Erich Church Honours The Late Gregg Allman With 'Midnight Rider' Cover

After Greg Allman's death on Saturday at the age of 69, many shared their memories of the late member of the Allman Brothers Band.

"The news of Allman's demise was posted on his website on Saturday, which stated, 'Allman passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia'".

No cause of death was given, but it added that he had "struggled with many health issues" over the years. His lead vocals on numbers like "Whipping Post" and "Midnight Rider" take the listener along on the song's journey, leading even the most jaded music lover to believe that he has lived every word of the song. Albums "Eat a Peach" and "Brothers and Sisters" were huge critical and commercial successes, spawning such radio hits as "Melissa", "Blue Sky" and "Ramblin' Man", and the band's live shows drew raves.

The next few years saw the Allman Brothers become arguably the most popular American band in the country. Their gritty and soulful sounds blended rock, country, and gospel-tinged R&B to help establish the expansive genre that we call Southern Rock.

Y'all don't have to guess which category Gregg Allman fell into.

After their father was killed by a hitchhiker, their mother moved them to Daytona Beach, Florida. That just shows the kind of friend Gregg was.

"Duane and I caught it like an illness", Gregg told Southern Living magazine.

Another of Gregg's sons, Devon, is also a musician.

Allman's career began in the early '60s, playing as a member of various bands in America's south. It featured tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, a pair of drummers and the smoky, blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman.

After unfulfilling experiences with the music industry in Los Angeles, Gregg and Duane ended up in Macon, Georgia - hometown of Little Richard and Otis Redding - in 1969 and brought together the Allman Brothers Band. Rolling Stone magazine said the style created "a template for countless subsequent jam bands". Then, on November 11, 1972, Chicago-born Berry Oakley, also 24, died the same way, only three blocks from where Duane's accident had occurred.

They were buried next to each other in Rose Hill.

CONTRERAS: The Allman Brothers Band history offstage was a bit of a rock "n" roll soap opera. He switched to keyboards in high school, when they played together in local bands.

By the mid-'70s the cloud over the band grew darker as Gregg became a heroin addict and Betts assumed leadership.

Like in Warren Haynes' tribute, Leavell, an Alabama native, reflected on how the Allman Brothers Band's unique blend of Southern rock inspired him and countless other musicians below the Mason-Dixon line. Soon the brothers were playing in local bands before forming their own outfit, the Allman Joys.

  • Jacqueline Ellis