Dickey Betts, guitarist and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, dies 80

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Dickey Betts, the guitarist and co-founder of Southern rockers the Allman Brothers Band, died Thursday of most cancers and power obstructive pulmonary illness. He was 80.

In assertion posted to Betts’ web site, the musician’s household stated he died at house in Osprey, Fla. They stated Betts was a “legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader, and household patriarch.

“Dickey was larger-than-life, and his loss shall be felt worldwide.”

Whereas the group’s titular brothers had been the frontmen, Betts’ ferocious and trendy taking part in gave the group its distinct taste of harmonized guitar solo, tempered with the jazz and nation influences that made the Allman Brothers such influential, cross-genre favorites of the period. Betts wrote and sang on a number of of the group’s most beloved singles, together with “Ramblin’ Man” and the instrumentals “Jessica” and “In Reminiscence of Elizabeth Reed.”

Born in West Palm Seashore, Fla., Betts proved a quick research on guitar, banjo and different devices. He fashioned a bunch referred to as the Second Coming with bassist Berry Oakley, who later launched him to Duane Allman. Betts joined the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, and shortly made his mark with each his outlaw beauty and his writing on songs like “Revival” and “Blue Sky” because the band grew to become a worldwide famous person of the southern rock motion alongside friends resembling Lynyrd Skynyrd.

After Duane Allman’s demise in a 1971 bike crash, Betts uneasily grew to become a co-frontman, although albums just like the Allmans’ 1973 smash “Brothers and Sisters” and his rangy 1974 solo LP “Freeway Name” proved he may discover each business success and demanding acclaim in his new function.

Betts had a fan in then-President Carter. In a single memorable assembly on the White Home, the place Betts was attending a jazz efficiency, “Jimmy was strolling across the premises and somebody stated to me, ‘Go over and discuss to him,’ however I didn’t need to hassle him,” Betts informed Rolling Stone. “Then I went to make use of the boys’s room within the White Home, and as I used to be popping out, I bumped into Jimmy with a bunch of individuals and he stated, ‘Women and gents, that is Dickey Betts, probably the greatest songwriters round these days.’ That simply floored me.”

After the band fell aside within the late ‘70s (partially over a drug trial involving a band worker), Betts recorded together with his group Nice Southern, whereas the Allmans reunited briefly in 1979 and once more in 1989, discovering renewed essential and chart success and performing at Woodstock ’94. He was extensively credited as the inspiration for Billy Crudup’s character of Russell in Cameron Crowe’s movie “Nearly Well-known.”

But Betts’ mood and substance use — lengthy a part of rock ’n’ roll legend — grew to become a legal responsibility within the group. He was arrested a number of occasions over the a long time for combating with law enforcement officials, and in 2000 he left the band. “The Allman Brothers Band deserved a greater ending than this. We’ve carried out so many nice issues, caught collectively via all these items,” Betts informed the Hartford Courant in 2000.

The Allman Brothers Band continued touring (with guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Vans), whereas Betts retired and un-retired from performing. In 2018, Betts canceled stay dates after struggling a stroke and slipping in his yard, injuring his head in what his household described as a “freak accident. Dickey is a infamous fighter and he’s displaying that now.”

Betts is survived by his spouse, Donna, and 4 kids, Duane (additionally an acclaimed singer-songwriter), Christy, Jessica and Kim.

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