Allman Brothers – In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed

This song and Jessica are their two most well known instrumentals.

The Allman Brothers…much like the Grateful Dead could deliver live. They constantly toured early in their careers and played free concerts in parks all over to grow their audience. They released one of the best live albums of all time with At Fillmore East.

This song was originally on their second album Idlewild South in 1970 and later on their live album At Fillmore East.

Allmans guitarist Dickey Betts wrote this song for a girl, but not the one in the title. Elizabeth Reed Napier (b. November 9, 1845) is buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, where Betts would often write.

In memory of Elizabeth Reed : allmanbrothers

He used the name from her headstone as the title because he did not want to reveal who the song was really about: a girl he had an affair with who was Boz Scaggs’ girlfriend.

Duane Allman and Berry Oakley are buried in the same cemetery as Elizabeth Reed Napier.

From Songfacts

This was the first original instrumental song by The Allman Brothers.

Betts wrote this is based on Miles Davis’ “All Blues.” While Davis had been incorporating elements of rock into his jazz, Betts used pieces of jazz for this rock instrumental. Jazz rhythms make excellent use of the two-drummer format the Allmans use.

This is one of their live favorites. It usually evolves into a lengthy jam.

At concerts, this was a showcase for Allman’s drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks, who performed a drum solo at the end.

The live version on At Fillmore East takes up almost a whole side. Because of the extended jams, it became a double album, but the band insisted it be priced close to a single album.

The earliest known recordings of this song are from the band’s Fillmore East performances on February 11, 13 and 14, 1970. The Allman Brothers were on a bill with the Grateful Dead and Love; the Dead’s soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley kept tape rolling and got the recordings, which were compiled into his “Sonic Journal” project and released in 2018 as Allman Brothers Band Fillmore East February 1970.

In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Allman Brothers – In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed”

  1. I don’t know why I never really got into the Allman Brothers all that much, as they were really good. I think it was due to the fact I was mainly a singles guy for many years, and if a song wasn’t played on mainstream radio, I didn’t hear it unless a friend played it. And as you know, the problem with radio is that they play the same tired hits over and over, and I eventually got sick to death of hearing “Lord I was born a ramblin’ man…”. Fun fact: For years, I never knew their other famous instrumental was titled “Jessica”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea they only had Ramblin’ Man that was a big singles hit. I didn’t know the name of Jessica until I saw the movie Field of Dreams and I hunted it down.

      Funny you should mention that about Radio…when you see my other post you will see why. I asked a DJ that very question on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No not that big…funny thing is the hit version came from Gregg’s solo album not the original Allman Brothers recording


      2. I liked both alright…I know why he did it. The Allmans did it on their second album and he knew it was good but it was never heard…so he did it to get heard.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Even though I dig vocals and with certain instrumentals start missing them relatively quickly, when the music is as great as in this case, I can do without singing. Though I’m not gonna lie, after 13 minutes plus, I think I’m ready for some harmony vocals! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I agree… it can be too much. What I do Christian is if I have a project I put the At Fillmore East and just let it play while I’m working.

      Liked by 1 person

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