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Dickey Betts

Dickey Betts, born Forrest Richard Betts on December 12, 1943 in West Palm Beach, Florida, is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, most known for his work as a founding member of the southern blues/rock group The Allman Brothers Band.

Betts' early experience was leading a band called The Second Coming, before he and other Florida area musicians met, jammed, and formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Betts was the band's second lead guitarist, behind Duane Allman, and contributed significantly to their trademark dual lead guitar sound. He also wrote songs like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Blue Sky" that became radio and concert staples.

After the death of Duane Allman in late 1971, Betts became the band's sole guitarist, and also took on a greater singing and leadership role. He went on to write such Southern Rock classics as "Jessica", and the Allmans' biggest commercial hit, "Ramblin' Man".

Betts' first solo album, Highway Call, was released in 1974, and featured the late fiddle player Vassar Clements. After the Allmans fell apart in 1976, Betts released more albums, starting with Dickey Betts and Great Southern in 1977, which featured the hit "Bougainvillea".

Having been fired from the Allman Brothers Band in 2000, Betts now tours with his own band, Dickey Betts and Great Southern, which has recently added Dickey's son, Duane Betts, on lead guitar.

In 2005 Betts released the live DVD "Live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In the early days of the Allman Brothers, Dickey played a 1961 Gibson SG, which he gave to Duane Allman in 1971 to use as an all-slide guitar. Dickey then started to use a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. Dickey would become famous for using a Goldtop, naming it "Goldie". He painted it red eventually, and is sung about in Charlie Daniels' "The South's Gonna Do It Again". Dickey has also been seen playing Fender Stratocasters occasionally, and has been an on-and-off endorser and player of PRS guitars.

Dickey's name and spelling has been disputed and changed throughout the years. Here is a chronology:

  • 1969-Credited as "Dick Betts" in the jacket of The Allman Brothers Band self-titled album.
  • 1970 1971 1972-Credited as "Dicky Betts" in the jackets of Idlewild South, At Fillmore East and Eat A Peach.
  • 1973-Credited as Dickey Betts on Brothers and Sisters (although this may not have been the first time he was credited this way).
  • 1974-Credited as Richard Betts on his solo album, Highway Call.

From then on he was known as Dickey Betts.

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