Southern rocker Gregg Allman, who spent part of his childhood in Daytona, has died at age 69

Photo by Patricia O’Driscoll / Above is a screenshot of Gregg Allman from his website, http://www.greggallman.com. Vintage B & W image below from Allman's website, too.
YouTube download / AP video / Music legend Gregg Allman, who helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom, and spawned Southern rock, died Saturday. He was 69.
 
Gregg Allman, classic rocker, dead at 69 / Headline SurferBy HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Gregg Allman, Southern rocker, who was was born and spent much of his childhood in Nashville, Tenn, and then most of his teen years in Daytona Beach, before forming the Allman Brothers band and creating classic hits like "Midnight Rider" and "Ramblin' Man," has died at the age of 69.

Gregg Allman died on Saturday of complications from liver cancer at his home in Savannah, Ga., his publicist, Ken Weinstein, announced.

Allman his older brother, Duane Allman, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971, developed an interest in music in their teens, and began performing in the Allman Joys in the mid-1960s. In 1967, they relocated to Los Angeles and were renamed the Hour Glass, releasing two albums for Liberty Records. In 1969, he and Duane regrouped to form the Allman Brothers Band, which settled in Macon, Ga.

The band’s lead singer and keyboardist, Gregg Allman was one of the principal architects of a taut, improvisatory fusion of blues, jazz, country and rock that — streamlined by inheritors like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band — became the Southern rock of the 1970s, as described in the New York Times.

Here's what else the Times said in part about the rocker in a story on his life and death:

The band’s main songwriter early on, Mr. Allman contributed expansive, emotionally fraught compositions like “Dreams” and “Whipping Post” to the Allman Brothers repertoire. Both songs became staples of their epic live shows; a cathartic 22-minute version of “Whipping Post” was a highlight of their acclaimed 1971 live album, “At Fillmore East.”
More concise originals like “Midnight Rider” and “Melissa,” as well as Mr. Allman’s renditions of blues classics like “Statesboro Blues” and “Done Somebody Wrong,” revealed his singular affinity with the black Southern musical vernacular.
Mr. Allman also enjoyed an enduring, if intermittent, career as a solo artist, both while a member of the Allman Brothers Band and during periods when he was away from the group. His recordings under his own name were typically more subdued, more akin to soulful singer-songwriter rock, than his molten performances with the Allmans.
His final studio album, “Southern Blood,” produced by Don Was, was scheduled to be released this year. All his 2017 tour dates, including 10 nights at City Winery in New York in July, were canceled in mid-March.
In 1977, Mr. Allman and the singer Cher, to whom he was married at the time, released the album “Two the Hard Way.” (They were billed on the cover as Allman and Woman.) The project was poorly received by critics and the record-buying public alike.
Mr. Allman struggled for years with alcohol, heroin and other drugs, and entered treatment for them numerous times, before embarking on a path of recovery in the mid-1990s. He was later found to have hepatitis C and received a liver transplant in 2010.
 

Early Daytona Beach connection

Allman brrothers, Gregg & Duane, in Daytona on the beach as kids (Pinterest) / Headline SurferYoung Greg & Duane Allman as AllmanJoys in Daytona (Pinterest) / Headline Surfer Photos for Headline Surfer / Gregg Allman with his brother, Duane, and their grandma, as kids oon the World's Most Famous Beach in Daytona. And a poster of their band, the Allman Joys, back in the day in Daytona Beach, as downloaded from Pinterest.

Gregory LeNoir Allman was born on Dec. 8, 1947, in Nashville. He and his older brother were raised by their mother, the former Geraldine Alice Robbins, after their father, Willis Turner Allman, a combat veteran of World War II, was murdered by a hitchhiker in 1949. The brothers attended Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tenn., until their mother, who was working as an accountant, moved the family to Daytona Beach, in 1959. Gregg Allman early on had talked of becoming a dentist, but that career vocation was quickly dismissed once he picked up a guitar. And he and brther, Duane, immersed themselves in singing.

Gregg Allman worked as a paperboy to afford a Silvertone guitar, which he purchased at a Sears when he saved up enough funds. In Daytona, they joined a YMCA group called the Y Teens, their first experience performing music with others. Allman and his brother returned to Castle Heights in their teen years, where they formed a band, the Misfits. They returned to Daytona Beach and pursued music further, and the duo formed another band, the Shufflers, in 1963. Greg Allman attended Seabreeze High School, where he graduated in 1965. The brothers formed the Allman Joys, a prelude to formation of the Allman Brothers band once they left for Los Angeles and started studio sessions and recording.

Stacy Allen Cantu of Daytona Beach was saddened to learn of Gregg Allman's death because she was close to one of his son's, Michael, who lived with her family for a short period of time when they were teenagers. 

"Gregg Allman was married to Cher at the time, and Michael, was in court, seeking legal right to be recognized as the famous singer's son and he eventually was granted that right," Cantu told Headline Surfer. "We used to listen to the Allmans perform. They were very talented at a young age. This is so sad. I haven't seen Gregg Allman's son, Michael, in a very long time since he moved away."

Stacey Allen Cantu of Daytona reacts to death of Gregg Allman / Headline SurferStacy Allen Cantu of Daytona Beach was saddened to learn of Gregg Allman's death because she was close to one of his son's, Michael, who lived with her family for a short period of time when they were teenagers. 

"Gregg Allman was married to Cher at the time, and Michael, was in court, seeking legal right to be recognized as the famous singer's son and he eventually was granted that right," Cantu told Headline Surfer. "We used to listen to the Allmans perform. They were very talented at a young age. This is so sad. I haven't seen Gregg Allman's son, Michael, in a very long time since he moved away."

1970s success and Greg Allman's brief marriage to Cher

The Allman Brothers Band began to reach mainstream success by the early 1970s, with their live album At Fillmore East representing a commercial and artistic breakthrough. Shortly thereafter, Duane, the band's ultra-talented lead guitarist, was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1971. The following year, the band's bassist, Berry Oakley was also killed in a motorcycle accident very close to the location of Duane's wreck. Dicky Betts signed on as lead guitarist.

Their 1973 album Brothers and Sisters became their biggest hit, and Allman pursued a solo career afterward, releasing his debut album, Laid Back the same year. Internal turmoil took over the group, leading to a 1975 breakup. Allman was married to pop star Cher for the rest of the decade, and they had a son, Elijah Blue Allman, born on July 10, 1976, while he continued his solo career. 

YouTube download / Gregg Allman on Cher's 1975 show in a duet of 'Gonna Mess Up A Good Thing' and solo with 'Midnight Rider.'

After a brief Allman Brothers reunion and a decade of little activity, Greg Allman reached an unexpected peak with the hit single "I'm No Angel" in 1987. After two more solo albums, the Allman Brothers reformed for a third and final time in 1989, and continued performing until 2014.

A heavy drinker, and drug user, Allman was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2007—which he attributed to a dirty tattoo needle. By the next year, doctors had discovered three tumors within his liver, and he was recommended to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville by a Savannah doctor for a liver transplant. He went on a waiting list and after five months, he underwent a successful liver transplant in 2010.

In his latter years, Allman said, "Music is my life's blood. I love music, I love to play good music, and I love to play music for people who appreciate it. And when it's all said and done, I'll go to my grave and my brother will greet me, saying, 'Nice work, little brother—you did all right.' I must have said this a million times, but if I died today, I have had me a blast."

Gregg Allman released his most recent solo album, Low Country Blues, in 2011, and what would be his last, Southern Blood, was set to be released later this year.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Free Bird" was written by lead singer Ronnie Van Zandt as an ode to Duane Allman after his 1971 death in a motorcycle accident. Van Zandt and six others, would perish in a 1977 plane crash.

•FAST FACTS
• Greg Allman's mother, Geraldine, died in July 2015 at the age of 98.
• While enjoying great commercial success, Allman was in a downward spiral in his personal life. He became a heroin addict and was arrested on drug charges in 1976. To avoid jail, Allman agreed to testify against Scooter Herring, his road manager. Herring was later found guilty on narcotics distribution charges and sentenced to 75 years in prison.
• Allman had five children: son Devon Allman, age 44, lead singer of Honeytribe, from his marriage to Shelley Kay Winters; Elijah Blue Allman, age 40, lead singer of Deadsy, from his marriage to Cher; Delilah Island Allman, age 35, from his marriage to Julie Bindas; Michael Sean Allman, age 50, from a relationship with former waitress Mary Lynn Green and Layla Brooklyn Allman, age 23, from a relationship with radio journalist Shelby Blackburn.
• The Allman Brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame in 1995.
• In 2016, he received an honorary doctorate from Mercer University in Macon, presented by former President Jimmy Carter.

Allman Brothers Songs

Allman Brothers songs / Headline Surfer

Editor's Note: Bio from Wikipedia was used for this story.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.