Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Duane Allman, the co-founder and masterful slide-guitar player of The Allman Brothers Band.
Allman was killed in a motorcycle crash in Macon, Georgia, a few months after the group released its classic live album At Fillmore East. He was 27.
At the time of his passing, Duane had established himself as one of rock’s most highly regarded guitarists. Prior to The Allman Brothers Band’s formation, Duane played with his brother Gregg in a number of groups, including The Allman Joys and The Hour Glass, the latter of which released two studio albums.
In 1968, Duane began working as a session musician at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and went on to perform on recordings by artists including Aretha Franklin, Laura Nyro, Wilson Pickett, Otis Rush, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs and Delaney & Bonnie.
The Allman Brothers Band were formed in 1969 and released their self-titled debut album that year. Combining rock, blues and jazz, the group quickly became known for their captivating concerts, which included extended jams that showcased the guitar interplay between Duane and Dickey Betts.
The band’s second album, Idlewild South, was released in September 1970 and broke into Billboard 200’s top 40. That year, Duane also contributed slide guitar to the only studio album by Eric Clapton‘s short-lived band Derek & the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
The Allman Brothers’ breakthrough album was At Fillmore East, which was released in July 1971 and reached #13 on the Billboard 200. It’s widely considered one of the greatest live rock albums of all time.
Duane also is featured on most of The Allmans’ hit 1972 album Eat a Peach, which was released about four months after his passing.
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