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Gary Talley -Guitarist of The Box Tops

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Vinyl Vibes

Jack Hodgins speaks with the people behind the music you love.
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In this episode of Vinyl Vibes, Jack is joined by Gary Talley, lead guitarist of The Box Tops. Gary joined a group called The Devilles in 1966. Soon after joining the group the band's manager organised a recording session. For the session the band were given a song called The Letter. Despite being the band first single It would become a number one hit in the US and a number four hit in Australia. More recently the song was voted number 372 on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The band would follow up with Cry Like A Baby which would reach number 2 in the US. The bands song "Choo Choo Train", their fourth single, would be featured in the 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The band's last bonafide hit would be "Soul Deep" which would be a top ten hit in Australia. After disbanding in 1970, Gary remained in music and in 1996 the group reformed and today are still on the road. The band's latest album Tear Off! came out in 1998. 

Today Gary is still playing with the Box Tops and recently has made three gospel albums with his 97 year old mother Nita. 

Jack Zoomed Gary to talk about his early music beginnings, the impact the likes of Elvis and the Beatles had on him, his time in the band In Crowd, how he came to join The Devilles, his early memories of frontman Alex Chilton, how the band came to record The Letter, the success of The Letter, his memories of playing alongside the Beach Boys and The Doors, having Choo Choo Train in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his thoughts on the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the groups work into the later '60s, the band's reformation in the '90s, the bands album Tear Off!, and the Box Tops' music work today. 

"We were on a Beach Boys tour...I was back in my hotel room alone on my birthday after the gig and I was thinking "well you know turned 21"...and somebody knocks on the door and I open the door and its our bass player Bill with Dennis, Carl and Al Jardine. The Beach Boys, they had a birthday cake with candles lit...and they sang happy birthday to me". - Gary Talley talking about a Beach Boys tour he did with the Box Tops on this episode of Vinyl Vibes

Episode Hosted and Produced by Jack Hodgins

To hear the full on-demand version of this program, go to

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Vinyl Vibes

Jack Hodgens talks to the people who created the music that is the foundation of today's music.
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