The Allman Brothers Band was a highly acclaimed and influential Southern rock group from Macon, Georgia that became famous beginning in the early 1970s. As one of the main architects of this genre, their ever-evolving sound also incorporated elements of blues, rock, country, R&B, and later jazz, and they became equally famous for their live performances that often featured lengthy musical improvisations. The Allman Brothers' best known songs include the rollicking "Ramblin Man" (1973), the rousing instrumental "Jessica" (1974), the upbeat "Crazy Love" (1979), and the bluesy "Good Clean Fun" (1990), as well as many non-charting live concert favorites.
Formed in 1969 by brothers Duane (November 20, 1946 - October 29, 1971) and Gregg Allman (December 8, 1947 - May 27, 2017), the original lineup also consisted of Dickey Betts (co-lead guitar, vocals), Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson (drums), bassist Berry Oakley (April 4, 1948 - November 11, 1972), and drummer Butch Trucks (May 11, 1947 - January 24, 2017). Duane Allman served as co-lead guitarist with Dickey Betts, and Gregg Allman sang, played the organ, and served as the band's main songwriter along with Betts and other band members. Prior to forming The Allman Brothers Band, Duane and Gregg Allman had played together since they were in their teens and by the mid 1960s, had formed their first group, the Escorts (later the Allman Joys) before Duane went on to become a top session guitarist at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Over its long history, The Allman Brothers Band had many personnel changes beginning with Duane Allman's untimely death in 1971 at age 24 in a motorcycle accident, which was followed in late 1972 by the loss of Oakley, also from a fatal motorcycle accident. After signing with Capricorn Records, The Allman Brothers Band released a number of albums before their fame took off in 1971 with "At Fillmore East," which was both a critical and commercial success. Widely considered to be among the greatest live rock recordings of all time, this classic includes extended instrumental jams of "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed," "You Don't Love Me," and "Whipping Post."
The Allman Brothers Band had their first charting song in 1970 with "Black Hearted Woman," which became a minor hit on Record World. Several other minor hits followed on the Pop/Rock charts including "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" (1972), "Melissa" (1972) and "One Way Out" (1972) before the band had its greatest hit in 1973 with "Ramblin Man," which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. They later topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart in 1990 with "Good Clean Fun" and followed soon after with another Top 5 hit, "End Of The Line" (1991). The Allman Brothers Band's long string of hits, which continued through 2003 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, also include "Jessica" (1974), "Louisiana Lou And Three Card Monty John" (1975), "Nevertheless" (1975), "Crazy Love" (1979), "Angeline" (1980), "Straight From The Heart" (1981), "Seven Turns" (1990), "It Ain't Over Yet" (1990), "No One To Run With" (1994), "Back Where It All Begins" (1994), and "Firing Line" (2003).
After their split in 1976, The Allman Brothers Band reunited in 1978 and again in 1989 on a more permanent basis before finally disbanding for good in 2014. The band toured actively over the years, amassing a large and devoted following, and their many recordings include seven gold and four platinum albums. Their numerous honors and accolades include being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).
- For more info about The Allman Brothers Band and Gregg Allman, visit allmanbrothersband.com and greggallman.com.
- The Guardian remembers Gregg Allman.
- Rolling Stone remembers Duane Allman.
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- Midnight Rider 1973
(This song was previously a hit for Joe Cocker (1972).)
The Allman Brothers Band
- Ramblin Man 1973
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