Well into the 60’s the records we played on Top 40 radio were 2 minutes or less, the reason being that you could play 3 or 4 tunes before a commercial break or the news, weather, etc… About that time we started to receive some longer records nearer to 3 minutes. But then Bob Dylan released “Like A Rolling Stone” which clocked in at an amazing 6 minutes, it was a runaway hit and radio was forced to adapt to the new format.
The rise of Freeform radio playing album cuts sometime in 3 tune ‘sets,’ soon followed and made it possible for the artists to write and record longer songs that would be heard by the public.
Heard It In a Love Song
Several bands in the early 70’s had hits with long tunes, and one of these was the Marshall Tucker Band’s, “Can’t You See.” on Capricorn Records, a 6 minute lament about a man being treated badly by his woman. The Marshall Tucker Band, From Spartanberg, SC, was named after a blind piano tuner who had rented their practice space before them, and whose name was stamped on the key to the door.
Although the single version, written by founder Toy Caldwell, only reached #78 on the Billboard chart, the self-titled album it came from went gold in 1973. Marshall Tucker had another big hit in 1978 with “Heard It In A Love Song.” The band was one of the great Southern bands to follow in the footsteps of the Allman Brothers, and still performs to this day.
Fire on the Mountain
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