The Allman Brothers Band may not have invented Southern rock, but they perfected it. They blasting out of Georgia at the end of the ‘60s – having already paying their dues in the Allman Joys and Hour Glass — with a pair of records that would help establish their sound. Rooted in equal parts Southern R&B, back-roads country, amp-shredding garage rock, juke-joint blues and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll, 1969’s self-titled debut and the following year’s ‘Idlewild South’ set the template. But it wasn’t until 1971’s double live ‘At Fillmore East’ that the Allmans became stars. Guitar ace Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley were killed in separate motorcycle accidents not long after the record’s release, but the group rebounded with 1973’s ‘Brothers and Sisters,’ a No. 1 album, led by Gregg Allman’s soulful rasp. Over the past 40 years the group has switched personnel (most notably recruiting guitarist Warren Haynes) but has remained a popular live act for its marathon shows.
Marking definitive dates in music history is always tricky business, but if you forced fans to reach a consensus on the birthdate of Southern rock, most would agree it came in November 1969 with the release of the Allman Brothers Band’s self-titled debut album.
The Allman Brothers Band continued for decades after guitarist Duane Allman tragically passed away on Oct. 21, 1971, but looking back now, Gregg Allman believes the group never recovered from the loss of Duane's leadership.
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