Dickey Betts, Allman Brothers Guitarist, Dies at 80

Dickey Betts, Allman Brothers Guitarist, Dies at 80

Dickey Betts, whose country-inflected songwriting and blazing, lyrical guitar work reverse Duane Allman within the Allman Brothers Band helped make clear the Southern rock genre of the ‘60s and ‘70s, died Thursday in Osprey, Fla. He became 80.

His family posted a assertion on Instagram, writing, “It is with profound disappointment and heavy hearts that the Betts family relate the serene passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts (December 12, 1943 – April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years passe. The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch handed away earlier this present day at his dwelling in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family. Dickey became greater than lifestyles, and his loss would possibly be felt world-wide.”

In 1969, Betts and bassist Berry Oakley of the Florida band the Second Coming joined members of two other Sunshine Tell groups — guitarist Duane Allman and his keyboard-taking part in brother Gregg of the Hour Glass and drummer Butch Trucks of the 31st of February – and Mississippi-born drummer Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson in a brand unique unit that finally based mostly fully mostly itself in Macon, Ga.

Using a sturdy twin-guitar sound that fused rock, blues and country, the Allman Brothers Band inspired a host of cherish-minded groups at some level of the South, a type of which would get a dwelling at Capricorn Files, the custom trace established by the Allmans’ supervisor Phil Walden.

A potent stay act famend for their jamming talents (on such numbers as Betts’ instrumental “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”), the Allmans made their essential commercial step forward in 1971 with the No. 13 two-LP concert space “At Fillmore East.”

Duane Allman’s tragic loss of life at 24 in an October 1971 bike accident in Macon thrust Betts into a more outstanding characteristic within the community as songwriter, instrumentalist and sometime lead vocalist.

He contributed the band’s lengthy-running concert staple “Blue Sky” to 1972’s “Indulge in a Peach,” the community’s first album with out Duane, which soared to No. 4. The 1973 release “Brothers and Sisters” rose to No. 1 nationally on the abet of the countrified Betts-penned single “Ramblin’ Man,” which peaked at No. 2.

The guitarist went on to write the Allman’s No. 29 single “Loopy Like” (1979) and co-authored the act’s closing high-40 single, “Straight From the Coronary heart” (No. 39, 1981).

Betts’ service with the Allman Brothers Band – which over time would scheme to encompass guitarists Dan Toler and Warren Haynes, both members of his solo outfits – proved to be lengthy, discontinuous and typically tumultuous.

While the community became one in all the splendid touring sights of the day, the escalating drug use and tempestuous interpersonal relationships of its personnel ended in a destroy up in 1976, within the wake of their No. 5 album “To find, Lose or Scheme.” They regrouped three years later and issued their closing high-10 album, “Enlightened Rogues.”

Though the Allmans remained a relentless stay design via the ‘80s and ‘90s despite waning album sales, ongoing conflict between Betts and Gregg Allman got here to a head in 2000, when the guitarist made a precipitous exit, beneath fire from his band mates, from the community he had co-founded 31 years earlier. His onetime sideman Haynes remained with the community except it disbanded for loyal in 2014.

Both at some level of and after his tenure with the Allmans, Betts sustained a solo occupation, recurrently beneath the community address Immense Southern. His most well-liked solo work became his first LP “Toll road Name,” which reached No. 19 in 1974, at the tip of the Allmans’ recognition.

Rock journalist-grew to change into-filmmaker Cameron Crowe acknowledged he based mostly fully mostly the persona conducted by Billy Crudup in his rock-themed 2000 movie “Practically Illustrious” on Betts.

“Crudup’s watch, and loads more and loads more, is a tribute to Dickey,” Crowe told Rolling Stone in 2017. “Dickey gave the impact cherish a serene man with a large amount of soul, imaginable anxiousness and sportive recklessness at the abet of his eyes. He became a large presence.”

Betts became inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Allman Brothers Band in 1995.

He became born Forrest Richard Betts in West Palm Seaside, FL, on Dec. 12, 1943. (He became variously billed professionally as “Dick,” “Dicky” or “Richard” earlier than deciding on “Dickey” within the mid-‘70s.) His father and uncles all conducted tune, and he picked up the ukulele at the age of five earlier than graduating to his brother’s guitar. Reared on the Substantial Ole Opry’s weekly radio performances, he began gravitating to the blues after hearing local guitarist Jimmy Paramore and respect turn into active in a vary of regional Florida bands.

Betts’ act the Soul Younger of us became known as the Blues Messengers, and at closing the Second Coming, with the addition of bassist Oakley, a Chicago native who had change into a fixture on the Sarasota tune scene. A fateful assembly with the Allman siblings at a Jacksonville club where the Hour Glass became taking part in finally led the finalization of the six-man Allman Brothers Band lineup in March 1969.

The community’s first two albums, its self-titled 1969 debut and 1970’s “Idlewild South,” were not substantial successes, but ex-session large title Duane Allman’s growing earn as a musician’s musician and his fiery interaction with Betts grew to change into the act into a ambitious attraction at rock ballrooms and festivals.

Its genuine incarnation had its apotheosis on “At Fillmore East,” recorded stay at Invoice Graham’s Recent York venue in March 1971. Featuring a searing 13-minute rendition of Betts’ “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” (which took its title from a tombstone the guitarist noticed in a Macon cemetery), the distance became finally certified for sales of 1 million units.

Duane Allman’s unexpected loss of life neutral six months after the stay album’s release left the band’s future temporarily doubtful, however the surviving members unanimously determined to set up it up as a five-allotment, with Betts before the entirety taking on de facto management.

Correct three months after the release of its huge hit “Brothers and Sisters” – which incorporated “Ramblin’ Man” and the memorable Betts instrumental “Jessica,” named after the guitarist’s daughter — bassist Oakley became killed in a motorcycle wreck in Macon, neutral blocks from the site of the accident that took Duane Allman’s lifestyles.

While the Allman Brothers Band soldiered on with the surviving genuine members and a intriguing solid of additional personnel, Betts began to destroy up his time alongside with his facet initiatives Immense Southern and the Dickey Betts Band, which released three studio albums between 1977-88.

Gregg Allman’s testimony against the Allman Brothers Band’s security man Scooter Herring in a federal drug case ended in the atomize of the community in 1976, with Betts declaring in Rolling Stone, “There isn’t any scheme we can work with Gregg again. Ever.”

On the opposite hand, the band reunited for recording and touring in 1979 (following an initial reconciliation at a Immense Southern articulate in Recent York’s Central Park) and – after one more hiatus and a 1986 joint tour by Allman and Betts — again in 1989, with Betts showing on six studio albums and three respectable stay recordings via 2000. Throughout the ‘90s the community developed a youthful following thanks to headline appearances on the jam band-oriented H.O.R.D.E. Competition.

On the opposite hand, the guitarist’s increasing unreliability – which incorporated a short ejection from the act following a 1993 scuffle with police at a tour terminate — and mounting friction between him and a now spruce and sober Allman resolved itself when the band informed Betts by fax that he would be replaced by one more guitarist on the following tour. A swimsuit filed by Betts became settled in arbitration, ending his tenure with the Allman Brothers Band. Betts declined a advice to rejoin the Allman Brothers Band for their 40th anniversary tour in 2009.

Betts reconciled with Allman earlier than the singer-keyboardist’s loss of life from liver cancer issues from in 2017, and attended his funeral.

The massive majority of Betts’ latter-day solo recordings were stay affairs, and he persevered to tour. He quietly retired in 2014, but returned to the avenue in 2017, announcing he bought “bored as hell.” In August 2018, he cancelled loads of concert dates after what became described publicly as a “gentle stroke.”


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