Top 10 Dickey Betts Songs

Dickey Betts Songs

Photo: Arista Records / Public domain via Creative Commons

Our Top 10 Dickey Betts songs list takes a look at the solo career of the legendary Allman Brothers Band guitar player and songwriter. This top 10 Dickey Betts songs list will focus completely on the solo work of Dickey Betts. It will not include any of the legendary songs he composed while he was a member of the Allman Brothers Band. So, you wont see the classic Dickey Betts songs “Blue Sky,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” “Jessica,” or “Ramblin Man.” Dickey Betts released his first solo album in 1975 entitled Highway Call. The album was released under the name Richard Betts. The Allman Brothers Band were still together at the time. However, in 1976 The Allman Brothers Band broke up. That did not stop Dickey Betts from continuing to write and record music. In 1977 Dickey Betts released his second studio album with his band he called Great Southern. The album was entitled Dickey Betts & Great Southern. One year later, he would release his third solo album in 1978 with Great Southern entitled Atlanta’s Burning Down.

In 1979, The Allman Brothers Band got back together again and released the album Enlightened Rogues. The Allman Brothers Band would release two more albums Brothers of The Road and Reach For the Sky before breaking up once again in 1982. Eventually Dickey Betts would put his solo band back together again and begin performing shows. In 1988 he would release the finest album of his solo career entitled Pattern Disruptive. The album’s brilliance was driven by a band that  would feature Warren Haynes on guitar, Allen Woody on bass, Matt Abts on drums and Johnny Kneel on keyboards.

Dickey Betts eventually recruited Allen Woody and Warren Haynes to join the Allman Brothers Band in 1990. A few years later, Warren Haynes, Allen Woody and Matt Abtswho were featured prominently on Pattern Disruptive, would form another new legendary rock band called Gov’t Mule.  Talk about an album that gave birth!

Sadly, the story of Dickey Betts and the Allman Brothers Band did not end well. In 2000, Dickey Betts was supposedly suspended from the Allman Brothers Band for personal reasons. The suspension would leave to a complete termination among lawsuits filed between the two parties. Dickey Betts would never perform with the Allman Brothers Band again after the year 2000.

Dickey Betts recorded some great material on his solo albums. Here is a list of ten of our favorite Dickey Betts songs released outside of the world of the Allman Brothers Band.

# 10 – Atlanta’s Burning Down

We open up our top 10 Dickey Betts songs list with the title track from his Atlanta’s Burning Down album. This great record was released in 1978. The album featured Dickey Betts’ band Great Southern which at the time consisted of Dan Toler on guitar, Reese Wynans on keyboards and harp, Michael Workman on keyboards, David Goldflies on bass Topper Price on harmonica, and Donnie Sharbono and David Toler on drums, percussion.

# 9 – Sweet Virginia

When Duane Allman passed away suddenly, Dickey Betts was forced to learn to play all Duane’s slide guitar parts. The story is he practiced all the time to play those parts. Well, listen to Dickey Betts play slide on this great track. This one smokes. The song “Sweet Virginia,” was released on the Dickey Betts & Great Southern album in 1977.

# 8 – Good Time Feeling

Once again we turn back to Dickey Betts’ great second solo album entitled Atlanta’s Burning Down. The song “Good Time Feeling” was the album’s opening track. The song “Good Time Feeling” was written by Dickey Betts.

# 7 – One Stop Be-Bop

“One Stop Be-Bop,” is a great Dickey Betts instrumental that not many people are aware of with the exception of hardcore Dickey Betts fans. This cool instrumental was released on the album Lets Get Together. This one has a very be bopish jazz saxophone solo in the middle of the instrumental The album was released in 2001.

# 6 – The Blues Ain’t Nothing

Continuing with our Top 10 Dickey Betts songs list we turn to the fabulous album Pattern Disruptive. This is not only Dickey Betts’ best album, it’s one of the best rock albums of the 1980s. We could have filled this entire list with songs from this smoking record.

# 5 – Nothing You Can Do

The great track “Nothing You Can Do,” was released on Dickey Betts’ second solo album entitled Dickey Betts & Great Southern. The album also featured backing vocals by Mickey Thomas who would eventually replace Marty Balin in Jefferson Starship in the 1980s.

# 4 – Long Time Gone

For one final time on this top 10 Dickey Betts songs list we turn back to Dickey Betts’ first solo album entitled Highway Call. Representing the album this high on the list is the great track “Long Time Gone.”

# 3 – Duane’s Tune

Dickey Betts has always been known for writing killer instrumentals. The ones he wrote with the Allman Brothers Band such as “Jessica,” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”  are songs of legend. On the great Pattern Disruptive album, he wrote another one called Duane’s Tune.

# 2 – Bougainvillea

This classic Dickey Betts song and jam was released on the fantastic album Dickey Betts & Great Southern. The song was written by Dickey Betts and Don Johnson who would go on to become famous as Crockett on the television show Miami Vice. Don Johnson would spend a lot of time with the Allman Brothers Band. He also co-wrote songs on Gregg Allman’s solo albums. And also sang backing vocals on both Dickey Betts solo albums and Gregg Allman’s solo records.

# 1  – Rock Bottom

We close out our top 10 Dickey Betts songs list with the raucous song “Rock Bottom.”The song was released on Dickey Betts’ Pattern Disruptive album. The guitar work performed on this album by Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes was stunning. It served as a preview for the great work Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes would do together in the revitalization of the Allman Brothers Band just a few years after this record was released. If there was one songs that showcased the future, it was “Rock Bottom.”

Updated May 22, 2023

Top 10 Dickey Betts Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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