Appreciating all that makes America special

Music: Southern Rock

Which band comes to mind when you think of Southern Rock? Maybe it's these guys, Lynyrd Skynyrd - the scourge of spellcheck. Uploaded by

Let’s have a little debate here. Which one of these bands comes to mind first when the subject is Southern Rock?

a) The Allman Brothers

b) Lynyrd Skynyrd

c) The Marshall Tucker Band

d) Other

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For me, it’s Lynyrd Skynyrd. And yet the song that comes to mind first is the Allman Brothers’ 1972 hit, “Ramblin’ Man.”

I’d like to tell you exactly what qualifies a song as Southern Rock. Not just that the artist is from the South, because R.E.M. certainly doesn’t count. And it’s hard to determine just when it began, because a lot of the early icons of rock and roll, from Elvis to Little Richard to Jerry Lee Lewis, were from the South. But the beginning of what we now know as Southern Rock probably dates to the forming of the Allman Brothers in Jacksonville in 1969. While the sound’s heyday is past, you can still catch its strains from such contemporary acts as Drive-By Truckers and Zac Brown.

Here’s a video of my favorite Southern Rock song, by the Allman Brothers:

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