3 Allman Brothers Band Classics Written by Dickey Betts

Dickey Betts was with the Allman Brothers Band from day one. Many fans will remember him for his impressive guitar work and occasionally taking on the role of lead singer on some of the band’s songs. However, some fans of the band may not realize that Betts wrote some of the band’s biggest and most memorable songs.

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That being said, Betts didn’t just contribute to the Allman Brothers Band. He left his stamp on Southern rock and helped to shape the future of American music as a whole. Let’s take a moment to go back in time to appreciate some of the late guitarist/singer/songwriter’s finest and most successful work.

Dickey Betts Wrote the Allman Brothers Band’s Biggest Hit

The Allman Brothers remain one of the most influential bands in Southern rock. Surprisingly, though, they didn’t have many hits. In fact, the band somehow never saw a No. 1. The closest they ever got to topping a chart was when “Ramblin’ Man” went to No. 2 on the Billboard all-genre Hot 100. Betts wrote and sang lead on the song.

[RELATED: 50 Years After its Release, The Meaning Behind “Ramblin’ Man” by The Allman Brothers Band]

The band released “Ramblin’ Man” as the lead single from their 1973 album Brothers and Sisters. It was the first album they recorded without the late Duane Allman. As a result, Betts stepped up to help fill the void his bandmate left behind.

“Crazy Love” The Band’s Second-Biggest Hit

Dickey Betts gave the Allman Brothers Band their biggest hit with “Ramblin’ Man.” A few years later, he gave the band their second-biggest hit with “Crazy Love.” The band released it as the lead single from their 1979 studio album Enlightened Rogues. It peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The band made Enlightened Rogues after breaking up and having a partial reunion. Betts wasn’t a huge fan of the lineup on Rogues because it forced him to play slide guitar. However, the re-tooled sound complete with Betts’ slide chops brought them their second hit.

“Jessica”: Dickey Betts’ Timeless Instrumental Jam

The band released “Jessica” as the second single from Brothers and Sisters. It peaked at No. 65 on the Hot 100 and landed at No. 29 on the Easy Listening chart. Despite its lack of chart success, it remains a staple of classic rock radio and is a favorite among fans. Betts wrote this song while trying to honor the late Gypsy Jazz legend Django Reinhardt.

Reinhardt had an accident that severely burned his left hand. As a result, he only had two functioning fingers on his left hand with which to play guitar. Already an accomplished musician, he re-learned the instrument using only two fingers. Betts was attempting to compose a song played in Reinhardt’s style.

According to Songfacts, he was working on the song when his daughter, Jessica, crawled into the room. Inspired by his one-year-old child, he gave the song her name.

Featured Image by Fin Costello/Redferns

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