my musical hero Toy.  I wrote you on YouTube under the name JimmyMademartin on an interview video of Doug Gray. Then someone deleted my comments and spammed them and Google messed up my YT account. I am now Fakedplanes1 on YouTube.  Just wanted to identify myself.

I am a  singer songwriter guitar player and just wanted you to know how much your late great husband influenced me. I have spent many countless joyful hours tryin to learn some of Toy's licks. With Toy it was always about feeling and heart something this Fake Doug Gray Band has no idea about. I have been a professional musician for years and I know how cut throat the music business is.  I can always go back to the Original MTB for inspiration that means more than anything.

I have tried to collect all that Toy put out in his solo career Son Of The South and his first Cabin solo CD in 1992.  I bought a CD a few years ago that is Live must be a Bootleg. Did he issue that one? It just seems odd there is even a couple outtakes on it from a studio. Can't You See is the name It just doesn't seem like a legitimate release. But I have it as well. I really wish I could here some of Toy's just sitting around the house playing I bet that was incredible. Are there any tapes of him doing that?

I really wish I could have saw Toy play in person or live. I remember in 91 or 92 he was supposed to play at a Bar here in Lexington. I bought tickets but the show got canceled for some reason. I truly regret never having the chance to see him perform or sing. I have been blessed to be around and play with great musicians in my life, my cousin played w/ Keith Whitley and Brooks & Dunn. But nothing in my book even comes close to Toy.

I can remember when I was 18 and just getting into Marshall Tucker way back in 1981. Going up into the Eastern Ky Mountains listening to MTB and doin farm work. Toy's songs and music hit me at a young age just like Hank Williams work did and has been a part of my life ever since. Thank you for taking time and reading this and I wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,
Mike Hall

 

Hi Ab,
Thank you so much for my Tribute to Toy shirt!  I absolutely LOVE it--it is my favorite ! I really appreciate all your hard work on this site too. You're doing a great job honoring Toy and Tommy!
Thanks again!

JoAnne  Guevara

 

Dear Mrs. Caldwell, I received the t shirt. It's great!  I will be proud to wear it when I show my car. You really had me going. I really didn't know what to expect. My daughter Julianne was wondering "How did she know you were an X-Large?"

Just a little more about me.  I am 56. Born in Chicago Oct 13, 1955. Married to Gail for almost 31 years. 2 children Brian 28 Julianne 25. 2 grandchildren Travis 4 Brianna 5wks. My hobbies are motorcycles, old cars , trains and Marshall Tucker-Toy Caldwell.  Gail and I have been to Spartanburg 3 times. We've been to the cemetery twice. Sadly there's no Toy Caldwell Museum.  But theres going to be a tribute car! Someday I might even drive it down.
- Gail

 

Abbie, Wow! Wow! Wow! As Jackie Gleason used to tell Alice on the Honeymooners, you're the greatest!!! You will never know how much that shirt and note means to me. I will never wear it because it will be framed with your note. Not many people are blessed to have a gift and note from the wife of one of the world's greatest guitarist as a memento and keepsake. I will always treasure it, and I know how happy my son will be. He taught himself to play the guitar. He graduated from N.C. State University and is now teaching in James Taylor's old hometown of Chapel Hill, N.C. He will love it! But I'm not going to let him have it. It goes on our music room wall. That was so nice of you Abbie! I will never forget your kindness. I'm telling you. You are so much like my sister. She has the kindest heart. I showed her your picture on the web, and she does think that there are similarities in the way you both look. I will never forget you for this, and I will do something for you someday! God bless you and your family!!
Dale Frye, Proud banner carrier for the memory of Toy Caldwell Jr.

 

Hi Ab,
Loved the band back in the day. Left south Georgia to go to college in Kentucky. Got to intro MTB to a bunch of Yankees that did not know what Southern Rock was.
RIP Mr. Caldwell
- John Clay

 

Hi Abbie,
I hope this finds you well. A friend of yours told me to drop you a line and his name escapes me. You may remember I played with the TCB in '89 and '90. I stayed at your house (Moore?) once when we were recording in Macon and enjoyed meeting you and your family. I think of Toy often and his influence can still be felt by all that knew him. I have some cool photos if you're interested and some off the cuff dressing room jams which I taped on cassette. Thanks for putting this site together and drop me a line sometime.
Kind Regards,

 

Bruce Marshall

 

 

Toy Caldwell
" Son of The South "
Blue Hat Records

Blueswax 8
Rating 8

A More Personal View of Toy Caldwell, (01/21/10)

Toy Caldwell was a mountain of a man who had tremendous on-stage powers. If you had the good fortune of seeing Toy's commanding vocals and his fiery guitar work, you'd know exactly what I am talking about. Now, thanks to Charlie Daniels and Blue Hat Records, Caldwell's only studio recording (originally issued on the Cabin Fever label in '92) is back in print, and it's a gem.

High speed antics ensue on the opening "I Hear the South Calling Me." Toy's guitar storms in ripping hot, and his full throttled vocals make this tune sizzle from beginning to end. Things slow down on Caldwell's beautifully reworked ballad "Midnight Promises" where Gregg Allman sits-in on B-3 and adds an emotional vocal chorus when Toy jumps back in to trade off singing with brother Gregg. The funky "Love Turn Mean" adds a chunk of the Memphis Horns and shifts (to and fro) from funk to a scatting vamp. From the MTB songbook we also get "Fly Eagle Fly" and a smartly rearranged "This Old Cowboy" with the Memphis Horns back on board adding a hint of Mexican tinge for Toy to wail over.

Willie Nelson's "Night Life" is so sweet with Nelson's cameo vocal appearance. Caldwell's "Trouble in Dixie" is another barnburner that smokes like a fine Cohiba with additional fireworks from Charlie Daniels' fiddle. Triple-threat Caldwell shows his fine songwriting throughout, and I would be remiss to not mention the jazzy "Mexico," and the gorgeous tearjerker "Why Am I Crying."

Topping things off there's a previously unreleased "Can't You See" with Toy sitting in with the Charlie Daniels Band which perfectly closes this fine reissue. Speaking of Mr. Daniels, be sure to take a moment to read his "Ode to A Friend" liner notes that were written in '93, they are straight from his heart.
Toy Caldwell left us in '93, there's a lot of MTB stuff to sample, but "Son of the South" provides a more personal glimpse of Toy that I thoroughly enjoyed. By the way, the recently departed James Luther Dickinson produced "Son of the South."

Special thanks to Toy's widow, Abbie Caldwell for mailing me a copy of this disc.

Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com

 

 

 
 
Hi Abbie,

 Hope things are well with you! I was visiting the Allman Brothers site last night and thought you might enjoy knowing that a thread was going with people talking about and thinking about Toy on this day. He is missed and thought of deeply by many people and his songs live on. Hope you are doing well and all your loved ones also.I posted the link below to the thread on the ABB site. Take care.
Thanks
Michael

BEST SOUTHERN ROCK BAND EVER!!!!!!

I saw MTB in OKC in 1975. I think that if I had one group's music to take to a desert island it would be MTB (original). They were an awesome band and truly musical innovators!!! Thank you Ab for having this site and keeping Toy & Tommy's memory alive and out here on the internet for us fans.

R. C.

Abbie, thank you for the "Tribute to Toy Caldwell" Shirt. I remember the  first time that I ever heard Marshall Tucker. I was about 14 years old and was fond of hanging out at the Record Bar in the North HIlls mall in Raleigh, NC. The hippies that worked there would always turn me on to new music by playing good stuff in store. That's how I first heard the first Marshall

 Tucker record. "Can't You See" grabbed me from first listen. My buddy and I sometimes play guitars and sing, and that one comes up frequently. Thanks again!!

 - Jim Harrison

Toy was one of the best guitar players ever. With his thumb he could out pick any modern day guitar player now.

- Coy English

My condolences 19 times over on this date, just thought i'd throw this out there, any plans for toy's 20th anniversary in heaven? god bless all who morn on this day, tom.

Tom

Started listening to MTB in early 70's and not have stopped.

 - Joe F

Dear Ab,

I had been a huge fan of the band , since their 1st album . I never knew much about Toy until last year .I was going to a show @ the Orleans . Being a fan of the original band . These guy's SUCKED !! The front man ( Doug Gray ) . Most of what he did was talk during the show . I thought something was not right . To me he was full of crap . My girl friend knew much about Toy , and the band . So I googled . And read between the lines . I hope that you were not short change by these folks . I will never spend a dime to see the Partial Tucker Band , again . Stay well and good luck .

AP

I first saw the Marshall Tucker Band at the Felt Forum in NYC 1974. That was the "Where We All Belong" tour with The Charlie Daniels Band opening, and Charlie coming out to play the now famous version of 24 Hours at A Time. They gave 110% every night, and if you were lucky enough to catch them and go for that ride, you know what a ride it was. Toy, Tommy and George. Thanks. Long Island is still "with you all the way".

- Jim Griffen Jr

Greetings. Just wanted to say that in my opinion Toy Caldwell is one of the the greatest guitar players to ever walk this earth. Any time I get a chance I try to turn people on to his great talent. What a loss when Toy passed. I believe that he is playing music now for a much larger group of people. in the land where there is no more death. Only life everlasting. We can thank Jesus Christ for that graet gift We suffer loss now, but there is a great and wonderful reunion coming one day, and wont that be wonderful God bless.

Mike.

Thank you so much for having this site up. I have been a fan since their 1st album came out. Toy & Tommy are my  favorite musicians and the original Marshall Tucker band is my favorite group. I can't put it any better than this... I love the music they made and admire them both as musicians & people. I will never forget the day I was told that Tommy had died, I was in the Army at the time. The day that Toy passed away I was at work and it was announced on the radio. To me the world was a better place with the Caldwell brothers in it, just know that they are missed by us fans always. Thank you Abbie.

sincerely

Joe Harris.

Just wanted you to know as Tommy was so fond of saying from the stage. "Long Island is still with you the whole way". I know this must be an emotion filled day as Toy and Tommy were so close. Here's a post I made (I'm "Griff") on the Allman Brothers forum to remember Tommy today:
Regards,
Jim Griffin
Mastic Beach, N.Y.

I truly appreciate the great struggles you have been through keeping the BS away from Toys legacy / memory or whatever you want to call it. I have read your blogs concerning Doug Grey and Michael Buffalo Smith. I do not understand people who try so hard to connect themselves to somebody as great as Toy and Tommy going so far as fabricating falsehoods about them and themselves. I have led / formed/ booked all gigs / did all promo work and played Lead and Slide guitar in a little known Southern Rock band in Tucson AZ for the past nine years until a coronary incident followed by a spinal at the neck surgery sidelined me. M beautiful and loving wife knows very well what you have been through, allthough my band never reaced the fame or sucess that your amazingly talented husband had.Toys playing has influenced me So so much ( but i do play with a pick) and i have always tried So hard to emulate his phenominal tone ( you know how hard that has been? Lol ) The name of my band is the Kuzn Stanley Band from Toy's great song Hillbilly Band and if you do have any problem with me using that please let me know and i will very sadly quit using it. I just been in touch with Randy Poe the Author of the amazing book Skydog and suggested that he do the story of Toy Caldwell and he thought that was a fantastic idea if he ever finishes the two he's currently working on Willie Nelson and Buck Owens. I hope that someone as gifted as him does do Toy's story someday.Sorry for going on for so long and it wont bother me if you just delete this as you must get so much emails / letters concerning Toy. He was an amazingly talented musician.

Thank you Kuzn Dave Gamez The Kuzn Stanley Band

thank you for so much imformation and pictures of the early days. I've met Mike Stewert and talked to him some over a few beers. It's cool to sorta have a connection to the good old days. I saw themn once in the 70's at an outdoor concert in Seneca, SC. Love the music and the memories.

thanks again!!

Thanks for some great insights on Toy ,Tommy,and the original MTB. Brings back some great memories of days gone by. I first saw them at the Hollywood Sportatorium Hlwd Fl opening for New Riders and Commander Cody.What a show,I was in awe of Toys guitar playing and the band was the tightest band I had ever seen,I felt sorry for the other bands that had to follow them that night. I was hooked from that moment on.I bought every album and went to every concert that they played in south Fl while they were together. Loved the pics of the benifit show at the Miami baseball stadium,I was there and remember it well.I will always remember those days fondly. Thank you Ab and may God bless you and yours.
Cliff Goolsby

Toy Caldwell is my favorite guitar player and the one I mold my guitar playing style around. I remember back in 1976 my friend and I went to see them, Sea Level opened for them. We snuck backstage and ended up in the arena basement with the band and I think some family members and I remember how kind Toy and everyone was to us, I'm sure knowing we weren't suppose to be there. The road crew actually put us to work breaking Sea Level down. I remember staring at Toy's Les Paul sitting in it's case. I was in awe. It was a night my friend and I will never forget. Kind people and a great show. Thanks Toy for so much great music and a very unique style of playing. Toy and Tommy together was the best combo of all time.

Thomas Earl

First,
I'd like simply to say " thank you" for creating this website. The Marshall Tucker Band is and will always be a great musical influence on myself and to a whole generation who lived and loved music within that special decade the 70's. Toy Caldwell was truly a great musician. I feel however, he wasn't given credit for his gift as a songwriter! He penned some truly great songs, far too numerous to mention. I feel it's a disgrace that the band isn't in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They were truly original, their sound will never be duplicated. The beauty of the 70's in regards to music was the freedom to create great music, where else in the world would a band combine the sounds of a flute with a steel guitar, truly brilliant. It's a shame that Doug Gray continued on with the name of the band. There is no Marshall Tucker Band without Toy & Tommy. I certainly wouldn't be interested in watching them in concert. I would only feel a deep disappointment. I can't imagine that wonderful sound without the likes of the original members. Nobody, and I mean nobody could reproduce that wonderfully original sound made by those wonderful players.

 Brian

I just want to leave a note about toy.When have a rough or rotten day i put on his music and it makes me smile.I love the way he solos with the jazz flair.I dont want to go on and on I just wanted to say how he brightens my worst day thank you so much hope you feel better.

Dave Fredianelli

Hello,


Huge fan of Toys. Have been playing guitar for 45 years due to a career chnage, I have more time and sometimes I feel toys spirit when i attempt to play like him on a few of his songs. We have been fans since the begining and in the late 80's after talking to george, myself and my best friend- / recording collaborator wrote a letter to Toy. Abbie sent a handwritten reply on Toys behalf, I still have that and the original guytar player cover from 76! Your reply speaks volumes and while I have no animosity to the current band (they have been ok at times- good, and wel..) but for me, it was hard to accept Tommy loss and No question Toy. I lost all my guitar teaching uncles all at very young ages, so i understand the sorrow, I just wanted to thank you for the kind response to a couple of "Yankees" from up here in the 1980's.

Steven

I just want to leave a note about toy.When have a rough or rotten day i put on his music and it makes me smile.I love the way he solos with the jazz flair.I dont want to go on and on I just wanted to say how he brightens my worst day thank you so much hope you feel better

Dave

Hey Abbie, 


Your site is so cool... I love it! Hope you are doing good! I still have the 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom from the Pauline school raffle. The last time I saw you was when I asked him to sign it... think it was at Shooters?
After I asked him to sign, he said, "Girl, you still got that thing?" ... well, of course I do still have it & don't plan on it going anywhere! I don't play guitar, but am very attached to it, just because it was Toy's. Because I don't want everyone who comes to my house, to know I have it, not crazy about displaying the guitar, but I'd love to have a documentation type thing about it to frame & display in my home. Like the years he played it & when donated to school, etc. Would love to talk to you

Thanks,

Rachel

A Tribute to Toy
He was born and raised in Spartanburg
Just an old fashioned country boy
When he stormed into the music scene
We knew him only as "Toy"
The man waqs big and burly
He wore his Stetson proud
When he picked up his 'ol guitar
He'd play it real hard and loud
He played his guitar with his thumb
He never played with picks
So many players came and went
They couldnt match his licks
He gave us songs like Ramblin
And the classic Cant You See
When he'd cut loose that raspy voice
His lyrics would burn through me
Ole Toy's no longer with us
His legend will always live on
I know he's Running Like The Wind
Somewhere above the Sun
So I'll just keep on playin
The music that made him proud
I hope that he can hear it
Thats why I play it loud
Go and Ride In Peace My Friend
You truly were the best
As you walk through Heavan's Garden
It is time for you to rest

Tom Cellin

Yes in 1975,

me and a bunch of my fellow bank employees went to see Marshall Tucker and the ORU mabee center. I did this after several of my colleagues that were already fans said I had to see this band and the lead guitarest Toy Caldwell play. They said this guy has your last name and looks just like you and plays with his thumb and that I'd be amazed at the whole deal, so I went. Elvin Bishop from  here in Tulsa opened the show that night. Toy and the band came out and I was amazed like they said. It was me on stage with one of my old cowboy hats on playing all these great guitar licks with my thumb!! They were right, he was great and of coarse, he did look like my twin brother in the flesh. So naturally I became a fan and that was almost 35 to 37 years ago. I was raised on a ranch in western Oklahoma growing up and was a cowboy in the real sense, so Toy's songwriting was right in my wheel house. When he died in 93 it almost killed me!!! But it's sorta strange that to this day, when we dawn our cowboy clothes to go out, I still think of Toy when I glimpse by a mirror and see myself. I still listen to his old tunes even today and miss him like he was best friend. That was almost 40 years ago, just thought you'd get a kick out of hearing about that. Sincerely Yours, Ron Caldwell/Tulsa Oklahoma....

Ron Caldwell

Toy Cap

Visited a car show today, and got myself a Toy Caldwell Band cap, they made it in about 20 min, its my new pride and joy.

Lars Viklund

Ab,

So sorry to hear about your being hospitalised. A broken vertabrae in your neck must have been horribly painful and i hope that you have recovered in full. In the last two years i have had a neck area spinal surgery and a carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand and left elbow and another back surgery and in May will undergo a hip replacement surgery which the Dr says should alleviate most of the pain in my left hip and knee. And i should be able to walk normally again and will be back to playing Guitar again Yippee! Wishing you all of the best in your recovery. Kuzn Dave Gamez of the Kuzn Stanley Band : Tucson AZ PS as i stated before if at any time you want me to quit using this band name i will somewhat reluctantly do so but i will do so if you request it. After all of my surgeries i am finally getting my Southern Rock band back together again. We are a mainly locally successful ( Tucson and the Southern Arizona area band.

Dave Gamez

Ab


Just a note to let you now how much I loved Toys guitar playing. I was first
introduced when I heard Can't You See on the radio in Texas. Didn't hear too
much more on radio till my freind gave me an 8 Track of their first album.
Then I joined the Army and remember sitting in the barracks and I had an
album of Saddle Tramp and Long Hard Ride. My freinds wanted to hear Charlie
Daniels but I would put on LHR. From that point on that's what everybody
wanted to hear. I explained to them the lead guitar player played a Gibson
and didn't use a pick. They told me I was lying. They said those notes could
not sound that clear and sharp if he was just using his thumb. Anyway that's
my little story about Toy. I think he was one of the greats and can't wait
till they"re inducted in the R&r Hall of Fame.

Gary Benson

 

I'm a taxi driver in Milan, Italy.

Since from my youth (amazing '70's) I was been a M.T.B. fan and generally with all Southern and Country rock music; Allman Bros., Black Oak Arkansas, Charlie Daniels, Country Gazette, of course M.T.B. and many others have a special space in my records collection and my heart. A powerfull wall of sound to keep hight your Flag of American Southern Roots. And I like this Love for the own Nation...maybe because this misses to my country.... but it is another matter. Returning to us, you know that sometimes, thanks to my memory key full of music (M.T.B. included), a very far taxi running in a very far city let the music and Toy's sound play....a hug

Massimo Bulegato

 

I have been influenced by Toy in my guitar playing.

I joke with my wife when we listen to something like Night Life from Son of the South that Toy played a  'Syrup" guitar because the his phrasing, along with the tone of his guitar make for such a smooth and warm sound.  I also love his singing, especially on Midnight Promises, also from Son of the South.  Saw MTB at one of the first shows I went to as a young teenager, at The Felt Forum in NYC, along with The Charlie Daniels Band and The James Cotton Blues Band, around 1975. I've always loved pedal steel, and had a tape of Toy really stretching out on it in a live show-wish I still had that tape!

Frank Bryant

 

I was a young man growing up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA when i became a fan.

MTB played at our local collage in 1973 and I was center stage.  I saw them in small venues and large as they became more popular. To this day I think fondly of MTB and especially Toy.  I just spend a 6 hour drive with my brother in law and we listened to MTB and Toy.  Reminded him that Toy was the main song writer.  What a talented guy.  Not many days go by when I don't listen to one of his songs.  He was a talent and a blessing.

Bob Kaufman

 

Hello Abbie,

my name is Jimmy Brophy and I just wanted to let you know I appreciate that you have this website for Toys fans. I'll be 49 in August and I grew up listening to The Marshall Tucker Band. I really regret that I was never able to see them in concert. I really have no desire to see them now though as I kinda consider them a mere cover band of the great MTB. I've played guitar since I was about 10 years old and MTB was a big influence on me. I spent time in North Carolina in Fayetteville when I served with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division and MTB was a staple in that neck of the woods as you probably know already. I always wanted to be in a band but life just never allowed for it as I was doing other things. Trying to make a living and raise 2 boys here in SW Arkansas. At 48 I finally decided that my lifelong desire to play in a band needed to happen. I was messed up pretty bad in a motorcycle wreck in 2009. I have Harrington Rods holding my spine together as a result of that, along with numerous other injuries I suffered. After I got out of the hospital I didn't know what to do and really couldn't do much of anything anyway. I hadn't been playing much in the past several years but I decided that it was time to re-devote myself. I bought a new Les Paul with some of the insurance money from my totaled out Harley. I couldn't even carry it to the car when I bought it. It sat for several months before I finally had the strength to pick it up and play it and its been going on since. I looked up an old friend I used to jam with and had tried to put a band together with 25 or so years ago. This time I was determined to make it happen somehow. One of the first songs we played was "Can't You See". A long time favorite of mine. To make a long story short, I now have a band. We call ourselves Whiskey Hill. We've only played a handful of gigs so far but we plan on staying with it and have several shows booked for this summer. I'm having a great time (despite some bad back problems) and My friend Steve and !
I are passing the torch so to speak to our much younger band mates. We're gonna do all we can to keep the flame burning for good southern rock music and of course the great Marshall Tucker Band. My friend Steve's 13 year old son is our drummer and he loves MTB as well as our 23 year old lead singer. Anyway, that's my story in short. I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I appreciate your efforts in this website and keeping Toys memory alive and well.
Much love, peace, and respect ...
Jimmy Brophy

 

 

I am and was a huge Marshall Tucker fan from Florida.

I saw them when they played at the Tampa Fairgrounds. They played as well live as they did in the studio. They truly were one of the best Southern Rock Bands of the time. Abbie this is for you!!!! I like your style....you tell the truth about it all.....You state the facts and discount the myths or misunderstandings. Toy....I'm sure was very much in love with you and I can understand why....You've got character and class.. I know there are a lot of bands out there that had more rifts when members left or the band broke up. The lawsuits by ageing members really piss me off. It is sad to say that in the end it is not about the music but the greed of others after the fact. Thank you for setting the record straight......Toy...Tommy and George will always be missed....I wish the music could just play on and the BS would never show it's ugly face.....Life's Highway Band....

 

Frankie.

 

Abbie,

My name is Keith. I am from Greenville, TX. Back in 1972, I think, my Mother gave me a tape, a Marshall Tucker 8-track tape for Christmas.  Me and ALL my friends loved it and wore it out! Me and a friend also saw Toy and the boys at SMU McFarland/Dallas back in the 70s - one of my all-time favorite concerts!  But here's another reason I'm writing to you:  Back in 2006, me and my wife lived in the Carolinas, north of Spartanburg, and she worked at the Spartanburg hospital.  Well, we were looking for another home for a time, and by chance, we hooked up with a realtor that had you and Toy's old homestead as one of her listings. We went out and looked at the place, not knowing where we were going, and while we were there, happened upon a neighbor while out at the barn. This neighbor began to tell us where we actually were, the Caldwell home place, and stories of old times. Let me tell you, the hair on the back of my neck stood up the rest of the visit (and is standing up again as I write this to you). Just knowing that I walked in the paths (inside and outside of the home, the barn and the yards) of Toy and Tommy, you and your family and all the friends and others is something that I will always remember and hold very close. It is a beautiful place-I could feel the "vibes", believe me. I am a drummer, and have played in many dives and bars all over Texas since the late 60s, and we played several of Toy's songs some of those years-they were my favorites. I'd like to have known y'all back in SC, and sat on that porch, just taking it all in. Toy was a hell of a musician and songwriter and performer. I think of those days in the Carolines often, and we want to eventually retire back in the area. I want you to know that I play Toy's tapes often (CDs now), and the Texas Hill Country out my backporch hears Toy's voice and guitar all the time, and I know the melody rolls through these hills all the way up to Austin!  And I know the Good Lord hears Toy's voice from my porch here in Texas, and He and Toy both smile!
Toy's still a singin' down here in Texas!  God Bless You.

Sincerely,
Keith Petty

 

 

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Hi, I'm David, the Official Toy Caldwell site coordinator. Feel free to contact me with any site maintenance issues or questions you have regarding this website. dtbuttre@gmail.com Thanks!