Happy Birthday Berry Oakley: ‘Ramblin’ Man’ Isolated Rhythm Section


Today marks what would have been The Allman Brothers Band founding bassist Berry Oakley’s 68th birthday. The late musician tragically died at age 24 after crashing his motorcycle on Veterans’ Day in 1972 three blocks from where his band mate Duane Allman died from his own motorcycle accident only one year earlier.

Part of the 1969 initial ABB lineup alongside keyboardist Gregg Allman, guitarists Duane Allman and Dickey Betts and drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, Oakley and his Fender Jazz Bass dubbed “The Tractor” helped define the legendary Southern rock band’s formative style. He appeared on the group’s first five albums, including the famed 1971 live LP At Fillmore East, passing away during the recording of Brothers And Sisters which was later released in 1973.

The lead single off of Brothers And Sisters was the Betts-penned hit “Ramblin’ Man,” which was one of the final studio contributions Oakley made before his death. YouTube user Great Rhythm Sections posted a recording of the single featuring the isolated rhythm section of Oakley, Trucks and Jaimoe, truly allowing the late bassist’s work to shine. Give the remixed “Ramblin’ Man” a spin here: