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Doug Gray of Marshall Tucker Band on bringing back vinyl records, entertaining troops

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     (CONNIE BOLGER)

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In response to an overwhelming fan demand, Marshall Tucker Band is releasing its Greatest Hits album and two of their earliest albums in traditional vinyl form, in an homage to the music industry and the many trials and tribulations the Southern Rock sensation endured since it emerged on the scene in the 1970’s.

 “Over the last few years,  lots of people have been bringing up their vinyl records for us to sign, and we realized that there is a small demand for it so we decided to bring out our music again on vinyl,” lead singer and only remaining founding member, Doug Gray, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “And these days you can even go to major chains and buy a turn-table so it made sense for us. We didn’t want to let our fans down so we made sure it was a good quality product, and it really does sound warmer than if you were playing on a stereo.”

While Gray said he isn’t foolish enough to think that the vinyl will ever make a full-on comeback in place of digital downloads, he is confident that more and more music lovers from younger generations are interested in understanding the life of the vinyl record and the many memories that it evokes.

“So many people just have great memories of that period of time, the adventure and excitement of just going to get a record created something very memorable and we would all have listening parties before going to see the band in concert,” he recalled. “We created memories, whether they were sad or happy, or about falling in love. But we were really listening to the music.”

However, one of the biggest highlights in Gray’s career came just last year when The Marshall Tucker Band toured Iraq to entertain the troops, an experience that hit very close to home.

“I am an ex-sergeant from Vietnam so I was really a lot of fun to play for the troops, but it was more fun after the shows just sitting with these guys and talking to them,” he continued. “It is important for us to do these visits; a couple of us (in the band) were in the military, so it’s good that we can pay a little back to our servicemen and women.”

And although Gray has played and performed with more mega stars than one could fathom from Grateful Dead to BB King – there is still one big name musician Gray is to sing on stage alongside.

“Eric Clapton, I would really love to do a show with him,” he added.  

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