A towering pillar of Southern music, Gregg Allman passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah on May 27th from complications due to liver cancer. He was 69 years old.
Across the span of a storied music career that encompassed his entire adult life, Allman experienced numerous highlights, low points, comebacks and victories. Formed with his brother Duane Allman in 1969, The Allman Brothers Band became the groundbreakers of what became known as Southern Rock, blending longhaired rock ‘n’ roll with country, soul and jazz elements in a free-flowing stew that would heavily impact the ongoing “jam” music movement. After lead guitarist Duane’s death in a motorcycle crash in 1971, The Allman Brothers Band would continue, off and on, in numerous incarnations, until 2014. A successful solo career for Gregg, which began in 1973, continued until the final year of his life, as he played his last show in October 2016. Although more were scheduled, they were subsequently cancelled after Allman’s health declined.
“Thank you, Gregg… for your inspiration, for your talent, for your loyal friendship and for the amazing human being that you are,” wrote Georgia’s Chuck Leavell, an Allman Brothers Band member during the mid-1970s, in a post on his Facebook page, citing not only his participation on the band’s Brothers and Sisters album and Allman’s solo debut Laid Back as personal career highlights, but also the 2014 all-star Gregg Allman tribute show at the Fox Theatre, in which he was a member of the core band. Jackson Browne, who participated in that tribute show and recorded with Gregg for his what will be his final studio album, Southern Blood (due for release in September), called Allman “one of the most gifted singers of the past 50 years.”
Gregg Allman will be buried in a private service on June 3rd at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, where his Duane and original Allman Brothers Band bass guitarist Berry Oakley are buried.