The Allman Brothers Band
The ABB has been one of the most influential rock groups in the United States since the mid-1970s. The band was formed in 1969 with Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Forrest Richard (“Dickey”) Betts, Berry Oakley, Claude Hudson (“Butch”) Trucks, and Jaimoe (Johnny Lee Johnson) Johnson.
Initially, it was a garage line-up called The Escorts, playing similarly to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Then the band changed its name to the Allman Joys and started playing British blues, after which it became something like The Hour Glass with a more soulful sound.
The band signed with Liberty Records, but the label missed their chance and the band broke the deal after Liberty refused to release their third album. The debut album “The Allman Brothers Band”, which the band had already released under its current name, was released in 1969. The release was received very enthusiastically by both the audience and the critics – the blues-rock sound knocked everyone to their knees.
The Allman Brothers Band returned in 1970 with the album “Idlewild South”, produced by Tom Dowd. The album, which this time had a milder sound, turned out to be another bull’s eye. This made crowds come to the concerts for the next 30 years, and the group became famous all over the world. The band perfectly combined elements of jazz and classical music with typical rock.
The band’s third album, “At Fillmore East”, was released two years later. It confirmed the group members’ status as heroes for millions of teenagers. In the same year, the release gained the gold status. In late October, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. The band recorded the rest of the next album “Eat a Peach” with Dickey Betts. After its release, bassist Lamar Williams joined the band. With the new line-up, the band released another long-playing album entitled “Brothers and Sisters”. The disc was released in 1973 and began a new period in the group’s work. The lack of producer Tom Dowd made the release a lot lighter and the blues sound turned into country.
In 1974, Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts began solo careers and released their own albums. This, as well as problems with various types of stimulants, led to conflicts within the team. It was audible on the album “Win, Lose or Draw”, which clearly lacked the previous sound of the group. The band broke up for good in 1976. Allman was arrested then, and Leavell, Johnson and Williams formed Sea Level. Betts recorded a solo. The last four agreed that they would never play with Allman again.
At that time, Capricorn released the compilation “The Road Goes On Forever” and then the live “Wipe The Windows, Check The Oil, Dolar Gas”, but neither of them even sold a satisfactory circulation.
The group started recording together again in 1978. A year later we could listen to “Enlighted Rouges”, which was again produced by Tom Dowd. This time also Dan Toler and David “Rock” Goldflies joined the squad, replacing Leavell and Williams. It was known, however, that the band would never return to its previous form. After Capricorn Records broke up, Arista took over the band. However, in 1982 there was another breakup of the group. Four years later, The Allman Brothers played together again in a series of charity concerts.
In 1987, Epic signed separate solo contracts with Allman and Betts, resulting in the successful albums of the Gregg Allman Band and the Dicky Betts Band. Two years later, The Allman Brothers returned to the music scene. Warren Haynes, Johnny Neel and Allen Woody became new members of the band. They joined musicians from the original line-up – Allman, Betts, Jaimoe and Trucks.
In 1990, the album “Seven Turns” was released, which won excellent reviews. Neel left the squad shortly after. In the 90s, the group released several albums, incl. “Shades Of Two Worlds” (1991) and “Where It All Begins” (1994). There were many turbulences in the line-up, but the band continued their activities.
In 2003, the album “Hittin’ The Note “was released, which was well received by fans and music critics. Successful concert publications documenting the tour promoting the album were also released in the following years.