Happy 75th Birthday Dickey Betts: Performing Live Through The Decades
Co-founding The Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts celebrates his 75th birthday today. The past year has been difficult for Betts, who suffered a mild stroke and months later underwent successful brain surgery after an accidental fall. Betts has no concert appearances currently planned as the legendary guitarist recuperates near his Sarasota, Florida home.
JamBase wishes a speedy recovery for Dickey, with hopes of getting him healthy as quickly as possible. While awaiting Betts’ return to the live stage, below is a collection of videos featuring performances throughout the decades of Dickey playing live with The Allman Brothers Band and beyond.
The Allman Brothers Band issued their self-titled debut album in November 1969. Video of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame-inducted group performing that year has yet to surface. The earliest known footage of The Allman’s live in concert is from the Love Valley Festival in North Carolina on July 17, 1970. Watch Dickey and fellow co-founding guitarist, the late Duane Allman, with the rest of the original lineup, the late bassist Berry Oakley, keyboardist Gregg Allman, drummer Butch Trucks as well as drummer Jaimoe on “Mountain Jam” below:
During The Allman Brothers Band’s 1980s hiatus, Betts performed with Trucks and ABB keyboardist Chuck Leavell and bassist David Goldflies, alongside with saxophonist Jimmy Hall and fiddler Danny Parks. Here’s Betts, Hall, Leavell and Trucks on Dickey’s signature “Ramblin’ Man” from May 7, 1983 at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey:
Another of Betts’ signature contributions to the ABB songbook is his instrumental composition “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.” Here’s footage of that song played by Dickey, Gregg, Butch, Jaimoe and guitarist Warren Haynes, percussionist Marc Quinones and late bassist Allen Woody from Baden Baden, Germany on July 5, 1991:
Betts continued to play Allman Bros. songs after exiting the group in 2000. His classic “Blue Sky” can be seen in this video of Dickey Betts & Great Southern featuring Dickey’s son Duane Betts on guitar from May 23, 2009 at Roanoke, Virginia’s Festival in the Park:
The last video in the trip through the decades comes from just a few months ago at The Peach Music Festival in Scranton, Pennsylvania on July 22, 2018. The veteran guitarist and his band perform the Allman’s instrumental favorite Dickey wrote, “Jessica,” the video provided by Sean Roche below: