The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band

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Biography

The Allman Brothers Band is an American rock band once based in Macon, Georgia. The band was formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman (slide guitar and lead guitar) and Gregg Allman (vocals, organ, songwriting), who were supported by Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson (drums). While the band has been called the principal architects of Southern rock, they also incorporate elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows have jam band-style improvisation and instrumental songs.

The Allman Brothers Band played numerous shows in the South before releasing their debut album, “The Allman Brothers Band” in 1969 to critical acclaim. It featured future jam standards "Whipping Post" and a 12/8 time slide guitar tour de force "Dreams". A cult following began to build.

“Idlewild South” was released in 1970 to critical success and improved sales. Produced by Tom Dowd it featured the upbeat "Revival" and the moody-but-resolute "Midnight Rider".

The band achieved its artistic and commercial breakthrough in 1971 with the release of “At Fillmore East,” featuring extended renditions of their songs "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Whipping Post" and often considered one of the best live albums ever made.

A few months later, group leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. Dickey Betts filled Duane's former role in completing the last album Duane participated in, “Eat a Peach,” released in February 1972. The album was often softer ("Blue Sky", "Little Martha") and wistful in tone ("Melissa", "Ain't Wastin' Time No More"), capped by the 34-minute "Mountain Jam" reverie taken from the Fillmore East concerts.

The group survived that and the death of bassist Oakley in another motorcycle accident a year later. With replacement members Chuck Leavell and Lamar Williams, the Allman Brothers Band achieved its peak commercial success in 1973 with the album “Brothers and Sisters” and featuring the hit single Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica", both written by Betts. The former reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 as a single, while the latter was a seven-minute instrumental hit. Internal turmoil overtook the band soon after and the group dissolved in 1976, reformed briefly at the end of the decade with additional personnel changes, and dissolved again in 1982.

In 1989, the group reformed with some new members and has been recording and touring since. A series of personnel changes in the late 1990s was capped by the departure of Betts. The group found stability during the 2000s with Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, the nephew of their drummer, serving as its guitarists, and became renowned for their month-long string of shows in New York City, typically at the Beacon Theatre each spring.

The band has been awarded eleven gold and five platinum albums between 1971 and 2005 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

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