This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Gary Talley, one of the founding members and lead guitar of the Box Tops, performing at The Suncoast Showroom February 15 at 8:30. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Talley talks about how the group got its name (it wasn’t the original name); why he wasn’t pleased with the name (but after the hits came, he got used to it); growing up with the Memphis sound around at the time; how music and church were the biggest things in his life; the influence of Reggie Young, a leading session musician; and the impact of their hit, “The Letter” on Vietnam Vets who come to the group’s live shows.
Talley played with the Memphis band the “In Crowd,” before joining the group that would eventually become the Box Tops. He remained a member of the Box Tops for the groups’ entire life. The group’s hits include
In 1996 Gary joined his fellow original Box Tops in the recording studio and began touring with the group. He plays lead guitar and electric sitar on stage and in recordings. Gary’s experience as music director in other groups led to a similar role with the Box Tops, during 1997-2010. Also, his well-developed songwriting skills are reflected in “Last Laugh,” a song on the ‘Tear Off’ album.
In 2015, Gary teamed up with Bill to bring back The Box Tops’ music including “The Letter,” “Cry Like a Baby,” and “Soul Deep” to audiences, playing guitar and sharing vocal responsibilities.