Fire on the Mountain (1975) – The Marshall Tucker Band

This song was recommended to me recently by fellow music-blogger Max at Powerpop. I’m appreciative he did that, because I have played it many times and it seems to sound better upon each listen. In fact you can read Max’s article about today’s track here. It’s the second song to feature at Observation Blogger from this southern rock group – The Marshall Tucker Band. The first Heard it in a Love Song was released two years after Fire on the Mountain. The Marshall Tucker Band is renowned as one of the best Southern Rock bands to ever play, like Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Took my family away from my Carolina home
Had dreams about the West and started to roam
Six long months on a dust covered trail
They say heaven’s at the end but so far it’s been hell

And there’s fire on the mountain, lightnin’ in the air
Gold in them hills and it’s waitin’ for me there

Fire on the Mountain is a song written by George McCorkle of The Marshall Tucker Band. The song was recorded by the band on their 1975 album, Searchin’ for a Rainbow, and released as the album’s first single. It peaked at number 38 on the Billboard charts. It was their first Top 40 hit single and it remains one of the most popular Southern rock tunes.

According to wikipedia – The song’s lyrics are set during the California gold rush. “Fire on the Mountain” details how a family sets out from their home in South Carolina looking to make some money panning gold. In the end, the singer ends up getting shot and killed, and his widow is left behind with a worthless claim. 

The Marshall Tucker Band originated from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Noted for incorporating blues, country, and jazz into an eclectic sound, the band helped establish the Southern rock genre in the early 1970s. While the band had reached the height of its commercial success by the end of the decade, it has recorded and performed continuously under various line-ups for 50 years.

The “Marshall Tucker” in the band’s name does not refer to a band member, but rather a blind piano tuner from Columbia, South Carolina. While the band was discussing possible band names one evening in an old warehouse they had rented for rehearsal space, someone noticed that the warehouse’s door key had the name “Marshall Tucker” inscribed on it, and suggested they call themselves “The Marshall Tucker Band,” not realizing it referred to an actual person. Later it came to light that Marshall Tucker, the blind piano tuner had tuned a piano in that rented space before the band and his name was inscribed on the key.

1. Fire on the Mountain (The Marshall Tucker Band Song) – wikipedia
2. The Marshall Tucker Band – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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7 comments on “Fire on the Mountain (1975) – The Marshall Tucker Band
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Thanks Matt… What a song…I never get tired of this one. I love the description of the old west. It’s country/folk storytelling.

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