Allman Brothers – Southbound

Just the opening licks to this song hook me for the rest of the way. Southbound was on the number 1 album Brothers and Sisters in 1973.

The Sound of Vinyl

The making of this album was anything but easy. On October 29, 1971, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle wreck. He was the undisputed leader of the band and the source of their music. After he died it hit the members hard including his brother Gregg Allman. They all agreed to continue on though. They had just released Live At Fillmore East (selected for preservation in the Library of Congress)…along with Live At Leeds considered the top live rock album of all time.

It was just climbing up the charts and money started for once to roll in for the band. They were working on the follow-up album Eat A Peach when Duane was killed. They regrouped and finished the album. It was a hybrid of studio/live recordings. Dickey Betts the other guitar player took a crash course on slide guitar.

The one member that could not get over Duane’s death was bass player Berry Oakley. He was not just another bass player. His playing reminds me of Paul McCartney in a way because it was so melodic. After Duane died he pretty much gave up and was drinking constantly. The other band members tried to babysit him on tour but nothing worked. Gregg Allman said: Berry didn’t want to die but he didn’t want to live either. 

Remembering Allman Brothers Bassist Berry Oakley On The Anniversary Of His  Untimely Death [Videos]

Duane Allman and Berry Oakley

On November 11, 1972, three blocks from where Duane was killed, Berry ran straight into a City Bus with his motorcycle. Some say it was on purpose because there were no skid marks at the scene. Someone took him home after he refused to go to the hospital. Three hours later he was rushed to the hospital, delirious and in pain, and died of cerebral swelling caused by a fractured skull. The Doctors said even if he would have gone straight to the hospital after the accident…he couldn’t have been saved.

The Allmans again decided to carry on. They didn’t replace Duane at first with another guitar player…they replaced him with a piano player named Chuck Leavell who would later play with the Rolling Stones among others. Oakley was replaced by  Lamar Williams, an old friend of drummer Jaimoe. Lamar would die early also in 1983 of lung cancer. His doctors believed that the disease was derived from exposure to Agent Orange during his Vietnam service. The album sessions started in the Autumn of 1972 and Oakley’s bass can be heard on two songs… “Wasted Words” and their huge hit “Ramblin’ Man.”

Lamar Williams (Allman Brothers) | Know Your Bass Player

Lamar Williams

Lamar Williams plays bass on Southbound… Southbound was written by Dickey Betts with Gregg on lead vocals.


Well I’m Southbound, Lord I’m comin’ home to you
Well I’m Southbound, baby, Lord I’m comin’ home to you
I got that old lonesome feelin’ that’s sometimes called the blues
Well I been workin’ every night, travelin’ every day
Oh, I been workin’ every night, traveling every day
Oh you can tell your other man, sweet daddy’s on the way
Aww, ya better believe
Well I’m Southbound
Whoa I’m Southbound
Oh you better tell your other man, sweet daddy’s on his way
Got your hands full now baby, as soon as I hit that door
You’ll have your hands full now woman, just as soon as I hit that door
Well I’m gonna make it on up to you for all the things you should have had before
Lord, I’m Southbound
Oh I’m Southbound, baby
Whoa I’m Southbound, yeah baby
Well I’m gonna make it on up to you for all the things you should have had before


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

14 thoughts on “Allman Brothers – Southbound”

  1. Great song, Max! While it took me a long time to realize there was so much more to The Allman Brothers than “Ramblin’ Man” (which to be clear I’ve always dug), I’ve really come to love these guys.

    Luckily, it all clicked in time to see them once in New Jersey during what turned out to be their final US tour. A few months later, they had their final curtain at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

    When Gregg Allman passed away, I was really touched by it – almost in a somewhat weird way. I mean it wasn’t that I had followed this guy for decades. But believe it or not, I can still get emotional about his death.

    There was something really special about Gregg. He wasn’t exactly a great communicator, verbally that is. But when he started to sing and hit the keys of his Hammond, magic happened.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea the band seemed so connected to it’s audience. Yea I wish I would have seen them when I could have! One of the best live bands ever.
      I like how they started out…playing for free in parks to build an audience. Funny…. New York and Boston really adopted them more than the West Coast did.

      Out of all the tragic things that happened….they stayed together over 40 years.


  2. So much good bluesy stuff in the seventies. Once Punk pogoed its way in so much well executed fine playing and great production blues was swept away, along with a lot of overblown ego driven Rock/Pop. Yes, music needed a shake-up, but blues based bands fell victims to the changes too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m re-reading the Gregg Allman biography and he said after punk and new wave he had to find old hippie audiences in the 80s before blues/rock came back in 1989 or so.
      I agree though it needed a shakeup… but it was a big cost.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No you are not wrong! I miss that today in some rockers…they look like they just came out of church! Lisa I listen to them…and wow…they were fantastic musicians.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some guys, young and old, still wear it long and I love it whenever I see it. A local band I very much enjoy, Flexadecibel, has a lead singer with long hair 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m glad some still do it… I remember when New Wave hit…it wasn’t in at that time. I love that name for a band! That is a cool name.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. wow, I knew they’d had troubles but didn’t realize quite the extent of their tragedies in a short period. Still, they soldiered on and sounded good… “Ramblin Man” was the first thing I heard by them and I still love that tune.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t remember this one by name until I listened to it….I know Eat A Peach by heart but not Brothers and Sisters as much.
      Yea they went through some hell right after Duane died.
      Warning…lol I’m reading a book about Duane Allman (Skydog) so more related posts are probably on their way.

      Liked by 1 person

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