Duane Allman

(The Alabama Music Office knows that Duane Allman was not from Alabama. But because of his session work in Muscle Shoals and for the many friends he made in this state, we felt compelled to include him.)

R&B, Blues,  Rock Guitar; Allman Brothers Band; born Nov. 20, 1946, 1 Muscle Shoals, AL; died Oct. 29, 1971

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Howard Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) was an American lead guitarist, co-founder of the southern rock group The Allman Brothers Band, and respected session musician. He is best remembered for his brief but influential tenure in that band, expressive slide guitar playing, and formidable improvisational skills.

A sought-after session musician both before and during his tenure with the band, Allman performed with such established stars as King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Herbie Mann. His contributions to the 1970 album Layla and Other Ass orted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos went on to become a part of Rock history. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Allman at #2 in their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, second only to Jimi Hendrix. His tone (achieved with a Gibson Les Paul and a 50-watt Marshall amplifier) was named one of the greatest guitar tones of all time by Guitar Player.

Allman's playing on the two Hour Glass albums and an Hour Glass session in early 1968 at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, had caught the ear of Rick Hall, owner of FAME. In November 1968 Hall hired Allman to play on an album with Wilson Pickett. Allman's work on that album, Hey Jude (1968), got him hired as a full-time session musician at Muscle Shoals and brought him to the attention of a number of other musicians, such as guitar great Eric Clapton, who later said, "I remember hearing Wilson Pickett's 'Hey Jude' and just being astounded by the lead break at the end. ... I had to know who that was immediately — right now."

Allman's performance on "Hey Jude" blew away Atlantic Records producer and executive Jerry Wexler when Hall played it over the phone for him. Wexler immediately bought Allman's recording contract from Hall and wanted to use him on sessions with all sorts of Atlantic R&B artists. While at Muscle Shoals, Allman was featured on releases by a number of artists, including Clarence Carter, King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Laura Nyro, Wilson Pickett, Otis Rush, Percy Sledge, Johnny Jenkins, Boz Scaggs, Delaney & Bonnie and jazz flautist Herbie Mann. Shortly after he recorded his lead break in "Hey Jude", he recorded all of the lead guitar in Boz Scaggs' "Loan Me A Dime." His soloing in the song is noted as some of the best ever laid down on record. For his first Aretha sessions, Allman traveled to New York, where in January 1969 he went as an audience member to the Fillmore East to see Johnny Winter and prophetically told fellow Shoals guitarist Jimmy Johnson that in a year he'd be on that stage; the Allman Brothers Band indeed played the Fillmore that December.

The limits of full-time session playing frustrated Allman. The few months in Muscle Shoals were by no means a waste, however, because besides meeting the great artists and other industry professionals he was working with, Allman had rented a small, secluded cabin on a lake and spent many solitary hours there refining his playing. Perhaps most significantly, at F.A.M.E. Allman got together with R&B and jazz drummer Jaimoe Johanson, who came there to meet Allman at the urging of the late Otis Redding's manager, Phil Walden, who by now was managing Allman and wanted to build a three-piece band around him. Allman and Jaimoe got Chicago-born bassist Berry Oakley to come up from Florida and jam as a trio, but Berry was committed to his rock band with guitarist Dickey Betts, the Second Coming, and returned south.

Getting fed up with Muscle Shoals, in March Allman took Jaimoe with him back to Jacksonville, Florida, where they moved in with Butch Trucks. Soon a jam sessionof these three plus Betts, Oakley, and Reese Wynans took place and forged what all present recognized as a natural, or even magical, bond. With the addition of brother Gregg, called back from Los Angeles to sing and replace Wynans on keyboards, at the end of March 1969, the Allman Brothers Band was formed. (Wynans became well known over a decade later as organist with Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.) After a bit of rehearsing and gigging, the sextet moved up to Macon,Georgia, in April to be near Walden and his Capricorn Sound Studios. While living in Macon, Allman met Donna Roosman, who bore his only child, Galadrielle. Despite their child, the relationship quickly ended.

Tragically, his life and career were cut short at the age of twenty-four by a motorcycle accident in October of 1971.

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

 

 

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