The Allman Brothers Band is and always has been one of the most exhilarating live bands to ever hit the stage. They've shared their ups and downs but have consistently sold out shows through out a career that started in 1969. Duane Allman formed the band in 1969 with guitarist Richard 'Dickie' Betts, bass player Berry Oakley and two drummers, Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Trucks. After several months in need of a lead singer Gregg Allman agreed to join the band and The Allman Brothers Band signed their first deal with Capricorn Records.
The first album, a self-titled blues and country rock album got good reviews but wasn't a huge chart success. Around the release time of the first album the band spent a lot of time on the road defining a sound that would be loved for years to come. Playing long jams made the band a great show to see and 'Whipping Post' off the first album was always worth hanging around for.
In 1970 the band released 'Idlewild South' which got great reviews and sold better than their debut album. With each release came more live favorites. 'Midnight Rider' and 'In Memory of Elizabeth Reed' were both bred from the second album and found their way into the hearts of fans. Just over a year later The Allman Brothers Band released what is considered one of rock's best ever live albums, 'Live At The Fillmore East'. The album highlighted the amazing interplay between Duane and Betts and the most powerful vocals to be heard from Greg Allman thus far. With an extended version of 'In Memory of Elizabeth Reed' and a twenty-minute plus rendition of 'Whipping Post', The Allman Brothers Band secured their place in rock.
1970 to 1976 was a trying time for the band. In the middle of working on their next album, Duane Allman was fatally wounded in a motorcycle accident leaving 'Eat A Peach' to be finished without him. Almost a year to the day after Duane's accident, only a few blocks away, Berry Oakley was killed in a similar motorcycle accident. Lamar Williams was recruited to take his place and the album 'Brothers and Sisters' was released in 1973. Oakley's last contribution to the album 'Ramblin Man' was a huge success and reached number two on the singles chart while the album reached number one.
The band broke up in 1976 after the release of 'Win, Lose or Draw'. Most of the album was recorded without the entire band in the studio and Gregg recorded all of his vocals in Hollywood where he was living with his wife Cher. In 1978, two years after the break-up, the band was reconstituted with Allman, Betts, Johanson, Butch Trucks and Dan Toler. The first new album 'Enlightened Rogues' was a commercial success for The Allman Brothers Band but the next two releases weren't and the band broke up again in 1982.
The Allman Brothers Band was reincarnated yet again in 1989 with a few new faces and a couple old ones. Allman, Betts, Trucks, Warren Haynes on lead and slide guitar, Johnny Neel on keyboards, Allen Woody on bass, and Mark Quinones on percussion turned out a note worthy release entitled 'Seven turns'. Since then they have also released 'Shades Of Two Worlds' and 'Where It All Begins'. To this day their old material still makes sales and over thirty years later they still put on sell-out shows where tickets are hard to come by. The Allman Brothers Band is undoubtedly one of the most respected rock acts ever.
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