The Allman Brothers Hailed As Best Live Band
The Allman Brothers Band launched a Southern style of music that blended Blues, Rock, R&B, Country and Jazz all packaged in a jam-oriented fusion. Whew! This classic photo shot in a Georgia creek-bed by renowned photographer Stephen Paley shall forever remain as a poster of the free spirited hippie movement.
Enduring a reputation as America's best in a live rock performance, The Allman Brothers Band blazed a trail across the country from the Fillmore East in New York to all points west of the Mississippi. Previously known as The Allman Joy and later as The Hourglass, The Allman Brothers helped launch Capricorn Records out of Macon, Georgia. At the urging of Atlantic's Jerry Wexler, Capricorn Records bought Duane Allman's contract from Rick Hall's Fame Recording Studio as a staple to build a band around. Backed by Capricorn owners Phil Walden, former co-manager of Otis Redding, and former European Manager for Atlantic Records Frank Fenter, the new label sought to establish a hold on Southern music. Capricorn was promoted and distributed by Atlantic Records.
Dual lead guitars amalgamated with two drummers and a blue-eyed soul vocalist named Greg Allman, the group emulated a free spirited band who recorded mostly original material which separated them apart from the countless numbers of copy bands consisting of white boys attempting to sound black. Their first three albums remain as pure classics. The bands anthem of "Whipping Post" stands as one of rocks most definitive improvisational collaborations while elevating Duane Allmans reputation as rocks finest slide guitarist. Duane would later join Eric Clapton on guitar in the production of the legendary "Layla" album by Derek and the Dominos.
Sadly, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971. But the band would continue to tour and record despite a number of personnel changes and years of growing dissension over musical direction and intertwining circumstances.
In 1995 The Allman Brothers Band were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Pictured here are Gregg Allman on vocals (left corner bottom) and brother Duane on guitar while performing at a favorite haunt in New Orleans, The Warehouse.
(c) Photo by Sidney Smith
Duane Allman found early employment as a session guitarist at Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Seen here with Atlantic Recording artist Wilson Pickett, Allman also played on sessions for Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, Percy Sledge, Arthur Conley, Herbie Mann, Delaney and Bonnie and Boz Scaggs.
Photo Michael Ochs Archives