Rock Musician. He was a founding member of the "Allman Brothers Band" and a pioneer of the Southern Rock and Blues genre. Along with his brother, Duane, who was born 13 months before him, they became interested in music after seeing a 1960 concert by R&B singer Jackie Wilson. While in his teens, Gregg bought a guitar with funds earned from a paper route and taught Duane his first chords. They both played guitar in the bands they founded in their teens before forming the bands the Escorts and the Allman Joys, which played R&B, blues and rock covers. Gregg began playing keyboards in the Allman Joys, however they were playing without success until the manager of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band met them in St. Louis and offered to set them up in Los Angeles. Renamed Hour Glass, the group cut two unsuccessful pop-oriented albums in 1967 and '68 which prompted Duane to move to Alabama, where he became a prominent session guitarist. Gregg followed in 1969 and formed a new blues-based band with two guitarist and two drummers. Calling themselves the Allman Brothers Band, the brothers, guitarist Dickie Betts, bassist Berry Oakley and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, moved to Macon, which became their home base. Their self-titled debut album peaked at No. 188 in 1969, while their next album, 'Idlewild South', topped out at No. 38 in 1970. Gregg Allman established himself as a vocal, instrumental and songwriting power, writing such future staples of the band’s live set as 'Dreams', 'Not My Cross to Bear', 'Whipping Post' and 'Midnight Rider'. The band became a huge concert attraction in the South which led to high-profile gigs at New York’s Filllmore East and San Francisco’s Fillmore. Their two-record live album 'At Fillmore East' shot to No.13 on the charts and ultimately sold more than 1 million copies and became one of the defining concert recordings of its day, however, Duane’s tragic death at 24 on Oct. 29, 1971, cast a shadow over its success. The band's 1972 follow-up two-LP set, 'Eat a Peach', rose to No. 4 nationally and went platinum, but disaster struck again after bassist Oakley died after driving his bike into the side of a truck that November. The band released its only No. 1 album, 'Brothers and Sisters', in 1973 powered to the top by the No. 2 single 'Ramblin’ Man', the group’s only top-10 45 song. Allman tehn cut a solo album, 'Laid Back' in 1973 which rose to no. 13, spawning his only top-20 solo single, a down-tempo remake of 'Midnight Rider'. After the release of 'Win, Lose or Draw' in 1975, the group set out on its biggest tour ever. After the tour, Allman began spending more time in Los Angeles with Cher, whom he had wed in June 1975. In the wake of an unsuccessful 1977 solo album, 'Playin’ Up a Storm', Allman and Cher released their only duo album, 'Two the Hard Way' which failed to chart and the couple divorced in 1978. The Allman Brother Band released three unsuccessful albums 1979, 1980 and '81. During the band’s hiatus of the ‘80s, Allman issued a pair of solo albums, including 1987’s 'I’m No Angel', which featured the titular radio hit. The band reconvened for a 1989 tour and in 1990, they recorded 'Seven Turns', followed by four commercially unrewarding albums between 1991 and 1995. After their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York in January 1995, Allman, who was a heavy drinker and drug-user, stopped drinking on his own. The band cut the live 'Peakin’ at the Beacon' in 2000, 'Hittin’ the Note' in 2003) and 'One Way Out' in 2004). After 45 years in business, the band was formally dissolved after an October 2014 show at the Beacon. In 2007, Allman was diagnosed with hepatitis and the following year, learned that he was suffering from liver cancer. He underwent successful liver transplant surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 2010. Before his surgery, he entered the studio to record his first solo album in 13 years, 'Low Country Blues', that earned him a Grammy Award nomination and became his highest-charting solo release, reaching No. 5 in early 2011.
Bio by: Louis du Mort
Shelley Kay Winters Jefts