Lifetime Achievement Award: The Allman Brothers Band

Kid Rock and Kenny Wayne Shepherd pay tribute to influential Southern rockers

GRAMMY.com

If I need to explain to you how great the Allman Brothers are you will never understand anything pertaining to music. And I love Dickey Betts. 

God bless the Allman Brothers Band.

— Kid Rock

Every time I hear an Allman Brothers Band song I can't help but stop what I'm doing and listen. Their music is impossible to ignore, and is the thread that holds the fabric of Southern rock together. Being from the South myself, I grew up listening to these guys, and they seem to have created the soundtrack to my childhood. As a result, the music of the Allman Brothers has played an instrumental role in influencing who I am as an artist and how my music is written and performed. I'm certain I am only one of many musicians who will so readily admit this.

The Allman Brothers Band were formed in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1969 by brothers Duane and Gregg Allman. Many have called the band the principal architects of Southern rock. By incorporating elements of blues, jazz and country music, they created a signature sound that is immediately identifiable to all generations of music lovers. Songs such as "Ramblin' Man," "Midnight Rider," "Melissa," "Whipping Post," "Jessica," "One Way Out," and "Statesboro Blues" have solidified the Allman Brothers’ place in music history.

The band has continued to reinvent themselves by adding some of the best players in the industry with each incarnation while maintaining their signature sound. The list of members reads like a who's who of Southern rock and jam-band royalty: Duane and Greg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson, Chuck Leavell, Lamar Williams, Johnny Neel, Marc QuiƱones, Allen Woody, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Oteil Burbridge, and Derek Trucks, among others.

Having produced 11 gold and four platinum albums from 1971–2004, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and with four of their guitarists voted as members of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, the Allman Brothers Band have serious pedigree.

I have been blessed to share the stage with this incredible band, and have gotten to know several members personally. They are top-notch musicians and top-notch people. It's my honor to pay tribute to one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, and to thank them for changing the face of music forever, and for the better.

— Kenny Wayne Shepherd

(Five-time GRAMMY nominee Kid Rock joined the Allman Brothers Band onstage at one of their 40th anniversary concerts at New York’s Beacon Theatre in 2009.)

(Kenny Wayne Shepherd is a five-time GRAMMY nominee. His most recent album, How I Go, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Blues Albums chart, his sixth straight album to top the chart.)

In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy presents Special Merit Awards recognizing contributions of significance to the recording field, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award. Each year, The Academy invites friends and colleagues of Special Merit Awards recipients to pay tribute to the honorees' career accomplishments, while also adding colorful anecdotes and personal accounts. In the days leading up to the 54th GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY.com will present the tributes to the 2012 Special Merit Awards recipients.

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