Gregg Allman, co-founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, was born in Nashville on this date in 1947. Allman would be celebrating his 73rd birthday today. The famed musician died on May 27, 2017 at the age of 69 due to complications from liver cancer.
In 1969, Gregg formed The Allman Brothers Band with his brother, guitarist Duane Allman, bassist Berry Oakley, guitarist Dickey Betts and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson. While the first two ABB albums weren’t commercial hits, the band gained a reputation for their incendiary live shows. The 1971 live album, At Fillmore East, was a massive success and is still considered one of the best live albums of all-time. Duane died later that year and Oakley suffered the same fate the following year. However, The Allman Brothers Band continued on with their first of numerous lineup changes.
Gregg was not only an incredible singer and solid instrumentalist, but was also a stellar songwriter. “Dreams,” “Whipping Post,” “Melissa,” “Midnight Rider” and “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” are among the tunes Gregg wrote. The Allman Brothers Band withstood the many lineup changes and a few length hiatuses over the course of their 45-year career. Gregg and Butch were the only members that were part of all ABB iterations. The band helped define Southern rock and were a jam band before the term was coined. In 1995, The Allman Brothers Band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
Allman also found success as a solo artist. He released six solo albums including standout efforts Stand Back in 1973 and I’m No Angel in 1987 while living. The sublime Southern Blood was issued posthumously months after his death.
In 1982, Gregg Allman appeared in one of the first episodes of Late Night With David Letterman. Dave devoted a lengthy segment to his guest that included performances of “Come And Go Blues” and “Melissa.” Allman also discussed his battle with alcoholism, friendship with President Jimmy Carter and the ABB fanbase.
Watch Gregg Allman’s 1982 appearance on Letterman via the JamBase Live Video Archive below:
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