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Marshall Tucker Band's Doug Gray having the time of his life

After 47 years on the road with the Marshall Tucker BandDoug Gray told the columnist he still finds joy from his fans. With a current lineup that’s gelled over the past 25 years, it’s all about performing your songs and sharing the joy.

“You just go out there and have a good time and be yourself,” Gray said, “don’t go out and try to change everything.”

The band will be bringing out its best tonight when they take the stage at 7:30 p.m. at the Apache Casino Hotel Event Center, 2315 E. Gore. With long-known classic hits like “Can’t You See,” “Fire On The Mountain” and “Heard It In A Love Song,” Marshall Tucker Band helped define the Southern Rock sound.

It’s fitting the band joined Lynyrd Skynyrd earlier this year for a cruise tour. Following a short break, they went back out on the road and rejoined Skynyrd for a homecoming show in Jacksonville, Fla., before an audience of 84,000. Along with performing with Zack Brown Band and Kid Rock, Gray said it blows his mind that such a wide range of audiences find something in common with his band.

“I can’t believe it still happens,” he said. “We’re very fortunate that so many of these songs are really meaningful to such a variety of people.”

Gray said it blows his mind that Marshall Tucker Band’s main audience remains in that all-important 17-39-years-old range. It’s a target rich environment for advertisements. That’s led to his band continuing to remain relevant. Their music has been covered on “American Idol” and “The Voice” and continues to show up in movies and series. He said it’s part of the new market that you get your music into streaming services and other mediums.

“It feels really good,” he said. “We were playing a show and I was sitting down at the front of the bus, waiting to get inside. I saw these two guys, chains hanging down, their pants sagging and I figured there was another concert downtown. Sure enough, we’re on stage and we got to ‘Fire On The Mountain’ and I see those two guys on the front row screaming their butts off.”

Gray said he finds many second or even third-generation Marshall Tucker Band fans who say they’ve grown up on his music. He called it humbling. It’s also a source of strength for the singer.

“I’ll be 71 in a couple of weeks, he said. “The strength is there. Once the lights are on … there’s not a whole lot of preparations. You do the best that you can and just go out and have some fun. … Come see us and I guarantee we’re going to change your life.”

When asked about potentially recording new music, Gray said there’s already 33 albums out there, plus exposure through streaming mediums. That means he’s in no rush. There have been a lot of tracks recorded but they’ll be completed when the time is right, he said.

“I like to take my time and make it right,” Gray said. “It’s like if you’re having a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich: you want to take your time to eat it and enjoy it because you don’t know when you’re going to have another one.”

You might want to savor every bit of the Marshall Tucker Band tonight.

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Saturday night is going to be out of sight when the 11th Annual Phillips Music Education Center Student/Teacher Showcase takes the stage at the Vaska Theatre, 1902 NW Ferris. Show starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free but donations of non-perishable food for the Lawton Food Bank will be accepted.

The show features performances of students and teachers and will include rock bands, solos, drumlines and more. There will be sponsor giveaways.

A favorite event, the guitar smash-off, will offer a lucky donor the opportunity to smash a guitar like a famous rock star. Each food donation offers an opportunity to win the spot.

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"Splittin' Nuts" at Robinson's Landing, 1-31 Lake Drive, beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, to say goodbye to John Beemer, who puts the "B" in B/S Productions, as he readies for a move to San Antonio, Texas. 

The "Musical Mayhem Machine"scheduled includes: Jess Farmer, Cody Newby, Zack Crow, Sheena and Friends, Jared Rosin , Roger Holder, Matt Moran, Just Strangers, Dalton Payne, Jack Tidwell , Brad Good, Danni Carson and Casey Abbe. More artist may be added.

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This week's turn in Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week's Today's Best Soundemonium! with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist, became a calamitous fun time with the "Traditional Around Mid-May Great Soundforce Extravaganza Variety Playlist." Hope you had as much fun hearing it as we did making it. 

Jokey McJokerson continued in the Star Wars universe for this week’s joke set-up. Here’s the punchline:

"Han Yolo.”

Jokey’s Corner — Dan Fritschie, with opener C.R. Parsons, will be the featured comedian for the weekly Saturday night series to be held in the Summit Ballroom at the Apache Casino Hotel, 2315 E. Gore. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets for the 21-and-up show are $10 and may be purchased at the casino cage or online atwww.apachecasinohotel.com.

Preacher Lawson, Friday, July 5. Tickets are on sale and are priced at $20, $25 and $30. Tickets may be purchased at the casino cage or online at www.apachecasinohotel.com.

Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 6:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/ or www.onlineradiobox.com; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/.

And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us: soundemonium@gmail.com.

#Sundaymonium — Remember that every Sunday night you can listen to a rebroadcast of the prior week’s show followed by this latest show: 6 p.m., Kwamel Shakur Smith; 6:30 p.m., "Traditional Around Mid-May Great Soundforce Extravaganza Variety Playlist."

Tune in after Sunday’s show at 7 p.m. for the Steve-O’s weekly show, B-Sides Besides.

Visit, “like” (“love”) and follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.

Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPw__GedGPOUD-wROFcuZ8w.

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