Rock legend Gregg Allman, who was laid to rest on Saturday, had been working on a final album that is scheduled to be released in the fall.
Gregg was the front man of The Allman Brothers Band whose founding members included his older brother Duane.
On May 27, the veteran rocker died at his home near Georgia after a long battle with liver cancer. He had suffered from hepatitis C which destroyed his liver, according to the Chicago Tribune. Although he received a transplant, the illness recurred.
Gregg Allman was buried near the grave of his brother who died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 when the band’s music had just started making waves. Berry Oakley, a former Allman Brothers member, is also buried near Duane. The bassist died in a similar accident only a year after Duane’s death.
Allman was laid to rest at the Rose Hill Cemetery near US Highway 41, where he and Duane used to hang out and write songs. Gregg played the organ while Duane played the guitar.
Throngs of fans playing his music reportedly lined the streets from the funeral home all the way to the cemetery in Macon, Georgia, Allman’s hometown.
Allman’s relatives, close friends, and members of his band including drummer Jaimoe and guitarist Dickey Betts attended his funeral. Singer Cher, his ex-wife, who he has a child with, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter were among the guests at the private funeral service.
Gregg Allman’s closest friends showed up for the event dressed in jeans rather than suits which are traditionally worn to funeral services due to a request by Allman’s estate, the Rolling Stone reported. The dress code was meant to honor his southern heritage.
Allman’s children, Devon, Delilah Island, Layla, and his niece Galadrielle, Duane’s daughter, read eulogies at the ceremony. His friend Chank Middleton and manager Michael Lehman also read tributes.
Lehman is said to have spoken to the singer a day before he died. According to him, Gregg was able to listen to the final mix of his upcoming album titled Southern Blood, which would be released by Rounder Records, Variety reported.
“He was looking forward to sharing it with the world, and that dream is going to be realized,” Lehman said.
“I told him that his legacy is going to be protected, and the gift that he to the music world will continue to live on forever.”
Gregg Allman started working on Southern Blood about two years ago with his solo band and producer Don Was. Gregg knew that his health was failing and that the record would be his last. His management has reportedly been preparing to promote the album without his physical presence.
Southern Blood is said to have been recorded in 12 days at the legendary Fame Studios located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The studio has special significance for Gregg Allman whose brother Duane recorded several songs there. Music icons like Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, and Wilson Pickett have also recorded in the studio.
According to Lehman, although Gregg Allman was very happy to work at the studio, his recording sessions were affected by his illness.
“He would have good days and bad days and we worked around it as best we could. Some says were better than others there were enough takes to make something really special,” Lehman said.
Gregg Allman reportedly prepared the songs on Southern Blood as a surprise to his friends and fans. The album is said to be packed with originals songs, and some covers.
Jackson Browne, Gregg’s friend who has a duet with him on the album, says Allman’s vocals on Southern Blood is compelling especially given the circumstances that he recorded.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Skyville]