In Memory Of Gregg Allman

 

As stated on his official website… on Saturday, May 27, 2017, musician Gregg Allman, age 69, “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia.”

In 1969, Gregg and (brother) Duane Allman, along with Dicky Betts, Berry Oakley, Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch Trucks had co-founded the Allman Brothers Band.

This ensemble’s unique sound had boasted a tasty blend of southern rock, blues, jazz and country music… the two main songwriters being G. Allman and Betts. And oh what amazing songs they had written! “Revival”, “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed”, “Melissa” and “Midnight Rider” are just a few that instantly come to mind… that last listed tune featuring a lyrical sentiment, which every dedicated, touring musician can identify with…

“And the road goes on forever.”

Tragically, during the band’s early history, death had been no stranger to these men. Motorcycle accidents in 1971 and 1972 had claimed, respectively, the lives of both Gregg’s brother and Oakley.

Fast forwarding to the present, I spent the better part of yesterday, Sunday, giving a listen to the ABB’s considerable and durable discography, which could only confirm what I’ve known all along…

It matters not if you’re tracking through their toe tapping rock, a ballad of love lost or anything in between… these songs still sound as fresh and invigorating today as they had on their original release dates.

I also played back “Laid Back” Gregg’s 1973 solo album featuring the disc finale… his interpretation of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”… the 1907 Christian hymn originally penned by Ada R. Habershon and set to music by Charles H. Gabriel.

“Circle” having since lapsed into public domain, there has been no shortage of lyrical revisions… now inclusive of mine… which, of course is in memory of Gregg Allman…

 

Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

 

I was standing by my window,

On one cold and cloudy day.

When I saw that, hearse come rolling,

For to carry our brother away.

 

Chorus… Will the circle be unbroken?

By and by, Lord, by and by.

There’s a better, home a-waiting,

In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

 

I said to that undertaker,

Undertaker, please drive slow.

For this body, you are carrying.

Lord, I hate to see him go.

 

Chorus…

 

Oh, I followed, close behind him,

Tried to hold up, and be brave.

But I could not, hide my sorrow,

When they laid him in the grave.

 

Chorus…

 

I went back home, our world was lonesome,

Missed our brother, Gregg was gone.

Fans, friends, family, were all crying,

What a home so sad and lone.

 

Chorus…

 

We sang songs of, five past decades,

Rock and blues that made us strong.

Ones that brothers Gregg, Duane taught us,

Hear the angels sing along.

 

Chorus… Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, Lord, by and by.

There’s a better, home a-waiting,

In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

 

Perhaps our sorrow can lift just a bit? After all, in all likelihood, for Gregg Allman, “the road goes on forever” in the realm better known as eternity… he’s now reunited with loved ones and band mates who preceded him and… for we, who survive him… his vast, impressive body of work still lives on.

My outward bound, heartfelt condolences go to the family, friends and fans of Gregg Allman.

 

 

 

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