2009 marks the 40th anniversary for one of southern rock’s most definitive and enduring rock bands, The Allman Brothers.Â Â Formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969, brothers Duane and Gregg Allman were joined by Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson.Â Â Ingeniously blending a mix of blues, R&B, country, jazz, and gospel, The Allman Brothers’ style reflected the “New South” and paved the way for other Southern Rock greats such as Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The band’s debut album “The Allman Brothers Band” was not an immediate commercial success.Â However, the group gained a reputation for their excellent live shows, and their second album “Idlewild South“, released in 1970, sold very well and cemented The Allman Brothers’ legacy in rock and roll history.Â They were immediately hailed as “the best damn rock and roll band of the past 5 years” by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1971.
Tragedy would soon grip the band however.Â After completing just three songs on their “Eat A Peach” album, lead guitarist Duane Allman, known for his slide guitar, was killed in a motorcycle accident on October 29th, 1971.Â The band decided to continue making music and finished the album with replacement Dickey Betts, who is best known for writing and singing “Ramblin’ Man“, perhaps one of the group’s most well known songs to this day.Â A year later, bass guitarist Berry Oakley ironically died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident which happened less than 3 blocks away from where Duane’s accident occurred.
Throughout the years the Allman Brothers Band would continue to endure, releasing critically acclaimed albums, dealing with breakups, and evolving with an ever changing cast of members.Â Today, The Allman Brothers tour with 3 original members, Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson.Â They will forever be known for paving the way for other legendary southern rock bands, and are consistently recognized as one of the greatest bands of all time.
Catch The Allman Brothers Band live at Red Rocks Amphitheater on Saturday, September 5th at 7:00 P.M.
Ticketmaster: 303-830-8597 (TIXS), or www.ticketmaster.com
Red Rocks Amphitheater: 720-865-2494, or www.redrocksonline.com