April 18, 2024

Southern Rock Giant, Dickey Betts Loses His Fight to Cancer

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One of the co-founders of The Allman Brothers, Dickey Betts has died at age 80. His manager made the following statement:

"The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch was at his home in Osprey, Florida, surrounded by his family,” he said in the statement. “Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt worldwide. At this difficult time, the family asks for prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be forthcoming at the appropriate time."

While his guitar work was often overshadowed by the real brothers Duane and Gregg when the band was first launched, it became for vital to the success of the group once Duane suddenly died in an accident.

Some of The Allman Brothers’ best songs were written by Betts. “Ramblin’ Man” “Jessica” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” are some of the best testaments of his talent.

The dueling guitar work on the LIVE AT THE FILMORE EAST album made the album one of the best live albums of all time. It could have been different.

The album was produced by the legendary Tom Dowd. Prior to the recording of the album the band told Dowd that they wanted to add horns to the live show. The producer put his foot down and told the group that if they wanted horns on the album, they would have to find another producer. He wanted to showcase the guitar work. Thankfully, the group relented. The end results proved Tom Dowd to be right.

Despite the differences in the band, Dickey will always be remembered for his work with The Allmans. After leaving the band, Betts had a solo career, but it never matched the success that he enjoyed as their lead guitar player.

The last few years of his life Dickey had to endure chronic pain from obstructive pulmonary disease. The last live show he did was in 2018.

Duane, Gregg and Dickey are all gone now, but the excitement they created with their music will live forever. May they all now rest in peace.

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