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Gregg Allman is one of the co-founders of the popular 1970s rock group the Allman Brothers Band.
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Born in 1947, Gregg Allman started out performing as a teenager. He had several groups with his older brother Duane before the pair helped create the Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Known for their bluesy, improvisational style, the Allman Brothers Band hit it big in the early 1970s. In 1986, he made the charts with "I'm No Angel" as a solo artist. Allman continues to record new music and work with the Allman Brothers Band.
With his older brother, Duane, Gregg Allman helped break new ground in rock music. The Allman Brothers Band spearheaded the 1970s Southern rock sound, drawing heavily from both country and blues influences. In addition to his work with the Allman Brothers Band, he has also enjoyed some success as a solo artist.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Gregg's early life was marked by tragedy. His father was murdered by a hitchhiker when he was only two years old. Allman later moved with his mother and brother to Florida. Around the age of 10, he and his brother went to go see legendary blues guitarist B. B. King in concert. The two brothers were greatly inspired by King. Allman learned how to play the guitar and even taught his brother. Before long, however, Duane had surpassed him as a guitarist. Gregg switched over to singing and later playing the keyboard.
As a teenager, Allman played in local bands in the Daytona Beach area. He and his brother formed the Allman Joys in 1965. Two years later, they tried again as the Hourglass out in Los Angeles. The group recorded two albums for Liberty Records, which went nowhere. After this, Gregg floundered for a time while his brother became a popular session musician in the South.
The Allman Brothers Band got its start in 1969. The original five members were Gregg Allman on vocals and keyboards, Duane Allman and Dickey Betts both on lead guitar, Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson and Butch Trucks on dueling drum kits, and Berry Oakley on bass. Their blues-infused rock greatly benefited from this unusual instrument lineup, and the group quickly developed a following with its powerful, jam-filled live shows. They released their self-titled debut album that same year. Featuring such songs as "Dreams" and "Whipping Post," The Allman Brothers Band earned strong reviews. Gregg Allman helped write several songs on the recording. He also worked on several tracks for the next record, 1971's Idlewild South, including the now-classic "Midnight Rider."
The rising stars of Southern rock then put out what is considered to be one of the best live albums of all time, 1971's At Fillmore East. But Allman and his bandmates were soon derailed by tragedy. Allman's brother died in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia, that October. "Duane was the father of the band," Gregg Allman later told Guitar Player magazine. "Somehow he had this real magic about him that would lock us all in, and we'd take off." Despite the loss of the group's driving force, the band decided to continue without replacing Duane.
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