On Nov. 20, 2016, which would have been Duane “Skydog” Allman’s 70th birthday, his life, music and legacy will be celebrated at Skydog 70 in Macon’s Central City Park. The 11th anniversary of the annual concert will feature special guests Chris Hicks of Marshall Tucker Band, legendary producer, keyboardist and Alabama Music Hall of Fame inductee Paul Hornsby and Lamar Williams Jr., the vocalist for Les Brers and son of the late bassist Lamar Williams, who played with the Allman Brothers Band from 1972-19756. Local and regional musicians performing include Edward Clark, Darren Day, Adam Gorman, Charlie Harbor, Mike Harrell, Mitch Harrell, John Laughter, Dusty McCook, Joe Palmer, Gary Porter, Dave Ricketson, Nick Riffle, John Tinker, Tony Walker, Kenny Walters, Kemper Watson, Doyle Williams, Kenny Williams and Ken Wynn, who leads the world class rhythm section, Hits the Note, each year. The concert takes place from noon until 5 p.m. and admission is ten or more canned goods per person with proceeds benefitting the Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia.
The event began on what would have been Allman’s 60th birthday. Macon featured prominently in the history of the Allman Brothers Band, who, after forming in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969, moved to the city to join the roster of Phil Walden’s newly formed Capricorn Records. The band had released three albums, The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South and At Fillmore East, and were in the middle of recording Eat a Peach when Duane was tragically killed on Oct. 29, 1971 after an accident on his motorcycle. His bandmate, bassist Berry Oakley, died just over a year later in another motorcycle accident. The two bandmates are interred side-by-side in Macon’s historic Rose Hill Cemetery. Macon is also home to the Allman Brothers Museum at the Big House, which is where members of the band, their roadies, friends and families lived from 1970 until 1973.
This year, the concert also honors Lamar Williams, Sr., Macon musicians and brothers Gregg and Tim Brooks, who both passed away last year, and Christopher Lovell, the son of Buddy Lovell, longtime owner of Macon’s Audio Visual Services, who died in 2014.