Legendary Guitarist, Dickey Betts, Dies Aged 80

Legendary Guitarist, Dickey Betts, Dies Aged 80
Red roses on light grey tombstone outdoors. Funeral ceremony

(DailyDig.com) – Dickey Betts, co-founder of the Allman Brothers and guitar legend, died on April 18 at 80 years old.

The “Ramblin’ Man” author had been fighting cancer over the last year along with his ongoing pulmonary disease, according to Bett’s manager, David Spero. He released a statement from the family stating that they were with Betts during his death. His death brought them sorrow. They asked for prayers and privacy as they mourned their loss.

The Allman Brothers Band posted a tribute to Betts on social media, stating that he was an enthusiastic man during his life. Whatever he did; fishing, golf, songwriting, or boating, his enthusiasm was passionate. They shared that Betts went all in with his writing, and some of their classic songs, such as “Ramblin’ Man,” “Blue Sky,” and “Jessica,” were examples of his passion. They stated that he would be greatly missed and always remembered fondly.

Betts was born and raised in Florida, near “Ramblin’ Man’s” Highway 41. He listened to bluegrass, country, and western. He played the banjo until he settled on the electric guitar. Eventually, he and Berry Oakley joined a band named Second Coming, but it was in 1969 that Betts and Oakley met Duane Allman and his little brother, Gregg. Together, they formed the Allman Brothers Band, moved to Georgia, and released their first album, “The Allman Brothers Band.”

Betts and Duane shared the duties of playing lead guitar for the band in order to create Southern rock, a new genre combining country, jazz, rock, blues, and rhythm and blues. Allman’s slide guitar blended a blues sound with their music, while Betts’ twang carried the country sound. Their music influenced many bands, such as Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The biracial makeup of the band, originating from the south, was notable as they broke through the tradition of pop songs lasting just three minutes. Their extended songs gave them a new sound akin to a band’s jam session.

After retiring from the band, Betts lived in Florida with Donna, his wife.

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