Born November 20, 1946.
Thursday, November 21
Born November 20, 1946, Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band.
Duane began to learn to play slide guitar on his birthday in 1968. He was recovering from an injury to his left elbow, caused by a fall from a horse. Gregg brought him a birthday present, the debut album by Taj Mahal, and a bottle of Coricidin pills. He left them on the front porch and rang the bell. "About two hours after I left, my phone rang," Gregg recalled. "'Baby brother, baby brother, get over here now!'" Duane had poured the pills out of the Coricidin bottle, washed off the label and was using it as a slide to play along with the album track "Statesboro Blues".
Duane was able to play on his first album as a session ace with Wilson Pickett. Allman's work on that album, Hey Jude (1968), got him hired as a full-time session musician at Muscle Shoals and brought him to the attention of other musicians, notably Eric Clapton, who later said, "I remember hearing Wilson Pickett's 'Hey Jude' and just being astounded by the lead break at the end. I had to know who that was immediately – right now."
When asked how the band came together Duane stated: “Very slowly, I was in Muscle Shoals and I went down to Jacksonville and was jamming with Berry and Dicky. Jaimoe came with me from Muscle Shoals, he’s originally from Macon. Gregg was in California and Butch was in Jacksonville where we all got together and jammed for a couple of months putting together songs and stuff. We just needed a singer and Gregg was the guy. Two weeks after Gregg got back from California we went up to New York and recorded there. We never played a gig before we cut our first album.”
The Allman Brothers Band went on to become one of the most influential rock groups of the 1970s.
Sadly, Duane was killed in a motorcycle crash shortly after the release and initial success of At Fillmore East on October 29, 1971.
Here's a taste of the music of Duane Allman with his band The Allman Brothers Band live at The Fillmore East in 1971.