Allman Brothers’ Dickey Betts Dead At 80

Dickey Betts
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Dickey Betts has tragically passed away at the age of 80 years old.

According to Rolling Stone, the guitar player and co-founder of the great Allman Brothers Band, passed away this morning. He was battling cancer as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The band issued a statement on their Facebook 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. The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch was at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family.

Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide. At this difficult time, the family asks for prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be forthcoming at the appropriate time.”

Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, Betts began playing guitar at a young age and in 1969, co-founded the Allman Brothers Band alongside Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jaimoe Johanson. The band expertly combined country, blues, jazz and rock to became a cornerstone of the Southern rock genre, along with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. Known for just flat out jamming, the Allman Brothers put on a live show that heavily featured improvised jam sessions, and make no mistake, Betts and the boys could PLAY.

As a songwriter, Betts contributed several of the band’s most beloved songs, including “Ramblin’ Man,” “Jessica,” and “Blue Sky.” His guitar work played a significant role in defining the Allman Brothers Band’s sound and legacy. After the tragic deaths of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, Betts took on a more prominent leadership role within the band, even learning slide guitar to be able to play Duane’s guitar parts.

Following the Allman Brothers Band’s breakup in 1976 (they briefly reformed before calling it quits again 1982), Betts pursued a solo career and formed his own band, Great Southern, releasing several albums and continuing to tour extensively with the Dickey Betts Band. The Allman Brothers Band reunited for a run in the ’90s, although his relationship with Gregg Allman soured and he was ultimately asked to leave the band. The reportedly reconciled before Gregg’s death in 2017.

He was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

RIP Dickey.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock