Dickey Betts, Allman Brothers Guitarist Passes At 80

Dickey Betts, Former Allman Brothers Guitarist Passes At 80

Legendary Southern rock guitarist, Dickey Betts passed away at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family today.

Betts assumed sole lead guitar duties with the Allman Brothers Band following Duane Allman’s death in 1971. He was also the writer and singer on the Allmans’ hit single “Ramblin’ Man”. Betts gained renown for composing instrumentals, with one appearing on most of the groups albums, including “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Jessica.”

He was inducted with the Allman Brothers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and also won a best rock performance Grammy Award with the band for “Jessica” in 1996. Betts was ranked No. 58 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list in 2003, and No. 61 on the list published in 2011.

In August 2018, Betts suffered a mild stroke and had to cancel tour dates with his Dickey Betts Band.

Below is a statement from the Allman Brothers Band:

With deep sadness the Allman Brothers Band learned today that founding member Dickey Betts has passed away peacefully in his home in Sarasota, Florida, following a period of declining health.

Dickey wrote quintessential Brothers songs including “Blue Sky,” “Rambling Man,” “Jessica,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and many others. His extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.

He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing. Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.

Betts joins his brothers, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman, as well as ABB crew, members Twiggs Lyndon, Joe Dan Petty, Red Dog, Kim Payne and Mike Callahan in that old Winnebago in the sky touring the world taking their music to all who will listen.

Our condolences to his immediate family Donna, Duane & Lisa, Christy & Frank, Jessica, and Kim.

Play on Brother Dickey, you will be forever remembered and deeply missed.

Allman Brothers Band, Family, and Crew

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About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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