Gregg Allman


Gregory Lenoir Allman (born December 8, 1947 in Nashville, Tennessee), known as Gregg Allman (sometimes spelled Greg Allman), is a rock and blues singer, keyboardist, guitarist and songwriter, best known as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. He was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and personally received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, he attended Seabreeze High School along with his older brother Duane, Gregg took an interest in the guitar before Duane did. But while Duane would soon become the superior guitarist, Gregg focused more on vocals, while advancing to keyboards.

In the mid- to late-1960s, the Allmans played in a series of bands including The Escorts and Allman Joys, mostly playing around the Southeastern United States. Toward the end of the decade, The Allman Joys relocated to Los Angeles, California, and were signed to Liberty Records, which renamed them The Hour Glass. Strongly controlled by the label, the group produced a pair of psychedelic blues albums. All the players were deeply dissatisfied with the results; Duane Allman in particular spoke bitterly of the Hour Glass' output. The label however, was impressed with Gregg Allman's vocal abilities and abilities as a keyboardist.

After its second album, The Hour Glass broke up and Duane Allman returned to the South, playing sessions at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Duane Allman was assembling the group that would become The Allman Brothers Band. Liberty Records still believed that Gregg Allman had more potential as a solo act, and allowed the rest of The Hour Glass to leave on condition that Allman stay in California to record for them. He quickly grew miserable with this arrangement, and when Duane called from Jacksonville, Florida in March 1969 to say that he had assembled a band that needed a singer, Gregg jumped at the opportunity. He had long wanted to play the Hammond Organ, and was given one immediately upon joining the band, which he had to learn to play in a hurry. He has played the Hammond B-3 and handled much of the lead vocal and songwriting duties for the band (when it has been together), along with occasional piano and guitar contributions, ever since.

After the death of Duane Allman in 1971, Gregg Allman started out on a solo career. His first album, “Laid Back,” was released in 1973 to a positive critical reception. It included a couple of reworked Allman Brothers songs, such as a horn-laden, swampy version of "Midnight Rider" (one of the band's most famous songs) that made it to #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and originals like "Queen of Hearts", which Allman and the band felt did not quite fit the Allman Brothers sound. There are also a few cover songs on the record, such as the traditional gospel number "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" and an acclaimed take on former California roommate Jackson Browne's song "These Days."

Allman's solo career has continued intermittently throughout the subsequent decades, sometimes touring when the Allman Brothers Band is off the road. Generally, these solo efforts - first with the Gregg Allman Band, and later with Gregg Allman & Friends - eschew lengthy guitar solos and cast Allman more in the mode of his favorite soul singers. The bands often include a horn section and are more groove-oriented. The template of mixing originals with reworked Allman Brothers songs and covers of blues, R&B, and soul songs remains in place.

Allman's second chart single came in 1987 with the #49 peaking "I'm No Angel", from the album of the same name. The album went on to be certified Gold for 500,000 copies sold and led to a renewed interest in Allman and to a reformation of the Allman Brothers Band less than three years later.

Allman has also made guest appearances on albums and concert videos by a wide variety of other artists, including a concert DVD celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Radiators, playing “Midnight Rider” with that band.

When Allman was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16, 2006, he was introduced by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and performed "Oncoming Traffic", "Melissa", and "Georgia on My Mind" solo and then ended with "Midnight Rider", backed by fellow inductees Bill Berry, Peter Buck, and Mike Mills from R.E.M. at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

He released “Low Country Blues” in January 2011 on Rounder Records, his first solo album since 1997’s “Searching for Simplicity.”

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