South­ern rock star dies at 69

New Straits Times - - World -

SA­VAN­NAH: Gregg All­man, a sur­vivor of tragedy, knew the blues mu­si­cally and in a painfully per­sonal way.

Raised by his mother after his fa­ther was shot to death, he idolised his guitar-sling­ing older brother Duane and be­came his mu­si­cal part­ner. They formed the nu­cleus of The All­man Broth­ers Band, which helped de­fine the South­ern rock sound of the 1970s. Their songs such as Whip­ping Post, Ram­blin’ Man and Mid­night Rider laid the foun­da­tion for the genre.

Gregg, whose bluesy vo­cals and soul­ful touch on the Ham­mond B-3 or­gan helped pro­pel the All­man Broth­ers Band to su­per­star­dom, died on Satur­day. He was 69.

He died peace­fully and sur­rounded by loved ones at his home near Sa­van­nah, Ge­or­gia.

“It’s a re­sult of his rec­cur­rence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago. He kept it very pri­vate be­cause he wanted to con­tinue to play mu­sic un­til he couldn’t,” said his man­ager, Michael Lehman.

Gregg played his last con­cert in Oc­to­ber last year. Born in Nashville, Ten­nessee, the rock star was raised in Florida. In his 2012 mem­oir, My Cross to Bear, Gregg de­scribed how his older brother was a cen­tral fig­ure in his life in the years after their fa­ther was mur­dered by a man he met in a bar. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane, who died in 1971, who ex­celled at it. So, Gregg switched to the or­gan.

They spent years in bands to­gether, but failed to crack suc­cess un­til they formed The All­man Broth­ers Band in 1969. AP

Gregg All­man

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