Gregg Allman died today. He was 69 years old.

I don't know if there is anyone here who doesn't know who he was. In case you don't, he's the surviving brother (until today) in the Allman Brothers Band, their lead vocalist and organ player. He is known in some other circles for being married to Cher for four years.

I saw his band in concert twice, both during the early to mid seventies, during the period with Chuck Leavell on piano, once at RFK Stadium in DC with the Dead and once at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He is the most significant figure I know about in southern rock. His older brother Duane, a killer guitar player particularly on slide, made it big first and was perhaps best known prior to his own band for being in Derek and the Dominoes with Eric Clapton. If you've ever heard Layla, you've heard Duane.

His record label wanted him to found a group. They pictured a power trio, but every time he thought of having a band he pictured his brother's voice. He went with two drummers, a second guitarist, bass, and Gregg on organ and vocal. The band was known for its twin lead guitar sound.

If you've ever heard Gregg sing, you know why Duane pictured his voice.
Give this a listen and you'll get the idea:

Sorry it's a link. My iPad won't embed.

Duane died in a motorcycle accident in 1971, soon after the band made it big. If anything, the band made it bigger after his death. Gregg played both with the band and as a solo artist. He performed until his health gave out, with concerts cancelled within the last year.

His organ playing was not flashy but was as consistently tasteful as any I've ever heard. In recent years the incarnation of the band had two guitarists again and no pianist. When I became familiar with them, piano was a big part of the band's sound.

This is my favorite Allman Brothers instrumental. They're known for a two guitar lead sound but if you listen closely to this cut, you'll notice that the top voice isn't guitar, it's organ.

I can't list all my favorites here. I'll give you two, though.

One does not feature Gregg singing, just to show you another style of the band:

Another does.

And one more, just because it's very typical of the sound of the band and is just a great song (and I heard them do it live)

Nothing much else to say. I've written posts about a lot of famous musicians who have died, but over the years I've probably spent more time listening to this one than any of them. When I heard I texted two friends immediately.

RIP Gregg Allman

Views: 185

Comment by Steel Breeze on May 28, 2017 at 5:06am

bummer.....heard this while readin bout Roger Moore......on and on it goes...

Comment by koshersalaami on May 28, 2017 at 6:11am

It's a symptom of aging 

Comment by Steel Breeze on May 28, 2017 at 6:13am Joisey would say..."....",you know....

Comment by JMac1949 Today on May 28, 2017 at 7:32am

We're looking at our own mortality.  R&L

Comment by koshersalaami on May 28, 2017 at 7:37am

Yeah. He was pretty young, too.

Comment by Boanerges on May 28, 2017 at 2:26pm

Oh, man ... another icon gone. I can't believe what the last year or so has been like. Nice tribute, Kosh.

Comment by koshersalaami on May 28, 2017 at 2:39pm


Maybe I should edit it on a laptop so I can embed the videos, which are:

Whipping Post

Jessica (for musicians out there, pay attention to just how Pentatonic this is)

Blue Skies

Midnight Rider

One Way Out

Comment by Foolish Monkey on May 28, 2017 at 3:43pm

Shit.  He was one sexy badass musician.  He had a way.   I was deeply saddened by this particular news.  

Comment by Ron Powell on May 28, 2017 at 5:32pm

Influence of BB King, Ray Charles & others are evident here....

And done quite well...

The Allmans often payed concerts with the Confederate Flag flying over the venu....

I doubt that I would have been either welcomed or comfortable at many of their performances...

Their audiences would not have shown the same respect for me that I have for their music and muscianship.

Too bad....

Comment by koshersalaami on May 28, 2017 at 7:38pm


You may be right, though the band was integrated. 

The flag has had three meanings. One of them is racist and, since the virulent divide between red and blue states is now a little too reminiscent of the divide before the Civil War, the racist quality has come to the forefront, based on an attitude of "Stop shoving your concern for minorities who don't deserve it anyway down our throats!"

The second is that it has served as the only universal symbol for the South as a culturally distinct region. The Allman Brothers, like Lynyrd Skynyrd, were very conscious of representing their region. That became even more accentuated when the Allmans played a lot of fundraisers for the Carter campaign, being as both were from Georgia and the band had Democratic leanings. 

The third is that the flag is a rebel flag, and rebelliousness resonates with rock n roll. Think Dukes of Hazzard. The presence of the flag probably generated several whoops per concert. 


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