The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band were an American blues-rock/boogie band from Jacksonville, Fla., that released two albums on ATCO in 1969/70, followed by two live sets and four further studio albums on Capricorn Records between 1971 and 1979.

Members: Gregg Allman (vocals, organ), Butch Trucks (drums), Duane Allman (slide guitar, 1969-71), Richard Betts (guitar, 1969-2000), Berry Oakley (bass, 1969-72), Jai Johanny Johanson (drums, 1969-80, 1989-2014), Chuck Leavell (keyboards, 1972-76, 1986), Lamar Williams (bass, 1972-76), Dan Toler (guitar, 1978-86), David Goldflies (bass, 1978-82), Mike Lawler (keyboards, piano, 1980-82), David “Frankie” Toler (drums, 1980-82),

The band was the namesake of Duane Allman (1946–1971, guitar) and his younger brother Gregg Allman (1947–2017, organ). They began playing music as teens in early 1960s Daytona Beach, where they both started on guitar, an instrument Duane dropped out of high school to master. In 1965, they formed The Allman Joys, a garage-rock quartet that toured the Southeast and settled in Nashville, where they cut the single “Spoonful” (b/w “You Deserve Each Other”) on local-press Dial.

In 1967, the brothers formed Hour Glass with three members of rival Southern garage-rockers The Men-its. The new five-piece was quickly signed to Liberty Records, which flew them to Los Angles to record their eponymous debut album, comprised mostly of orchestrated soul-pop covers. They opened for acts like The Doors at popular west coast haunts (Fillmore West, Troubadour) with a setlist comprised of blues covers and Gregg’s originals.

The second Hour Glass album, Power of Love, appeared in 1968. It features 12 songs in a heavier blues-psych vein, including seven Gregg originals and a cover of the Beatles “Norwegian Wood.” They were joined on this release by bassist Pete Carr, a longtime friend of the brothers. The band flew to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to lay tracks for a third album, but Liberty vetoed the material.

After Hour Glass split, the brothers demoed material with Jacksonville folk-rockers The 31st of February, which featured drummer Butch Trucks. Nine tracks from this liaison, including an embryonic “Melissa,” would surface on the 1972 Bold Records release Duane & Greg Allman. (Carr became a sessionist and cut the 1977 album Midnight Light as half of the duo LeBlanc and Carr.)

In late 1968, the brothers split for a brief time as Gregg tried his luck in LA and Duane became the principle guitarist at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, playing on recordings by Aretha Franklin and King Curtis. On a cover of “Hey Jude” by soul singer Wilson Pickett, Duane plays a solo near the end that brought him to the attention of Eric Clapton.

However, Duane soon felt stifled by session work and sought out musicians for a new band. His first recruit was drummer Jai Johanny Johanson (Jaimoe), who’d played in the touring bands of Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. He then enlisted guitarist Dickie Betts and bassist Berry Oakley, both from the Floridian garage-psych band Second Coming. Meanwhile, Atlantic executive Phil Walden (former manager of Otis Redding) tapped the nascent group for his soon-to-form subsidiary label, Capricorn Records.

Intrigued by the rhythmic potential of a two-drummer lineup, Duane called Butch Trucks into the fold. To complete the band, Duane called Gregg to be their singer and keyboardist. Four days after Gregg’s arrival, the band played its first show at the Jacksonville Armory. After brief consideration of the name Beelzebub, they decided it was most appropriate to call themselves the Allman Brothers Band.


  • The Allman Brothers Band (1969)
  • Idlewild South (1970)
  • At Fillmore East (live 2LP, 1971)
  • Eat a Peach (1972)
  • Brothers and Sisters (1973)
  • Win, Lose or Draw (1975)
  • Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas (live, 1976)
  • Enlightened Rogues (1979)
  • Reach for the Sky (1980)
  • Brothers of the Road (1981)


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