Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers Band has died at 80

Dickey Betts, co-founding guitarist and vocalist of The Allman Brothers Band (who wrote and sung such classics as “Ramblin’ Man” and “Blue Sky”), has died at 80. An announcement on his Instagram reads:

It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts (December 12, 1943 – April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old. The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, FL., surrounded by his family. Dickey was larger than life, and his loss will be felt world-wide. At this difficult time, the family asks for prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be forthcoming at the appropriate time.

The only surviving original member remaining is drummer Jaimoe. The Allman Brothers Band’s team has issued this official statement:

With deep sadness the Allman Brothers Band learned today that founding member Dickey Betts has passed away peacefully in his home in Sarasota, Florida, following a period of declining health.

Dickey wrote quintessential Brothers songs including “Blue Sky,” “Rambling Man,” “Jessica,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and many others. His extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.

He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing. Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.

Betts joins his brothers, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman, as well as ABB crew, members Twiggs Lyndon, Joe Dan Petty, Red Dog, Kim Payne and Mike Callahan in that old Winnebago in the sky touring the world taking their music to all who will listen.

Our condolences to his immediate family Donna, Duane & Lisa, Christy & Frank, Jessica, and Kim.

Play on Brother Dickey, you will be forever remembered and deeply missed.

Allman Brothers Band, Family, and Crew

In addition to playing with the Allmans from 1969 through 2000 (sans band hiatuses), Dickey also led a prolific solo career, beginning with 1974’s Highway Call (released as Richard Betts), and later including releases as Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Dickey Betts Band, and more. He also played in the group Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks alongside Jimmy Hall, Chuck Leavell, and Butch Trucks.

Rest in peace, Dickey. See some tributes from others in the music world below.

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