Dickey Betts

Dickey Betts, Allman Brothers Band Co-Founder, Dies at 80

April 19, 2024 9:06 am GMT

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Dickey Betts, the co-founder of pioneering Southern Rock group, the Allman Brothers Band, has died aged 80.

In a statement shared to social media, Betts’ family confirmed he'd died at his home in Osprey, Florida on April 18th. They shared, “It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard 'Dickey' Betts (December 12, 1943 - April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old. The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family. Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide. 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”.

His longtime manager, David Spero, revealed Dickey Betts was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago, as well as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Co-founding the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 alongside Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and ‘Jaimoe’ Johanson, Dickey Betts played a key role in the Georgia-based group's emergence as one of the most influential Southern Rock bands of the ‘70s, with hits such as ‘Midnight Rider’, ‘Jessica’ and ‘Ramblin’ Man’.

The latter, which was written by Betts, quickly blossomed into the band's biggest song, with the band's country, rock and blues fusion continuing to colour the musical direction of artists such as Jason Isbell, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marcus King and more.

When Duane Allman was killed in 1971 in a motorcycle accident, and Berry Oakley's tragically suffered the same fate just a year later, Dickety Betts and Gregg Allman worked together to ensure the Allman Brothers Band remained a major force in the genre.

However, the group experienced a number of clashes, challenges and creative differences in the proceeding years, as they adjusted the line-up and lost further members.

Betts departed the Allman Brothers Band in 2000, five years after the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and earned the Best Rock Instrumental Performance Grammy award for ‘Jessica’, another song penned by Betts. In 2012, the Allman Brothers Band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

After officially leaving the group, Dickey Betts performed with his own band, Great Southern, which included his son, Duane Betts, who was named after Duane Allman.

This a developing news story, more to follow.

For more on the Allman Brothers Band, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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