The mighty Allman Brothers Band, whose journey together began in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969 and spanned 45 years of triumph, tragedy and incredible music, wraps up its career this month with a final stand of six shows at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. Earlier this week, Gregg Allman told a Wall Street Journal reporter, “It’s been 45 years and that’s about enough,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing.”
Macon, Georgia has remained central to the band’s history from the beginning when the members moved to the city in 1969 to sign with Phil Walden’s Capricorn Records label. Fans of the band continue to flock to the city where Duane Allman and Berry Oakley are buried side-by-side in historic Rose Hill Cemetery and where Mama Louise still serves plates of soul food to patrons at the H & H Restaurant as she once did to a band of starving musicians she trusted to pay her when they returned from their tours. Macon’s Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House, located in the rambling Grand Tudor-style home where several of the band members and their families lived from 1970 to 1973, serves as a repository for ABB history and a mecca for fans from all over the world.
On Sept. 10, 1973, the popular television show Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert taped an episode called “Saturday Night in Macon” at the city’s Grand Opera House. In the clip famed concert promoter Bill Graham introduces the band and says, “The expression “Saturday Night in Macon Georgia is rather misleading because the musical talent you have here is so vast that it usually starts here somewhere around Friday night and ends in the wee hours of Monday morning.”