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Southern Rock Bands of the 70's


Southern Rocks !

For those of us who were born in the 50’s, the southern rock of the 70’s catapulted us into young adults who thought life was one big party. Those long haired hippies who rocked our stereos represented rebellion, hell-raising, and yes, even love. There was plenty of love to go around back hen and even the hardest southern rockers could sing us a love song with the same intensity as the more upbeat tunes. Ask any of us and you will find nothing but good memories associated with southern rock bands of the 70’s.

Well,,, time passes and things change. Many radio stations have replaced southern rock with alternative rock, Indie rock, or country rock. Every now and then, one of them will play one of those good old toe-tapping, sing at the top of your lungs southern rock songs. When it happens do you find yourself wondering "where are they now"? Let’s find out.

Tge Allman Brothers Band - Midnight Rider

The Allman Brothers Band

Any article about the great southern rockers has to start with "The Allman Brothers Band - the best of the best in southern rock. With hits like Blue Sky, Melissa, One Way Out, and Whipping Post, they quickly climbed to stardom for their raw talent both acoustically and plugged in.

The band was formed in 1969 by brothers Duane and Greg Allman. Shortly after breaking onto the commercial market, the band was struck by the tragic death of brother Duane in a motorcycle accident. Drugs and personality conflicts plagued the band and resulted in multiple make-overs through the years. In 1987 the Allman Brothers Band officially dissolved but it didn’t last long. In 1989, the band reunited for a 20th anniversary tour. In 1995 the Allman Brothers Band was inducted into he Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although members Warren Haynes and Dickey Betts have come and gone over the years, the Allman Brothers Band is still alive and well. They recently launched the “Late Fall 2013 Tour” and have events scheduled for 2014. After 40 years of both tragedy and success, the Allman Brothers Band is proof that Southern Rock can bridge generations. Great music never dies.

The Allman Brothers Band still tours together but has not released a new album since 2004. The members all have busy solo careers and are still making music with that touch of good old southern rock and roll.

The Doobie Brothers - South City Midnight Lady

The Doobie Brothers

They began by calling themselves “Pud”. The year was 1969 when drummer John Hartman and guitarist Tom Johnston met guitarist Skip Spence of Moby Grape. The trio formed the perfect storm of talent and ambition. Enter bass player Dave Shogren and singer, guitarist and songwriter Patrick Simmons. Simmons and “The Doobie Brothers” were born in 1970. After a rocky start, the band began to see success after the release of their second album titled “Toulouise Street” in 1972. Like many bands of the time, The Doobie Brothers had their struggles. The failing health of their primary singer/songwriter (Tom Johnston) made their future uncertain until – Michael McDonald arrived on the scene. McDonald’s signature voice was the missing piece and The Doobie Brothers began to rock the charts of classic/southern rock.

The Doobie Brothers reveled in success until the early 80’s in spite of the stress of touring and the personal struggles of some members who desired solo careers. The personnel changes became synonymous with the Doobie Brothers but they still kept making great music. With none of the original members remaining, the future of the group was uncertain. Their signature sound was gone and in 1982, they hit the road for their “Farewell” tour.

In 1987, eleven previous members of the Doobie Brothers came together for a concert for Veteran’s causes and The Doobie Brothers were reborn. The early 90’s brought more change to the group with one more breakup and yet another reunion. Although various health problems, accidents, and legal issues, have challenged The Doobie Brothers, they have been touring consistently since 1993. The lineup of members continues to change but they have gotten back to their signature sound which gave hits like Long Train Runnin’, Listen to the Music, South City Midnight Lady, and China Grove staying power. To their credit, the group still resonates in the hearts and minds of all who love that southern rock sound.

The Outlaws - Knoxville Girl

The Outlaws

Formed in 1967 by guitarist–vocalist Hughie Thomasson, drummer David Dix, bassist Phil Holmberg, guitarists Hobie O'Brien and Frank Guidry, plus singer Herb Pino they were first known as The Rogues and then “The Four Letter Words. When Frank Guidry joined the group, he brought the name “The Outlaws” with him from a previous band with that name. By 1968, the band had already experienced a major personnel change. In 1968 they had their first album recorded but it was never released. History would repeat itself in 1969 when their second album never made it to release. It seemed success was not in the starts for this group. Finally, in 1974, The Outlaws luck changed and they were the first band to be signed to Arista Records under the hand of the master, Clive Davis.

Like many southern rock bands of the time, The Outlaws strutted the talent of dual lead guitars but what set them apart was a little hint of country influence and their amazing three and four part harmonies.

The Outlaws have followed in the footsteps of many southern rock bands and have reinvented themselves many times over the years. Sadly, their signature sound took a hit and they lost their popularity in the mid 80’s. Unwilling to give up, the band has continued to perform in smaller venues, still rocking to their hits of the 70’s with tunes like Green Grass High Tides, There Goes Another Love Song, Kentucky Girl, and Song For You. Their last release came in 2012 with the album titled its About Pride.

Marshall Tucker Band - Can't You See

The Marshall Tucker Band

With early beginnings in Spartanburg, South Carolina during the early 70's, the Marshall Tucker Band touts of 40 year history of performing continuously. Their celebrity status dminished by the end of the decade but it did not keep this group from making great music and energizing crowds. Like many southern rock groups, the member lineup has changed over the years but the talent never wavered. Marshall Tucker Band is probably best known for it's harmony and the keyboard, flute and guitar solos that thrill fans and newcomers alike.

Representing Capricorn Records, the founding members of Marshall Tucker were lead guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Toy Caldwell , vocalist Doug Gray ( keyboard player, saxophone player, and flutist Jerry Eubanks, rhythm guitarist George McCorkle, drummer Paul Riddle, and bassist Tommy Caldwell. By the mid 80's most of the founders were gone due to tragedy or, to pursue other interests.

Marshall Tucker Band is probably best known for the song "Can't You See" that appeared on their debut album in 1973. "Searching For a Rainbow" from their 1975 release, and "Fire on the Mountain" also became signature songs from their five consecutive gold albums.

In 1980, tragedy struck when Tommy Caldwell died from injuries he received in an automobile accident. Franklin Willie stepped into Caldwell's shoes but the band never regained the popularity experienced in the 70's. The band reinvented themselves many times over, crossed over into a more country rock genre, and continued to perform over 200 shows a year throughout the 80's, 90's released it's 30th studio album in 2013 titled "Live! From Spartanburg, South Carolina".

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Were you a fan of southern rock music in the 70's?

Looking Back

Looking back at the southern rockers from the 70's evokes both happy memories and feelings of sadness. For groups that had so much talent, they were often riddled with tragedy, loss, and instability. One thing is certain though - if you were a fan in the 70's, you are still a fan today.

We have only scratched the surface here. There are many more great southern rock bands from the 70's. Bands like Poco, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Molly Hatchet, Black Oak Arkansas, and Pure Prairie League will be covered in future articles. Until then, pull out those vinyl albums or download the mp3's from your favorite site. This is feel good music at its best and if you turn the volume up, chances are you'll find yourself tapping your toes and smiling.

Until next time - enjoy a little sample of what's to come with Poco's Rose of Cimmaron from the 70's.

Part 2 has been written. Click below!

  • Southern Rock Bands of the 70's - Part 2
    Southern Roak music of the 70's had a way of making you feel good. Whether listening to a CD or the radio, southern rock has a way of just making you tap your toes and sing along.

© 2013 Linda Crist


Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on September 27, 2014:

handymanbill, lol, thanks for stopping by. I'm not done yet. More to come. There will be a part 3, for sure. It was a great time for musick, wasn't it?

Bill from Greensburg Pennsylvania on September 26, 2014:

Missed Charlie Daniels Band. But these were all great.

Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on May 10, 2014:

Hi Glenn. This hub as been a surprise to me. It has gotten a fair amount of attention and yet many of the comments echo yours. Your observation is spot on. These bands did not get a lot of radio time. I live in Virginia in a town where there was a ton of musical talent but very few places to showcase it. Many of my friends were musicians and most performed this music back in the day. As a young woman, I loved it. As an "older" woman, I still do. It holds many happy memories for me.

The musicians of this time were their own worst enemies. Remember, these groups evolved during a time when rebellion equaled drug use. Drug use destroyed so many good groups and sadly, careers. The dysfunction it caused sent many of these talents in search of solo careers or, greener grass. Oddly, many of them returned repeatedly to what they knew and, what had once worked, only to find that it didn't work anymore. What I find fascinating is that many of these bands are resurfacing now with reunion tours. They will never be chart toppers but they still draw large crowds for their live shows. I guess there are still enough of us around now but that won't be the case for much longer. It's hard to believe how many of my friends are in the 60-70 year age range now. How did that happen?

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thank you for the visit and the vote.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on May 10, 2014:

I find it strange that I missed a lot of the Southern Rock bands when growing up. I did recognize the bands, such as the Doobie Brothers, when reading your hub. But when I think about it now, non of them were on the radio that much. Or maybe it just wasn't the stations I had been listening to. Your hub was well-written and informative. It's interesting how so many of the members of these groups had gone on their own at times. You did a great job, Linda, compiling all this information about the history of these bands. Voted up.

Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on November 27, 2013:

Mike, thank you so much for the visit and the compliments. This was fun to write and was a real trip down a happy memory lane for me. I loved all these bands back then and still love listening to them now. I'm really happy that you enjoyed it the music and the hub.

Mike Robbers from London on November 27, 2013:

Allman Brothers, the Doobie Brothers, Poco all of them are great rock bands for any generation to listen, very well written and informative hub, your presentation is really flawless! thank you Linda!

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on October 07, 2013:

Loved that music and loved those groups....

Fun hub...brought back memories....I'm firing up my Pandora right now.


Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on October 05, 2013:

Awesome review of some of the finest in Southern Rock, Linda.

I was a child of the 60s but with brothers and sister all born in the 50s, our house was filled with these bands, the Doobies being my favorite in the mix.

It's nice to see you writing on music! Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on October 03, 2013:

A fascinating read. Interesting. I have listened to some music by Poco. Thanks for sharing and passing this on.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on October 03, 2013:

At first I thought I was going to meet strangers. But I actually know all these great groups. thank you

Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on October 02, 2013:

Eric - bless your heart, I love that you shared the tunes with your son and made some new memories to carry along with those older ones. That's what music does, isn't it?

Shauna, once again you have proven that we are indeed sisters of the spirit, sisters of different mothers, and all that stuff. :-)

Eddy, you are so cool. I had no idea this one would get such positive feedback but you bet there will be follow ups. I LOVE this music. Thanks!

Miz B - I can't apologize for beating you and I'm sure you would have done it better than me but hey, there is plenty of this good stuff to go around, right? Poco was a favorite of mine. You might remember Timothy B Schmit (from the Eagles), Richie Furay, or Jim Messina who were all members of Poco at various times. I loved their harmonies.

I just know I would have loved your show when you were spinning records and as for the industry not letting women spin hard rock, well, they missed out on you. Hugs!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on October 02, 2013:

Linda, I’m ashamed to say that you beat me to this hub! I enjoyed it to the fullest, though, so congratulations. I think my favorite was the Doobies. I loved all these bands you mention except that I don’t remember Poco. I liked the Poco video, so maybe they were one of those I listened to but never remembered their names. I was disk jockeying in the 1970s, and circumstances, not preference, basically kept me in country music, so I did miss out on some.

The reason I say “circumstances” is because women were just breaking into and becoming accepted as disk jockeys, and country music was more accepting to us. When I went to work for a rock station, they put me in soft rock side. The owner said that people wouldn’t want to listen to a woman playing hard rock. HA! My favorite jock today in Little Rock is Ashley King who does morning drive time. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading more of your hubs like this one, so keep ‘em coming.

Mike Robbers from London on October 02, 2013:

The 70s were a great decade for music in general. Southern rock bands were great and you mention here some of the greatest ones! A nice trip down memory lane! Voted and shared!

Eiddwen from Wales on October 02, 2013:

What a great read and here's to so many more to follow.


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 02, 2013:

Linda, I LOVE Southern rock! In 2007 I took my son to Tampa for the weekend to see an outdoor concert. The lineup was Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws and Charlie Daniels. Our seats were on the floor about 6' from the stage. Talk about an awesome concert! At the end of the show all 3 bands came out and sang "In America", the song Charlie Daniels wrote pursuant to 9/11. Awesome, awesome concert!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 02, 2013:

Loved this hub. Love the music. It is hard to listen to it with out a flood of memories. But I shared them with my son and we create new memories also. Thank you

Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on October 01, 2013:

Oh Faith Reaper, if I only had all the money I spent on albums back then, I wouldn't have to worry about a thing. In a moment of anti-materialism, I gave mine away about ten years ago. There were over 500 of them. I should have counted just for posterity. lol

Yes indeed they were good days. I bet we saw some of the same concerts too. Thanks for the visit and votes. Blessings!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 01, 2013:

Awesome Linda! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Listened to all of the above back in the day. I was a teenager in the 70s, never will forget the great music. My husband has a whole closet full of albums, yes, albums and we have a whole album of concert tickets too. Those were the days.

Up and more and sharing

Hugs, Faith Reaper

Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on October 01, 2013:

Hi JayeWisdom! I'm so glad to hear from another fan of the Doobies who happen to be one of my real favorites. This was fun to research so I'm really happy to hear that you liked it. Thanks for the votes too.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on October 01, 2013:

Let's hear it for the Doobie Brothers! I still listen to their albums and enjoy them as much as I did way back then.

Great job with the history of these bands, Linda....Voted Up+++


Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on October 01, 2013:

Hey Jackie! Thanks for the compliment. I did enjoy researching this one and learned some things. I found it interesting how much turmoil there was among all these bands, across the board. I wonder if it was just that we were a generation looking for something better or if was just the lifestyle. Maybe when I do the follow up that will become clear. lol I do appreciate your visit.

Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on October 01, 2013:

Hello dahoglund . Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed this and were introduced to something a little different. Life is all about experience and learning new things, isn't it?

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 01, 2013:

Great fun hub, just know you enjoyed doing it and you did it well! ^ across & shared.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 01, 2013:

It is a form of music that I have heard but know very little anout. thanks for the introduction.

Linda Crist (author) from Central Virginia on October 01, 2013:

Bill, my bestest kindred spirit, I'll have to email you privately on this one. lol

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 01, 2013:

Wow! What a surprise hub by you, Kindred. This is so out of character I actually checked your name twice to make sure it was you. LOL

I had five albums by Poco...and albums by all the rest on this list...great music, only topped by the 60's of course. :)

Good to see you writing on a semi-regular basis again. I've missed my kindred writing spirit.



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