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Author: Subject: Who taught Duane Allman how to play slide guitar?

Zen Peach





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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 02:57 PM
Before we try to see an answer.....

Last weekend my wife and I were in Frostburg, MD at an Appalachian Fesiival - lots os traditional music and crafts.

Anyway, Rhonda and Sparky Rucker were there - you never heard of them I bet, so use Google if you want.
Anyway, I was watching Sparky play some acoustic slide with a big fat brass on his pinky - when he was done, I asked him about his tuning - turns out to be he was using Open G.
Anyway - he let me play for a bit - said the guitar was a Gibson B25, whatever it was - it was "vintage" to say the least - beat up, not the original bridge or tuners....

Anyway - here's a snippit from Sparky's online bio:

Sparky's early blues mentors include Rev. Pearly Brown (who taught Duane Allman how to play bottleneck-style guitar), Buddy Moss (who taught Blind Boy Fuller), and Johnny Shines (who traveled with blues legend Robert Johnson). He also picked up pointers from Babe Stovall, Big Joe Williams, John Jackson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, and many others. The legendary "Blues Queen" Victoria Spivey pushed his career in the 1970s when Sparky joined the Spivey recording family. Sparky’s expert blues and bottleneck style of guitar playing makes him a popular teacher at folk music camps and schools such as Common Ground on the Hill in Maryland and the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia.

Rev. Pearly Brown - anyone agree that's the guy who taught Duane Allman about slide?


 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 03:18 PM
I thought Duane taught himself how to play slide after hearing Taj Mahal do Statesboro Blues.

I don't know....

 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 03:19 PM
The story that I heard was when Duane was in LA he heard Taj Mahal's version of Statesboro Blues. He was sick with the flu and Gregg went and got him some coroceden and Duane took the medicine out and started messing around with the bottle. Then he started using it live on stage. I think it was John Hammond that turned him on to open tunings. Those are the stories I've heard and read about

 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 03:21 PM
Never heard his name come up before. Everybody knows the story about Jesse Ed Davis, Ry Cooder, coricidin bottle, etc... Unless somebody else knows something I'm just going to consider it a fairy-tale.

found this:

http://music.msn.com/music/artist-biography/rev-pearly-brown/

"Rumor has it that he mentored both Duane Allman and Dickey Betts on the slide guitar."



 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 03:24 PM
This is the most widely circulated version. Granted I pulled this from Wikipedia and it says citation needed. I don't know about any formal training. I believe Jesse Ed Davis was the slide player on Statesboro.
"In 1968, Gregg Allman went to visit Duane on his 22nd birthday. Duane was sick in bed. Gregg brought along a bottle of Coricidin pills for his fever and the debut album by guitarist Taj Mahal as a gift. "About two hours after I left, my phone rang," Gregg states. "Baby brother, baby brother, get over here now!" When Gregg got there, he found that Duane had poured the pills out of the bottle, washed off the label and was using it as a slide to play "Statesboro Blues," an old Blind Willie McTell song that Taj Mahal covered. "Duane had never played slide before", says Gregg, "he just picked it up and started burnin'. He was a natural."[citation needed] The song would go on to become a part of the Allman Brothers Band's repertoire, and Duane's slide guitar became crucial to their sound."


 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 04:57 PM
Just my opiniNion but it's pretty common for musicians to throw things like that ou there. MYne to get a buzz Round their name. It got his name on the ABB forums . . .
 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 05:19 PM
Duane.
 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 05:29 PM
Wasn't that Rev . Pearly Brown on the cover of Wet Willie's
Keep On Smilin' album ? Yeah , I'm sure it was . I remember
reading that he was a Macon street musician . Was he there
in the late 1960's ? Could be .................

 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 06:23 PM
It is quite possible to be inspired and influenced by all sorts of players then go home and work on it for hours/days. I bet that is a bit of it.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 06:54 PM
I'm familiar with the Rev. Pearly Brown.
Who is this Duane Allman you speak of?

 

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  posted on 9/21/2011 at 07:32 PM
Scott Freeman, who authored "Midnight Riders, The Story of the Allman Brothers Band" recounts Duane teaching himself. I also remember Gregg commenting on how horrible it sounded as Duane tried to figure it out. The experience being along the same lines as a cat crying...I'm glad Duane figured it out!
 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 12:22 AM
quote:
I'm familiar with the Rev. Pearly Brown.
Who is this Duane Allman you speak of?


LMAO

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 12:36 AM
Goldtop and Big Dave both have the correct answer

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 12:48 AM
Duane and the guys in the band went to the Magic Mushroom out in California to see Taj Mahal and after that night Duane started working on the slide. Gregg did bring him the Coricidin and Duane used the bottle when the medicine was gone. Johnny remembers being in his apartment and hearing Duane practicing down at his and at first it sounded horrible. Whenever anyone in the band called a song Duane was trying to play slide on they'd try to call something else before he reached into his bag to get the bottle. Then, it was like one day he figured it out and it all clicked for him.

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 01:05 AM
quote:
Duane and the guys in the band went to the Magic Mushroom out in California to see Taj Mahal and after that night Duane started working on the slide. Gregg did bring him the Coricidin and Duane used the bottle when the medicine was gone. Johnny remembers being in his apartment and hearing Duane practicing down at his and at first it sounded horrible. Whenever anyone in the band called a song Duane was trying to play slide on they'd try to call something else before he reached into his bag to get the bottle. Then, it was like one day he figured it out and it all clicked for him.


Maybe that was the day he saw Rev. Pearly Brown and figured out how to make it sound sweet?

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 03:02 AM
Thanks for posting Ann ... perhaps we can read more about this in Johnny's book ... which I am really hoping will finally be available for this christmas

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 06:09 AM
Who taught Duane Allman how to play slide guitar?

From the June 1973 Guitar Player Magazine interview with Duane Allman:

''I heard Ry Cooder playing some time ago and I said, Man that's for me. And I got me a bottle and went in the house for about three weeks and I said 'Hey man, we've got to learn the songs-the blues to play on the stage. I love this. This is a gas'. So we started it and for a while it was everybody looking at me and thinking, 'Oh No! He's getting ready to do it again! Everybody just lowered their heads-start it off fast and get it over with. But then I got a little better at it, and improved it, but now everybody's blowing it all out of proportion. It's just fine for me as a relief from the other kind of playing"

Add, I can remember reading that he was pretty much self taught....and that he used his record player as a teaching tool. He would play the record that had songs and riffs he wanted to learn, over and over and over... moving the needle to the appropriate groove in the record with his toe while playing along until he got it right....

In the same article mentioned above, Duane mentions Jim Sheppley..."Ol' lightnin' fingers"...as someone who taught him to play as well.

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 09:29 AM
I heard Gregg tell it this way, on a radio interview in 1991, best I can remember.....

Gregg and Duane had been riding horses in L.A. Duane's horse slipped on some pavement, he fell and hurt his arm or wrist, couldn't play. They had seen Taj with Jesse Ed Taylor in L.A., Duane was impressed with slide guitar.

Anyway, after the fall, Duane was mad at Gregg about something, and also sick. To make peace, Gregg bought a Taj album, propped it on the door of Duane's apartment, rang the doorbell, and ran. Duane callled him several hours later, no longer mad, told him to come over and see what he'd learned. He could play slide with his injured arm.
Or something like that.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 09:48 AM
CAUTION - LONG Post below!

first of all, you all know I know every single story about Duane and the history of the ABB - otherwise I wouldn't have about a million posts here!
My intent was to show excitement that I got to play around with Sparky Rucker - he's one of thousands of unknown performers out there - but Sparky is big on educating on the roots of American music and the social and cultural reasons behind it - he and his wife are really good folk.

With respect to the Rev Pearly Brown - i never heard of him....eead the stuff below and you'll know what I know....

Legendary street singer Brown getting posthumous induction into Hall of Fame
By OBY BROWN - obrown@macon.com OBY BROWN obrown@macon.com
He walked the streets of downtown Macon for decades, picking his guitar and singing old-time gospel.

Blind since birth, the Rev. Pearly Brown figured his songs helped provide a kind of racial bonding.

“I pray to the Lord that we will someday see a world without strife, when all of us can live as brothers,” he told a reporter in 1958. “I hope the Lord lets me live to see the day when mankind is considerate of one another.”

Now, 24 years after his death, Brown will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on Saturday night during the 32nd annual awards ceremony.

It’s an accolade that’s long overdue, said Lisa Love, the museum’s executive director.

“The Hall of Fame awards have tended to lean toward the commercial side, but I believe it is vitally important to recognize musicians who don’t necessarily top any charts, but have nevertheless been influential and inspirational,” she said. “Hopefully, this well-deserved induction will bring back memories for some people who knew or encountered him, and for others, introduce them to his story and songs.”

Brown was born in Abbeville, in Wilcox County, in 1915. When he was growing up, a teacher in Americus, where Brown’s family had moved, noticed his determination one day as he tried to nail a box together. She asked him if he’d like to go to school. He said yes, and she got him enrolled at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon. He finished eight grades in six years and learned to read Braille.

After he finished school, he began preaching and reading the Bible on the street, and he learned how to play the guitar. He played from Atlanta to Thomasville, but he always returned to the streets of Macon, once saying, “I like it better here.”

He began coming to Macon to play in the 1940s, catching a bus in Americus on Wednesdays and walking a route through downtown Macon each day as he played, a cup attached to his guitar for donations. A sign hung from his neck that read, “I Am A Blind Preacher. Please Help Me. Thank You. Rev. Pearly Brown. Americus, Ga.” He would return to Americus by bus on Saturday night.

“I’ve come to love the streets,” he said in a 1972 Telegraph profile. “It’s not bad to be a street singer. It’ll learn you something. You got to look over how some people can be mean to you.”

Brown gained more recognition in the 1960s, spurred in part by his accompanying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on marches during the civil rights movement.

As his notoriety grew, he played across the South, from colleges to folk festivals. In time, he played at Carnegie Hall, the Newport Folk Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Country Music Jamboree at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.

In the early 1970s, he had a 15-minute radio show on WIBB in Macon each Thursday and a Sunday morning broadcast on an Americus station. The shows helped put his songs before a larger audience.

Among his influences were Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie Johnson. He adapted the bottleneck guitar style from them, using it in much of his repertoire, according to Steve Leggett’s “All Music Guide.” Like Johnson, he played a kind of blues gospel, singing spirituals in his rich baritone and what Brown called “slave songs.”

He also shared what he had learned.

“A lot of musicians sat with him on the street” to watch, listen and try to improve their craft, Love said. “That says a lot about him.”

Among the musicians he’s said to have mentored on the slide guitar are Duane Allman and Dickey Betts of Allman Brothers fame.

Brown once told a reporter that he took a dim view of rock ‘n’ roll and “honky tonk music.”

In 1974, he sued Capricorn Records after the Wet Willie band used his picture on the cover of the album “Keep on Smilin’” without his permission. A judge denied an injunction on the sale of the album, however.

Brown’s first album, “Georgia Street Singer,” was released in 1961. His second, “It’s a Mean Old World to Try to Live In,” was released in 1975. A documentary by the same name followed in 1977.

Brown continued to sing on the streets of Macon until the late ’70s, when poor health forced him to retire. He died in Plains Nursing Home in 1986.

“His music had the spirit of the blues and the power of the church,” Leggett noted.



Read more: http://www.macon.com/2010/09/11/1260173/legendary-street-singer-brown.html# ixzz1Ygyj2lJ7

 
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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 09:56 AM
quote:
Duane and the guys in the band went to the Magic Mushroom out in California to see Taj Mahal and after that night Duane started working on the slide. Gregg did bring him the Coricidin and Duane used the bottle when the medicine was gone. Johnny remembers being in his apartment and hearing Duane practicing down at his and at first it sounded horrible. Whenever anyone in the band called a song Duane was trying to play slide on they'd try to call something else before he reached into his bag to get the bottle. Then, it was like one day he figured it out and it all clicked for him.


Thanks for sharing Mrs. Ann....love it when the people who were actually there tell the stories....... :-)

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 03:29 PM
I'm sure there is a lot of info here in some of these mags. I'm still in awe over this new site.

http://www.duaneallman.info/duanearticles.htm

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 04:09 PM
quote:
I'm sure there is a lot of info here in some of these mags. I'm still in awe over this new site.

http://www.duaneallman.info/duanearticles.htm


Thanks for the link, some nice memories in there. Funny, I had to dig for the magazine "Rock Guitarists" (1974) and type it out in an above post.....

From the Stuart Krause article "Discoveries" magazine 11-05

quote:
An Alabama group called The Bleus, fronted by singer Tony Lumpkin, used Duane on three tracks that were released on Amy-Bell records and produced by Hinton at Muscle Shoals Sound. “Julianna’s Gone” features Duane’s melodic slide work, while “Leavin’ Lisa” captures him achieving a pedal steel effect by manipulating the volume knob on his guitar with his pinky finger.


Interesting...would love to hear "Leavin' Lisa"....

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 04:44 PM
quote:
quote:
I'm sure there is a lot of info here in some of these mags. I'm still in awe over this new site.

http://www.duaneallman.info/duanearticles.htm


Thanks for the link, some nice memories in there. Funny, I had to dig for the magazine "Rock Guitarists" (1974) and type it out in an above post.....

From the Stuart Krause article "Discoveries" magazine 11-05

quote:
An Alabama group called The Bleus, fronted by singer Tony Lumpkin, used Duane on three tracks that were released on Amy-Bell records and produced by Hinton at Muscle Shoals Sound. “Julianna’s Gone” features Duane’s melodic slide work, while “Leavin’ Lisa” captures him achieving a pedal steel effect by manipulating the volume knob on his guitar with his pinky finger.


Interesting...would love to hear "Leavin' Lisa"....



here ya go, scroll down, You can click on the playbar and listen to it

http://www.duaneallman.info/duanediscmilkandhoney.htm


I found it here:

http://www.duaneallman.info/duanediscography.htm

 

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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 04:45 PM
quote:
quote:
I'm sure there is a lot of info here in some of these mags. I'm still in awe over this new site.

http://www.duaneallman.info/duanearticles.htm


Thanks for the link, some nice memories in there. Funny, I had to dig for the magazine "Rock Guitarists" (1974) and type it out in an above post.....

From the Stuart Krause article "Discoveries" magazine 11-05

quote:
An Alabama group called The Bleus, fronted by singer Tony Lumpkin, used Duane on three tracks that were released on Amy-Bell records and produced by Hinton at Muscle Shoals Sound. “Julianna’s Gone” features Duane’s melodic slide work, while “Leavin’ Lisa” captures him achieving a pedal steel effect by manipulating the volume knob on his guitar with his pinky finger.


Interesting...would love to hear "Leavin' Lisa"....



The Bleus were friends, 3 of them in my high school class. They were the "garage band" from here that did good. Opened for B.B. King some. I found out about Duane through them. Tony and I are still in touch, he's at every JFD. A few here might remember the 2005 JFD, when he met Eddie Hinton's parents, at the back of 2nd Street. He was holding Mrs. Hinton's hands, crying, telling her of the difference Eddie made in his life.

The Bleus did 16 "sides" in their career, 8 45's. Duane played on the 3 mentioned.
Many of us have the complete set on cassette. If I can find mine, I'm glad to share via cassette.

 
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  posted on 9/22/2011 at 06:36 PM
Any connection between Pearly Brown and the ZZ Top song "Apologies To Pearly"?

Things that make you go hmmm.....

 
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