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Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band was founded in 1969 by Muscle Shoals session guitarist Duane Allman and his keyboard-playing little brother Gregg; they'd previously had a band together, the Hour Glass, that had had a record deal but gone nowhere. They not only pioneered the genre of Southern rock, inspiring such later acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band, they also achieved popular and critical success for their Dixie-flavored playing style, which combined blues, rock, jazz, country and classical, and featured jams that went on for 30-40 minutes. The band has proved remarkably resilient, surviving, among other things, the deaths of Duane Allman and original bassist Berry Oakley in separate motorcycle accidents within a few months in the early 1970s, as well as Gregg's two tumultuous marriages to Cher and his long battles with drug addiction and legal problems. The group was inactive for most of the '80s but regrouped in 1989 with some of the original musicians, including Gregg Allman. The Allman Brothers Band continues to release new albums periodically and to deliver impassioned, jam-intensive shows.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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