Allman Brothers Band founding member Dickey Betts dies at 80

Allman Brothers Band founding member Dickey Betts has died at the age of 80, according to a post on his official Instagram page.

“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,” read the statement. “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,” the statement continued. “At this difficult time, the family asks for prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days.”

Betts co-founded Allman Brothers Band in 1969 along with brothers Duane and Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe Johanson, releasing their self-titled debut that year. They went on to be considered one of the pioneering Southern rock bands and were particularly known for their touring career, which included long shows filled with extended jams. 

In addition to playing lead guitar in the band, Betts wrote and sang lead on several songs, including “Ramblin’ Man,” their only top 10 hit, and “Blue Sky.” He also composed the band’s well-known instrumental tunes, including “Jessica” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”  

Over the years, the Allman Brothers Band went on hiatus, while Betts concentrated on other projects, including a solo career and forming other bands, like Great SouthernBetts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks and the Dickey Betts Band

Betts was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Allman Brothers Band in 1995. He was officially ousted from the band in 2000 and never played with them again.

With Dickey’s death, 79-year-old drummer Jaimoe Johanson is the last living Allman Brothers co-founder.

 

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