November 11, 1972 – Berry Oakley was born as Raymond Berry Oakley III in the Forest Park suburb of Chicago on April 4th 1948.
After moving to Florida Oakley became one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band sometime in 1969.
Not only was he known for his long, melodic bass runs underneath Duane Allman and Dicky Betts’ furious guitar soloing, he was also the glue behind the band’s egos and domestic arrangements. He played a Fender Jazz bass with a Guild pick up system because he liked the sound of a Guild but not the guitar itself.
“In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post” from the At Fillmore East live album capture Oakley’s magic at its best.
He died on Nov 11, 1972 at age 24 in a motorcycle accident three blocks from the intersection where his friend and former band member Duane Allman had died a year earlier. Oakley and Allman are buried next to each other in Macon Georgia. His son, Berry Duane Oakley was born after his passing and is also a bass player, who played with Joe Bonamassa in the early 1990s in a band named “Bloodline”.
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