NEW YORK — Marshall Tucker Band guitarist Stuart Swanlund has died. He was 54.
Publicist Don Murry Grubbs said Monday night that the guitarist died in his sleep of natural causes Saturday at his Chicago home.
Swanland joined the band in 1985 after it had split up and regrouped. He was the longest running member of the group except for founding member Doug Gray.
Gray told the Web site anti Music that the band had "lost a great friend."
"Stuart, or 'Stubie' as we called him, was the longest standing member of The Marshall Tucker Band from 1985, onward," he said. "He recently took a hiatus from the road due to health problems and even with those issues, Stuart's enthusiasm onstage never wavered. Our thoughts and prayers are with Stuart's family and those who knew him."
The group, which will appear at the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off Thursday night, is best known for its 1977 Top 40 hit "Heard It In a Love Song." Their sound is a blend of rock, country and gospel.
Swanlund's funeral will take place Saturday at the Good Shepherd Memorial Park in Boiling Springs, S.C.
He's survived by his sister, three grandchildren, a son, William "Billy" Swanlund, and his lifelong partner, Stacey Schmaren.