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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Revival: A History of the Allman Brothers Band


Duane Allman, guitar virtuoso and founder of the Allman Brothers Band, the Hour Glass, the Allman Joys, and the 31st of February, was killed in a motorcycle crash in Macon, GA, 40 years ago today, October 29, 1971. This is a history of his biggest success, the Allman Brothers Band.

March 23, 1969: The Allman Brothers Band, consisting of Duane Allman(slide, lead, and acoustic guitar), Gregg Allman(vocals, organ, piano, keyboards, guitar), Dickey Betts(vocals, lead, and acoustic guitar), Jaimoe Johanson(conga, drums), Berry Oakley(bass guitar), and Butch Trucks(drums), is formed.

September, 1969: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Tom Dowd's Atlantic Recording Studios in New York City to record their first album.

November 4, 1969: The Allman Brothers Band's self titled debut album, featuring the songs "Whipping Post", "Dreams", "Black Hearted Woman", and "Trouble No More", is released, selling well in the South and peaking at #188 on the Billboard charts. A cult following began to emerge.

February, 1970: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA, to record their second album, "Idlewild South."

February 11-14, 1970: The Allman Brothers Band performs for the first time at the Fillmore East, owned by Bill Graham, in Manhattan, New York. The recordings of these shows were released 26 years after the fact.

April, 1970: The Allman Brothers Band performs at Ludlow Garage in Cincinatti, OH. The recordings for this performance were released 21 years later.

July 3 & 6, 1970: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Atlanta International Pop Festival. The recordings for this performance were released 33 years later.

July, 1970: Recording operations for "Idlewild South" are moved from Macon to Criteria Studios in Miami, FL.

September 23, 1970: "Idlewild South", featuring the songs "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", "Midnight Rider", and "Revival(for which this article is named)", is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #38, and the one single, "Revival", peaked at #92 on the Billboard charts. "Midnight Rider" later became a staple on rock radio.

November, 1970: "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs", featuring the songs "Layla", "Bell Bottom Blues", "Little Wing", and "Why Does Love Got to be so Sad?", by Derek and the Dominoes, consisting of Eric Clapton(vocals, lead, rhythm, slide, and acoustic guitar), Duane Allman(slide and lead guitar), Bobby Whitlock(organ, piano, vocals, acoustic guitar), Jim Gordon(drums, piano), and Carl Radle(bass guitar), is released, peaking at # 16 on the Billboard 200. The singles "Layla", "Bell Bottom Blues", and "Little Wing" peaked at #51, #91, and #78 respectively.

December 13, 1970: The Allman Brothers Band performs at American University in Washington, DC. The recordings for this performance were released 31 years later.

March 12-13, 1971: The Allman Brothers Band performs again at the Fillmore East. These performances would be the basis for the "At Fillmore East" album.

March, 1971: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, to record their fourth album, "Eat A Peach." The latter 3 tracks are the last recorded songs to feature Duane Allman.

June 27, 1971: The Allman Brothers Band becomes the last act to perform at the Fillmore East, which closed its doors that morning. The recordings of this performance can be found on the deluxe edition of "Eat A Peach."

July, 1971: "At Fillmore East", featuring the songs "Statesboro Blues", "Stormy Monday", and "Hot 'Lanta", is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #13 on the Billboard charts. This is the last Allman Brothers Band album released in Duane Allman's lifetime.

August 17, 1971: The Allman Brothers Band performs at Boston, MA, Common. The recordings for this performance were released 36 years later.

September 19, 1971: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the State University of New York at Stony Brook Gymnasium. The recordings of this performance were released 32 years later. This is the last recorded live performance to feature Duane Allman.

October 29, 1971: En route to his early birthday party, Duane Allman's motorcycle collided with a flatbed truck that had turned in front of him. He was crushed under his motorcycle, but managed to survive the initial blow. He was taken to the hospital shortly thereafter. Surgery was deemed the best option due to the extent of his sustained internal injuries. The operation was unsuccessful, and sometime around 9:30 PM, Howard Duane Allman, aged 24 years, 343 days, was pronounced dead.

November 1, 1971: The funeral for Duane Allman was held at Snow's Memorial Chapel in Macon, GA. Prominent record executive Jerry Wexler delivered the eulogy. Featured performers were The Allman Brothers Band, Thom Doucette, and Delaney Bramlett. This featured the first ever performance of "Melissa", which would become the 3rd track on the "Eat A Peach" album.

February 11, 1972: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Macon, GA, City Auditorium. This performance was one of the first done after Duane's passing. The recordings for this performance were released 32 years later.

February 12, 1972: "Eat A Peach", featuring the songs "Ain't Wastin' Time No More", the aforementioned "Melissa", "One Way Out", "Stand Back", "Blue Sky", and "Little Martha", is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts, and the singles "Ain't Wastin' Time No More", "Melissa", and "One Way Out" peaked at #77, #86, and #86 respectively. "Blue Sky" became a staple on rock radio. Shortly thereafter, the group added Pianist Chuck Leavell to their regular lineup.

October, 1972: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA, to record their fifth album, "Brothers and Sisters." The first 2 tracks are the last recorded songs to ever feature Berry Oakley.

November 2, 1972: The new Allman Brothers Band lineup debuted on ABC's "In Concert." This was the last time they ever performed with Berry Oakley.

November 11, 1972: En route back to the band's headquarters, Berry Oakley's motorcycle collided with a city bus. He was crushed under his motorcycle, but withstood the initial blow. He elected to hitch a ride back to the band's HQ instead of going straight to the hospital. Three hours later, Oakley, in obvious agony, was rushed to the hospital shortly before 3 PM. Raymond Berry Oakley III, aged 24 years, 221 days, was pronounced dead shortly before 4 PM as a result of a brain hemorrhage exacerbated by the fractured skull he incurred in his accident. He had incurred his accident 1 year and 13 days after Duane's, and 3 blocks from Duane's. The doctors would later state that even if Oakley had gone straight to the hospital, he would not have been saved. Oakley was replaced by Lamar Williams. Oakley and Allman were laid to rest days later.

December 31, 1972: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Warehouse in New Orleans, LA. One of these performances was the basis for the "Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas" album.

1973: The Allman Brothers Band's first 2 albums are re-released in a box-set entitled "Beginnings" such that they could capitalize on their fame.

May 1, 1973: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Nassau Coliseum at Uniondale, NY. The recordings for this performance were released 32 years later.

July 28, 1973: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, NY. 600,000 fans were in attendance. One of these performances was the basis for the "Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas" album.

August, 1973: "Brothers and Sisters", featuring the songs "Wasted Words", "Ramblin' Man", "Southbound", and "Jessica", is released to the best reception any Allman Brothers Band release has received. The album hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and the singles "Ramblin' Man(the last ever song to feature Oakley)" and "Jessica" peaked at #2 and #65 respectively.

September 26, 1973: The Allman Brothers Band performs at Winterland in San Francisco, CA. Some of these performances were the basis for the "Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas" album.

December 31, 1973-January 1, 1974: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA.

1975: The Allman Brothers Band releases their first compilation album, entitled "The Road Goes On Forever." It did not sell well.

February, 1975: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA, to record their sixth album, "Win, Lose, or Draw."

August, 1975: "Win, Lose, or Draw", featuring the songs "Can't Lose What You Never Had", "Nevertheless", "Louisiana Lou and Three Card Monty John", and "High Falls", is released to mixed reviews. The album peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts, but was a critical flop. The singles "Nevertheless" and "Louisiana Lou and Three Card Monty John" peaked at #67 and #78 respectively.

October 22, 1975: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Bakersfield, CA, Civic Auditorium. Some of these performances were the basis for the "Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas" album.

October 24, 1975: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Oakland, CA, Coliseum. One of these performances was the basis for the "Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas" album.

1976: In light of Gregg Allman's arrest for drug possession, the Allman Brothers Band dissolves.

November, 1976: The Allman Brothers Band's second live album(and seventh album all together), "Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas", is released. The album was a critical and commercial flop, peaking at #75 on the Billboard charts. The album featured the aforementioned performances from their concerts at Winterland, Watkins Glen, New Orleans, Bakersfield, and Oakland.

1978: The Allman Brothers Band re-forms, with the additions of Dangerous Dan Toler(guitar) and David Goldflies(bass guitar) as replacements for Leavell and Williams, who were concentrated on their group Sea Level, respectively.

December, 1978: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Criteria Studios in Miami, FL to record their eighth album, "Enlightened Rogues."

February, 1979: "Enlightened Rogues", featuring the songs "Crazy Love", "Pegasus", "Need Your Love So Bad", and "Can't Take it With You", is released to critical commercial success. The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard charts, and the singles "Crazy Love" and "Can't Take it With You" peaked at #29 and #105 respectively.

May, 1980: The Allman Brothers Band Goes Into Pyramid Eye Recording Studio in Lookout Mountain, TN, to record their ninth album, "Reach For the Sky." This is the first, and only, album to feature the Allman Brothers Band with 3 drummers(the other one being David "Frankie" Toler, brother of Dangerous Dan).

August, 1980: "Reach For the Sky", featuring the songs "Mystery Woman", "Angeline", and "I Got A Right to be Wrong", is released to a critical and commercial beating. The album peaked at #27 on the Billboard charts, while the singles "Angeline" peaked at #58 and "Mystery Woman" failed to chart. Drummer and founding member Jaimoe Johanson is fired shortly after the album's release.

March, 1981: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Young'un Sound Studios in Nashville, TN, to record their tenth album, "Brothers of the Road."

August, 1981: "Brothers of the Road", featuring the songs "Leavin'", "Straight From the Heart", "Two Rights", and "Never Knew How Much(I Needed You)", is released to another critical and commercial beating. The album peaked at #44 on the Billboard charts, while the singles "Straight From the Heart" peaked at #39 and "Two Rights" failed to chart.

1982: The Allman Brothers Band dissolves again.

January 21, 1983: Lamar Williams, aged 34 years, 7 days, succumbs to lung cancer, which is believed to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange during his stay in Vietnam.

1986: The Allman Brothers Band re-forms for a pair of benefit concerts in New York City and Macon, GA. During these concerts, Jaimoe Johanson and Chuck Leavell were with the group.

1989: The Allman Brothers Band re-forms in light of Gregg Allman's solo success and a building wave of enthusiasm for them from the younger generations. By this time, Chuck Leavell, Dangerous Dan Toler, and David Goldflies have left the group. They will now embark on their 20th anniversary tour.

April, 1990: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, to record their eleventh album, "Seven Turns." The album was the first to feature Warren Haynes(guitar), Allen Woody(bass guitar), and Johnny Neel(piano, keyboards).

October, 1990: "Seven Turns", featuring the singles "Good Clean Fun", "It Ain't Over Yet", and "Seven Turns", is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #53 on the Billboard charts, and the singles peaked at #1, #12, and #26 respectively. Neel departs from the group shortly after its release.

1991: The aforementioned "Live at Ludlow Garage: 1970" is released, becoming their twelfth official release.

April, 1991: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis, TN, to record their thirteenth album, "Shades of Two Worlds." This is to be their first album in 12 years to feature them as a sextet.

July, 1991: "Shades of Two Worlds", featuring "Midnight Man", "Come On Into My Kitchen", and "End of the Line", is released to critical success, but was, overall, a commercial flop, peaking at #85 on the Billboard charts and spawning no singles. This album remains a favorite among the band's hard-core fan base.

October 22, 1991: Their best known compilation album, "A Decade of Hits, 1969-1979", is released to commercial success. It became their best selling album in the United States.

December 28-31, 1991: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Macon, GA, City Auditorium. Some of these performances were the basis for the "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: First Set" album.

1992: "At Fillmore East" is re-packaged and re-released.

1992: "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: First Set" is released to critical success. The album peaked at #80 on the Billboard charts. This album, along with the second set album, featured the addition of Marc Quinones(drums, conga) to the regular lineup, as well as a brief appearance by Thom Doucette on Harmonica.

March 3-4, 1992: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Orpheum Theater in Boston, MA. Some of these performances were the basis for the "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: First Set" album.

March 10-11, 1992: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Some of these performances were the basis for the "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: First Set" album.

June 11, 1992: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Club R&R in Los Angeles, CA. Some of these performances were the basis for the "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: Second Set" album.

January, 1994: The Allman Brothers Band goes into BR Ranch Studios in Jupiter Beach, FL, to record their fifteenth album, "Where it All Begins."

May, 1994: "Where it All Begins", featuring the songs "Soulshine", "Back Where it All Begins", "No One to Run With", and "Temptation is A Gun", is released to critical and commercial success. The album peaked at #45 on the Billboard charts, and the singles "Back Where it All Begins" and "No One to Run With" peaked at #29 and #7 respectively.

July 1, 1994: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC. Some of these performances were the basis for the "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: Second Set" album.

August 16, 1994: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. Some of these performances were the basis for the "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: Second Set" album.

1995: 1. "An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: Second Set" is released to critical success. The album peaked at #88 on the Billboard charts. This album features a guest appearance by Paul T. Riddle(drums) on the songs "Jessica" and "You Don't Love Me."

2. The Allman Brothers Band is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1996: The aforementioned February, 1970, Fillmore East performances are released.

1997: Warren Haynes and Allen Woody depart from the group to concentrate on their new band, "Gov't Mule." Haynes is replaced by Jack Pearson, and Woody is replaced by Oteil Burbridge.

1999: Jack Pearson departs from the group. He is replaced by Derek Trucks, son of founding member Butch Trucks.

2000: Dickey Betts is suspended from the Allman Brothers Band. After a protracted legal battle, he resigns from the group.

March 9-25, 2000: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Beacon Theater in New York City. These performances were the basis for the "Peakin' at the Beacon" album. This is the first performance to feature Mark Quinones as an official member.

August 26, 2000: Douglas Allen Woody, aged 44 years, 328 days, is found dead in a chair at the Marriott Courtyard Motel in Queens, NY. No official cause of death was determined.

November 14, 2000: "Peakin at the Beacon" is released to critical and commercial failure, becoming their first album to miss the charts entirely.

2001: Warren Haynes rejoins the Allman Brothers Band, while still maintaining membership with Gov't Mule.

December, 2001: The Allman Brothers Band goes into Water Music Studios in Hoboken, NJ, to record what will be their twenty-first album(and, to date, their final studio recording), "Hittin' the Note."

2002: The aforementioned performance at American University in Washington, DC, is released.

2003: 1. The aforementioned performance at the State University of New York at Stony Brook Gymnasium is released.

2. A DVD featuring the Allman Brothers Band's performances at the Beacon Theater is released to critical and commercial success.

3. Duane Allman, Warren Haynes, Dickey Betts, and Derek Trucks come in at #2, #23, #58, and #81 on Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

March 18, 2003: "Hittin' the Note", featuring the songs "Firing Line", "Woman Across the River", and "Heart of Stone", is released to critical and commercial success. The album and its single, "Firing Line", both peaked at #37 on the Billboard charts.

March 25-26, 2003: The Allman Brothers Band performs at the Beacon Theater. These performances for the "One Way Out" album(which as been, to date, their last release).
October 21, 2003: The aforementioned performances at the Atlanta International Pop Festival are released.

2004: 1. The aforementioned performance at the Macon, GA, City Auditorium is released.

2. The Allman Brothers Band is ranked #52 on Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."

March 23, 2004: "One Way Out" is released to critical success, but commercial failure. The album peaked at #190 on the Billboard charts.

August 31, 2004: A greatest hits compilation of the Allman Brothers Band's greatest hits during their 8 years(1992-2000) signed to Epic Records is released.

2005: 1. The aforementioned performance at the Nassau Coliseum at Uniondale, NY, is released.

2. A two disc greatest hits compendium of 8 of the Allman Brothers Band's earlier releases is released.

2007: The aforementioned performance at Boston Common is released.

2008: Gregg Allman is diagnosed with, and treated for, Hepatitis C. Their 2008 run at the Beacon Theater was canceled, but they were back up and running that summer.

November 20, 2008: The Allman Brothers Band, on what would have been Duane's 62nd birthday, received the "Legends of Live Award" at the 2008 Billboard Touring Awards ceremony in New York.

2009: For their 40th anniversary tour, the Allman Brothers Band performed with the likes of Eric Clapton, Phish, Levon Helm, the Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy, Kid Rock, and Lenny White.

March, 2010: The Allman Brothers Band's performing venue was switched from the Beacon Theater to the United Palace Theater.

March 26, 2011: The Allman Brothers Band performs their 200th show at the Beacon Theater, celebrating 42 years since their inception.

I was introduced to the music of the Allman Brothers Band back in 2006 through "Ramblin' Man." Through the years, I've found that, just like with any other band's music, many of their songs have come to describe certain feelings I have, whether it be life in general("Whipping Post"), resolve in the face of a tragic loss("Ain't Wastin' Time No More"), genuine happiness("Blue Sky"), being on the run from certain aspects of life("Midnight Rider"), the friends we can only dream of("Melissa"), or one's own personality("Ramblin' Man"). Their music means a lot to me. This is my video tribute to them:



RIP Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Lamar Williams, and Allen Woody.

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