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The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part One

by Michael Buffalo Smith

100. “Pony Boy” Hand bone (1973) Dickey Betts brought country music sensibility into The Allman Brothers Band, and on Brothers and Sisters, he did a jazzy country tune called “Pony Boy” that was so country, it ends with Dickey hand boning against his thigh.

99. Black Oak Arkansas Put On a Show (1975) Black Oak Arkansas was one Southern band with a straight up hard rock show, complete with extended drum solo, light show, and the destruction of at least a couple of guitars each show, all for the amusement of their audience. All of this and J.D. playing the “wash board.”

98. Rock and Roll Revival Tour: Kid Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd Together (Summer 2008) Yeah, I know. It’s just getting underway, but I would bet the farm and Aunt Bessie’s cow that this will be an outrageous, rip -roaring Southern Rock extravaganza.

97. Jam 4 George (November 2, 2007) Staged by Justin McCorkle and friends to honor his Dad, George McCorkle’s memory, the all day outdoor show in Spartanburg, SC was a hell of a show, with guests that included Tommy Crain and  The Crosstown Allstars, The Winters Brothers Band, Artimus Pyle, members and former members of MTB including Jerry Eubanks, Ace Allen and Pat Ellwood, JoJo Billingsley, Donnie Winters, The Southern Boys and many more.

96. Behind The Music: Lynyrd Skynyrd (2000) VH1’s documentary on Skynyrd upset a few apple carts, including Artimus Pyle’s,  with Billy Powell’s comments regarding Cassie Gaines and the plane crash.

95. 38 Special and Marshall Tucker Team Up for Schlitz Malt Liquor TV Commercial (1984) We were all thrilled to see the Schlitz folks add a Southern rock pairing to the set of rock and roll band team ups on the “Bull” song.

94. Dickey Lends a Hand to Marshall Tucker: On the song “Searchin’ for a Rainbow” (1975) From what they tell me, a lot of the guest appearances on various Capricorn Records releases happened on a whim, when someone , like Dickey, was in the studio, and Toy asked him to sit in. Dickey’s guitar run is now a classic.

93. Tommy Crain and a Band of Demons (1980) Remember the first time you heard Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down To Georgia?”  Remember the first time you heard “A band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this,” followed by Tommy Crain’s funky junky rhythm and Charlie sawing the neck off of his fiddle?

92. Jaimoe Plays the “Guit-congas” on “Can’t You See” (1973) Yes, it’s true. Jaimoe flipped an acoustic guitar over, and played it with his hands like a conga on The Marshall Tucker Band classic. Paul Hornsby caught it all on magnet tape.

91. Gregg and Cher (1975-77) Brother Gregg Allman married Cher in 1975, and nine days later she filed for divorce. Then the got married again, had a baby named Elijah Blue, and recorded an album Two The Hard Way, produced by Johnny Sandlin. And yes I really liked the album. Still do.

90. Chris Hicks Joins Marshall Tucker (1996) Hicks was a former member of The Outlaws, and a friend of the Tucker Band, so when Stuart Swanlund had to take time off for hand surgery, Hicks filled in. As fate would have it, he would later be asked to join the MTB, where he remains a driving forge to this day.

89. The Winters Brothers Band Debuts (1976) The Tennessee Southern Rockers featuring brothers Dennis and Donnie Winters came from a musical family. Their Dad, Don Winters, was a part of the Marty Robbins show, singing all the harmonies with Robbins. Their debut was produced by Taz DiGregorio of The Charlie Daniels Band and is considered a Southern Rock classic.

88. 7-11 Offers Icee Cups with Marshall Tucker Band (1975) Sure, you could buy a Peter Frampton or Edgar Winter plastic cup, but the one with MTB on the front and their bio on the back is a collector’s item for Tuckerheads the world over.

87. Charlie Daniels Band in Urban Cowboy (1980) The CDB rocked the silver screen with John Travolta and scored a number one hit with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

86. Derek Trucks joins The Allman Brothers Band (1999) Butch Trucks’ whiz kid guitar hero nephew Derek joined the band where he remains to this day, playing alongside Warren Haynes, bringing some real youth to the band.

85. Dale Krantz Delivers On “Prime Time” (1980) Rossington Collins Band rose from the ashes of Lynyrd Skynyrd with a great album, a hit, “Don’t Misunderstand Me” and a smoking Ann Wilson meets Janis Joplin vocal by Dale on “Prime Time.”

84. Allmans Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1995) The Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Rolling Stone Hall of Fame in 1995, and performed an amazing acoustic set at that venue that included Dickey, Gregg and Warren trading vocals on “Come On into My Kitchen,” the Robert Johnson classic.

83. Sailcat Album Features Wyker, Pete Carr, Chuck Leavell (1972) John D. Wyker and Court Pickett turned out a great album that scored a #12 hit “Motorcycle Mama” in ‘72. The album was produced by the legendary Pete Carr and included future Allman Brother and Rolling Stone Chuck Leavell.

82. Chuck Leavell’s Piano on “Jessica” (1973) The most memorable piano work in Southern rock may very well be Chuck Leavell’s performance with The Allman Brothers on Dickey Betts’ “Jessica” from Brothers and Sisters. I can’t get it out of my head. Can you?

81. Jakson Spires Dies (2005) The Blackfoot drummer (and Southern Rock Allstars) died on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 from a brain aneurysm suffered a couple of days earlier at home. The world lost a great talent and a good man.

80. Warren Haynes Annual Christmas Jam (1989) What started as a small benefit in Asheville, NC for Habitat For Humanity has grown from the club Be Here Now to the biggest auditorium in Asheville. Guests have included The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, Edwin McCain, Kevn Kinney, Jackson Browne, MOE and hundreds of others. The Xmas Jam has become a regular happening for many Southern rock and jam band fans.

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