The Allman Brothers Band, Brothers and Sisters (1973)

CP 0111
Capricorn Records (WB)
Printed in U.S.A.
Portraits:
(front) Vaylor Trucks;
(back) Brittany Oakley.

I’m missing the sleeve and haven’t been able to dig up who the band thanked, which is what I’d normally post here. As long as Dirty/Funky is active, this pic will link to a good post outlining the band’s story, though!

“Somebody asked me to name the people on the inside of Brothers and Sisters. I will give it a go. Everybody knows I cannot spell good so you will have to do the best you can in picking up on the names, plus there are a couple that I cannot remember. I should but thirty years is a long time. Standing left to right (back row): First is a friend of Jaimoe’s, you will have to get him to tell you the name. I know he is a friend of Ella May Avery who is standing next to him (Ella is the wife of Jackie Avery, a song writer and very good friend of Jaimoe’s). Next to her is Brother Lamar Williams, then Mike Arts (Butch’s brother-in-law at that time), Joan Calahan with Rachel, Mike Calahan, Mike’s dog, Jaimoe and Charles Binyoun (not sure of the spelling). Next row: Brother Butch with Valor, Scott Boyer, Linda Trucks with Melody, I can’t remember the next lady’s name, but Butch can tell you. Brother Chuck Leavel, My god child Brittany Oakley, standing between Chuck and Linda Oakley, Linda is sitting next to Chuck, between her and brother Twiggs is Judy Petty, she was going with brother Twiggs at that time. Candy Oakley, Brother Kim Payne, in front of Kim is Kay Phillips holding Tuffys daughter, sitting next to Brother Tuffy Phillips, behind Tuffy and next to Kim is Buffalo Evans lady at that time (I should remember her name but it just will not come to me). Next to her is The Buffalo, sitting next to Tuffy is Brother Gregg, then my wife Bunkie, Brother Willy Perkins is next to Buffalo, I am next with Sandra Perkins between me and Brother Dickie, then Brother Joe Dan Petty. In front of Gregg is Janis Allman with her daughter. Sitting dead center is Deering Howe. Deering is a good friend of Gregg’s. Dickies dog is in front of Dareing. Hope this helps.”
“Red Dog” Campbell ~ ABB “Roadie”

This is going to keep me busy all weekend, man. You see all those people? They’re all with the band. I’m digging, though. This album was released amidst the greatest heights of popularity reached by the band, while also serving as a time capsule, bursting with pain and integrity to carry on through deep loss. It was the first album fully recorded after the tragic motorcycle accident that resulted in the death of lead man Brother Duane Allman, and before it was cut, a second mortal blow – this time, bassist Berry Oakley, whose premature death was met in strikingly similar fashion. (Read about those events and more in the blog linked through the back cover photo.)

I haven’t found something that decisively proclaims this assertion, but the photography of the album was taken after Oakley’s death; I think it’s a fairly safe conclusion as he’s not in the spread photo next to his wife, Linda, and daughter, Brittany (the little lady on the back cover), and Lamar Williams, who was brought in to play bass after Oakley, is the hatted fellow in the top row, 3(and a half) in from the left.

Duane Allman has some interesting tie-ins to Eric Clapton/Derek and the Dominos, which I’ll review in the future. Other tie-in notes: Mussel Shoals, Fillmore East, The Grateful Dead, The Band (July 28, 1973 at the Summer Jam), Boz Skaggs, Cher.

SIDE 1: (1. Wasted Words; (2. Ramblin’ Man; (3. Come And Go Blues; (4. Jelly Jelly.

♠SIDE 2: (1. Southbound; (2. Jessica; (3. Pony Boy.

**Full listing of who did what where is here.

…Who but the Brothers and those closest to them could say for sure, but I’m willing to bet Brothers and Sisters really brought some “sibling” rivalry to the forefront. Although the band had been together 4 years, it was Richard “Dickey” Betts who, stepping in as lead man after Duane’s passing, wrote some of their more recognizable hits (like “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica”). I would imagine Gregg, in particular, may have had some trouble reconciling his emotions concerning the role his brother held as forming lead man, the loss of Duane, and who that left “in charge” of the band going forward. His name was in the band’s name, yes…but arguably, Betts had been in the group with D. Allman, Trucks, and Oakley while G. Allman was away seeing out a contract with Liberty Records…sounds like the makings of a messy family drama to me!

One of the first comments I remember hearing about the Allman Brothers Band when I started gaining interest in them was concerning how Gregg eventually went off the deep end; I can’t remember who made the comment (although it may have been “Elvis,” my manager at CD Warehouse in Des Moines), but I recall he put a good amount of blame for breaking up the band on Gregg. Personally, I think in a tribe this large, shots were probably fired from several camps around the same time, and it’d be dern near impossible to decipher who shot first. More importantly…does it matter?

It was all veiled by a haze of…well, the 70’s. It’s a sad story that the family band dissolved due to their differences and personal demons. They got back together for several projects but were never able to fully reconcile through the rift of estrangement that rent their career – just like sometimes happens to blood-born family! I’d like to think if I asked any of them, they’d still claim each other as the brothers and sisters they truly strove to be.

Engineered by: Buddy Thornton; Johnny Sandlin; Ovie Sparks.
Produced by: The Allman Brothers Band; Johnny Sandlin.
Recorded at: Capricorn Sound Studios, Macon, Georgia.

Manufactured exclusively by:
Warner Bros. Records Inc.,
3701 Warner Blvd.,
Burbank, Calif.  91505
*
44 East 50th St.,
New York  10022

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