clear
Thursday September 21st, 2017 2:57AM

Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, his manager said. He was 69.

Allman died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, Georgia, his manager, Michael Lehman, told The Associated Press. He blamed cancer for Allman's death.

"It's a result of his reoccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago," Lehman said in an interview. "He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn't."

Allman played his last concert in October as health problems forced him to cancel other 2016 shows. He announced on Aug. 5 that he was "under his doctor's care at the Mayo Clinic" due to "serious health issues." Later that year, he canceled more dates, citing a throat injury. In March, he canceled performances for the rest of 2017.

Funeral arrangements had not been finalized Saturday. But Lehman said Allman would be buried alongside his late brother, founding Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, where the band got its start nearly five decades ago.

"He'll be laid next to his brother, Duane," Lehman said. "That's in his wishes."

Southern rock and country musician Charlie Daniels said via Twitter, "Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever."

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the rock star known for his long blond hair was raised in Florida by a single mother after his father was shot to death. Allman idolized his older brother, Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him. Together they formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band.

The original band featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Songs such as "Whipping Post," ''Ramblin' Man" and "Midnight Rider" helped define what came to be known as Southern rock and opened the doors for such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.

In his 2012 memoir, "My Cross to Bear," Allman described how Duane was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ.

They failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Based in Macon, Georgia, the group featured Betts, drummers Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They partied to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album "At Fillmore East" in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom.

Duane Allman had quickly ascended to the pantheon of guitar heroes, not just from his contributions to the Allman band, but from his session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and with Eric Clapton on the classic "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" album. But he was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, just months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley's life. .

In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Gregg Allman said Duane remained on his mind every day. Once in a while, he could even feel his presence.

"I can tell when he's there, man," Allman said. "I'm not going to get all cosmic on you. But listen, he's there."

The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards.

In 1975, Cher and Allman married three days after she divorced her husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono. Their marriage was tumultuous from the start; Cher requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding, although she dismissed the suit a month later.

Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name "Allman and Woman." They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977.

Cher said via Twitter on Saturday, "IVE TRIED.WORDS ARE IMPOSSIBLE."

The Allman Brothers Band likewise split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years. A changing cast of players has included Derek Trucks, nephew of original drummer Butch Trucks, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes.

Starting in 1990, more than 20 years after its founding, the reunited band began releasing new music and found a new audience. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance for "Jessica" the following year.

In 2000, Betts was ousted from the band via fax for alleged substance abuse and poor performance and he hasn't played with the band since.

Butch Trucks died in January 2017. Authorities said he shot himself in front of his wife at their Florida home.

Lehman said Allman had recently finished what would be his final album, titled Southern Blood and scheduled for release in September.

"He actually just listened to a few tracks of it last night and was really passionate and excited for that record to be complete," Lehman said.

In his memoir, Allman said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s. He said that after getting sober, he felt "brand new" at the age of 50.

"I never believed in God until this," he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1998. "I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I have started taking on some spiritualism."

However, after all the years of unhealthy living he ended up with hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

The statement on Allman's website says that as he faced health problems, "Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times."

After the surgery, he turned music to help him recover and released his first solo album in 14 years "Low Country Blues" in 2011.

"I think it's because you're doing something you love," Allman said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. "I think it just creates a diversion from the pain itself. You've been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you're just totally engulfed."

The band was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012.

___

Hall reported from Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Local/State News, Death / Obits News, Georgia News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69
Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom, has died at age 69
3:43PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Virginia police special agent fatally shot; suspect arrested
Authorities say a 27-year-old man fatally shot a Virginia State Police special agent in a Richmond public housing project before fleeing on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with his arrest
2:59PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Police: Suspect in Portland stabbings ranted about Muslims
Authorities on Saturday identified a 35-year-old Portland man as the suspect in the fatal stabbing of two people on a Portland light-rail train in Oregon
2:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
White Sox add Cuban OF Robert in deal that costs team $52M
The Chicago White Sox finalized a minor league contract with the 19-year-old outfielder Luis Robert, a deal that includes a $26 million signing bonus and will cost the White Sox an additional $26 million in tax for exceeding their international bonus pool
3:26PM ( 24 minutes ago )
BA outage creates London travel chaos; power issue blamed
British Airways has canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports as a global IT failure causes severe disruption for travelers
3:15PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Trump's trip: Conventional images and unconventional talk
President Donald Trump says he "hit a home run" on his maiden trip abroad, but his tour of the Middle East and Europe has rattled some allies.
3:11PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
UK lowers terror threat to 'severe;' more Manchester arrests
Britain has reduced its terrorism threat level a notch, from "critical" to "severe," as authorities say major progress has been made in unravelling the plot behind the Manchester bombing
1:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP reports Kushner back channel with Russia involved Syria
President Donald Trump's son-in-law and now top White House adviser Jared Kushner reportedly proposed setting up a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team during a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat
1:41PM ( 2 hours ago )
Computer outage grounds hundreds of BA flights in London
British Airways has canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports as a global IT failure causes severe disruption for travelers
1:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Soccer fans pour into London's Wembley Stadium
Soccer fans are arriving for the FA Cup final with armed police on the streets outside at Wembley Stadium in London as Britain stages its biggest sporting event since the Manchester suicide bombing
10:49AM ( 5 hours ago )
UK lowers terror threat level to 'severe' as more arrested
Britain has reduced its terrorism threat level a notch, from "critical" to "severe," as authorities say major progress has been made in unravelling the plot behind the Manchester bombing
9:31AM ( 6 hours ago )
Long-awaited display of restored Memphis Belle set for 2018
The World War II bomber Memphis Belle goes on display next spring at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio
9:19AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
The Latest: Tom Morello, Josh Brolin eulogize Chris Cornell
The Latest: Music-filled Chris Cornell memorial ends with mourners headed to burial site as Temple of the Dog's 'All Night Thing' plays
4:38PM ( 23 hours ago )
The Latest: Head of world track attends Manchester event
Police lined the street as an athletic event went ahead in Manchester four days after a suicide bomber targeted the city's arena
4:37PM ( 23 hours ago )
Brad Pitt, Pharrell among mourners at Chris Cornell memorial
Mourners arrive for private memorial to rocker Chris Cornell as fans wait outside for public memorial to Soundgarden singer-songwriter
4:18PM ( 23 hours ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Melania Trump wears $51K Dolce & Gabbana jacket in Sicily
Melania Trump's first outing in the Sicilian sunshine was in a colorful floral applique jacket by Dolce & Gabbana that comes off the rack at $51,000
8:37PM ( 19 hours ago )
Ariana Grande planning benefit concert in Manchester
Ariana Grande planning benefit concert in Manchester, England, to help victims of deadly bombing at her show earlier this week
2:49PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Fans, mourners gather to honor Chris Cornell
The Latest: Fans and mourners gather to honor late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell
2:40PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
White Sox add Cuban OF Robert in deal that costs team $52M
The Chicago White Sox finalized a minor league contract with the 19-year-old outfielder Luis Robert, a deal that includes a $26 million signing bonus and will cost the White Sox an additional $26 million in tax for exceeding their international bonus pool
3:26PM ( 24 minutes ago )
BA outage creates London travel chaos; power issue blamed
British Airways has canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports as a global IT failure causes severe disruption for travelers
3:15PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Trump's trip: Conventional images and unconventional talk
President Donald Trump says he "hit a home run" on his maiden trip abroad, but his tour of the Middle East and Europe has rattled some allies.
3:11PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Virginia police special agent fatally shot; suspect arrested
Authorities say a 27-year-old man fatally shot a Virginia State Police special agent in a Richmond public housing project before fleeing on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with his arrest
2:59PM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: Italian police tear gas protesters near G-7 site
A stand-off between Italian riot police and protesters during which police used tear gas has ended without further incident
2:45PM ( 1 hour ago )