Dickey Betts: Allman Brothers founding member best known for ‘Ramblin Man’

The guitarist and songwriter dies at 80

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   April 19, 2024   Update on : April 19, 2024

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Dickey Betts. Photo: Screengrab

Renowned rock group Allman Brothers Band co-founder and legendary guitarist Dickey Betts, who was born a ramblin’ man, has died at the age of 80.

Dickey Betts breathed his last at his home in Osprey, Florida on Thursday, his official website shared the news in a statement by his family.

He had been fighting two kinds of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for long.

The influential guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist left home at 16 to join the circus and became a renowned guitarist touring the world with the Allman Brothers Band.

Dickey Betts wrote, “Ramblin’ Man,” and remained on the road until he reached the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

His whole family members were present during his death. The family didn’t think he was in any pain. He passed peacefully, said his manager of 20 years, David Spero.

With Duane Allman in the original Allman Brothers Band, Betts performed lead guitar duties, contributing to the group’s distinct sound and the creation of a new genre, Southern rock.

To produce a distinct sound that influenced a host of major acts, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Phish, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, among many others, the band blended blues, country, R&B, and jazz with ’60s rock.

When Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 and Oakley was killed in a motorcycle crash a year after, tragedy struck the group.

Betts and Gregg Allman became leaders of the band, but creative disputes and substance misuse prompted the group to split up and reform several times.

In 1973, Cameron Crowe, aged 16, followed the Allman Brothers Band on tour for a Rolling Stone cover story.

It would eventually inspire Crowe’s Oscar-winning 2000 movie, “Almost Famous.”

Crowe in 2017 said Billy Crudup’s central rock star character is “a tribute” to Betts.


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