The Atlanta Rhythm Section (a.k.a. ARS) is a highly acclaimed and veteran Southern rock band with a polished pop/soft rock sound that became famous during the late 1970s. Their best known songs include the ebullient "Doraville" (1974), the bluesy "So In To You" (1977), and the evocative "Imaginary Lover" (1978).
Formed in 1971 by session musicians from Studio One in Doraville, Georgia, the original lineup consisted of lead singer Rodney Justo along with Barry Bailey (lead guitar), Dean Daughtry (keyboards, backing vocals), bassist Paul Goddard (June 23, 1945 - April 29, 2014), and drummer/backing vocalist Robert Nix (November 8, 1944 - May 20, 2012). Guitarist/backing vocalist James "J.R." Cobb (February 5, 1944 - May 4, 2019) joined in early 1972, and after the release of the band's eponymous debut album later that year, Justo left and Ronnie Hammond (November 10, 1950 - March 14, 2011) took over as lead singer. Nix left in 1979 and was replaced by Roy Yeager. Justo, Daughtry, and Nix were former members of Roy Orbison's backing band, The Candymen, and Daughtry had also been a member of the Classics IV along with Cobb and ARS manager/producer Buddy Buie (January 23, 1941 - July 18, 2015) who served as the band's main songwriter.
The Atlanta Rhythm Section debuted in 1974 on the Pop/Rock charts with "Doraville," a tribute to the band's hometown which became a Top 40 hit. They had their greatest hits with the Buie/Nix/Daughtry-penned "So In To You" (1977) and "Imaginary Lover" (1978), which both made the Top 10. Their long string of hits, which continued through 1981, also include "Neon Nites" (1977), "Dog Days" (1977), "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight" (1978), "Champagne Jam" (1978), "Do It Or Die" (1979), and a remake of the Classics IV's "Spooky" (1979). The band's final charting song came in 1981 with "Alien," a Top 40 hit.
The Atlanta Rhythm Section has continued to perform and record actively to the present day, with numerous personnel changes over the years. The current lineup is a sextet consisting of two original members - Dean Daughtry and Rodney Justo - plus David Anderson (guitars, backing vocals), Justin Senker (bass), Rodger Stephan (drums, percussion), and Steve "Clean" Stone (guitars, bass, backing vocals). ARS has recorded over a dozen albums that include the double live set, "Are You Ready" (1979), the platinum-certified "Champagne Jam" (1978), the gold-certified "A Rock And Roll Alternative" (1978) and "Underdog" (1979), and their latest release, "With All Due Respect" (2011). The band was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1996.
- For more info about the Atlanta Rhythm Section's history and current projects, visit atlantarhythmsection.
- The New York Times remembers Atlanta Rhythm Section founder, manager, producer, and main songwriter Buddy Buie.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution remembers founding Atlanta Rhythm Section guitarist J.R. Cobb.
- The Hollywood Reporter remembers founding Atlanta Rhythm Section bassist Paul Goddard.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution remembers Atlanta Rhythm Section lead singer Ronnie Hammond.
- Ultimate Classic Rock remembers founding Atlanta Rhythm Section drummer Robert Nix.
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Atlanta Rhythm Section
- Doraville 1974
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