Gregg Allman – Come And Go Blues
Born in 1947, Gregg Allman started out performing as a teenager. He had several groups with his older brother Duane before the pair helped create the Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Known for their bluesy, improvisational style, the Allman Brothers Band hit it big in the early 1970s. In 1986, he made the charts with “I’m No Angel” as a solo artist. Allman continues to record new music and work with the Allman Brothers Band.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Gregg’s early life was marked by tragedy. His father was murdered by a hitchhiker when he was only two years old. Allman later moved with his mother and brother to Florida. Around the age of 10, he and his brother went to go see legendary blues guitarist B. B. King in concert. The two brothers were greatly inspired by King. Allman learned how to play the guitar and even taught his brother. Before long, however, Duane had surpassed him as a guitarist. Gregg switched over to singing and later playing the keyboard.
The Allman Brothers Band got its start in 1969. The original five members were Gregg Allman on vocals and keyboards, Duane Allman and Dickey Betts both on lead guitar, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch Trucks on dueling drum kits, and Berry Oakley on bass. Their blues-infused rock greatly benefited from this unusual instrument lineup, and the group quickly developed a following with its powerful, jam-filled live shows. They released their self-titled debut album that same year. Featuring such songs as “Dreams” and “Whipping Post,” The Allman Brothers Band earned strong reviews. Gregg Allman helped write several songs on the recording. He also worked on several tracks for the next record, 1971’s Idlewild South, including the now-classic “Midnight Rider.”
In 1973, Allman released his first solo album, Laid Back, which was well-received by critics. Neither fans nor reviewers had any kind words for his effort, however. He recorded an album with Cher called Two the Hard Way (1977). The collection of duets proved to be as big a disaster as their relationship. The couple first wed in July 1975, but Cher sought to dissolve their union after nine days. Allman’s drug and alcohol problems caused much of the tension within the relationship. While he soon won her back, Allman split from Cher for good in 1979. The couple had one son together, Elijah Blue.
Allman and the rest of the Allman Brothers Band were honored with the special Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2012. That March, he had to drop out of a number of Allman Brothers Band concerts in New York City because of a problem with a bulging disc in his back. Allman remains hopeful that he can return to touring in the future.
Also in 2012, Allman decided to share his struggles and triumphs with others in his memoir, My Cross to Bear. “When I got out of high school, I thought, ‘I’ll take a year or two off and play the clubs, get this out of my system, and then go to med school,'” he explained in a statement. “More than 40 years later, I figure it’s finally time to write about this crazy journey that’s taken me around the world and back.”
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