The Allman Brothers Band

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The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band was America's answer to the British Invasion of the 1960s. The band's improvisational sound served as the basis of country rock through the 1970s and epitomized the cultural awakening of the New South which culminated in Jimmy Carter's presidency in 1976. The Allman Brothers were the first band to successfully combine twin lead guitars and drummers.

Guitarists Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, bass player Berry Oakley and drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks joined Duane's younger brother, organ player, vocalist, and songwriter Gregg in 1969. Duane, one of the greatest slide guitarists in rock history, was killed in a motorcycle accident in October, 1971 and Oakley died in a similar accident a year later. Betts assumed a dominant position in the band, writing and singing the band's biggest hit, "Ramblin' Man" in 1973. Surviving breakups and personnel changes, the band continued into the 1990s, building a devoted following much like The Grateful Dead.

—Jon Klinkowitz

Further Reading:

Freeman, Scott. Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band. Boston, Little Brown, 1995.

Nolan, Tom. The Allman Brothers Band: A Biography in Words and Pictures. New York, Chappell Music Company, 1976.