Gregg Allman dies at age 69
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, his manager said. He was 69.
Allman died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, Georgia, his manager, Michael Lehman, told The Associated Press. He blamed cancer for Allman’s death.
“It’s a result of his reoccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago,” Lehman said in an interview. “He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn’t.”
Allman played his last concert in October as health problems forced him to cancel other 2016 shows. He announced on Aug. 5 that he was “under his doctor’s care at the Mayo Clinic” due to “serious health issues.”
Later that year, he canceled more dates, citing a throat injury. In March, he canceled performances for the rest of 2017.
Funeral arrangements had not been finalized Saturday. But Lehman said Allman would be buried alongside his late brother, founding Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, where the band got its start nearly five decades ago.
“He’ll be laid next to his brother, Duane,” Lehman said. “That’s in his wishes.”
Southern rock and country musician Charlie Daniels said via Twitter, “Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever.”
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the rock star known for his long blond hair was raised in Florida by a single mother. Allman idolized his older brother, Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him. Together they formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band.
The original band featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky, blues-inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Songs such as “Whipping Post,” ”Ramblin’ Man” and “Midnight Rider” helped define what came to be known as Southern rock and opened the doors for such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.