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Southern rock, sometimes termed the Sound of the South, was a major commercial force in the 1970s. It blended strains of music indigenous to the region--the blues, rhythm and blues, country, and gospel--into a flexible, jam-oriented style. Although jump-started by the Allman Brothers, who were earning critical accolades and selling millions of records by the time guitarist Duane Allman died in a motorcycle crash in 1971, in the broader sense the genre represented a response to the progressive rock hybrids developed in northern cities during the late 1960s (e.g., the San Francisco Sound, Latin rock). The song lyrics--indeed, sometimes even the multicultural composition of the bands--reflected the values of the "New South"; pride in one's roots, racial harmony, etc.

Due to a strong core audience, many southern rock groups have enjoyed lengthy careers based on regular touring rather than hit singles. Continued personnel charges have brought new musical ideas to the Allmans, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and other acts without any significant loss of fan support. In the meantime, new exponents of the tradition have continued to appear, most of whom have provided innovative takes on timeworn stylistic conventions such as double (even triple) lead guitar lineups, bluegrass-rock improvisation, and redneck metal fusions. Some of the promising newcomers of the mid-1990s--most notably Government Mule, Widespread Panic, and Storyville--proved successful in siphoning off legions of deadheads in the wake of Jerry Garcia's sudden death in August 1995.


Top Artists and Their Recordings

Allman Brothers Band--The Allman Brothers Band (1969); Idlewild South (1970); At Fillmore East (1971); Eat a Peach (1972); Brothers and Sisters (1973); Win, Lose or Draw (1975); Enlightened Rogues (1979); An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band (1992)

Atlanta Rhythm Section--Third Annual Pipe Dream (1974) Dog Days (1975); Red Tape (1976); A Rock and Roll Alternative (1977); Champagne Jam (1978); Underdog (1979); Quinella (1981)

Black Crowes--Shake Your Money Maker (1990) The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992)

Black Oak Arkansas--Black Oak Arkansas (1971); Keep the Faith (1972); If an Angel Came to See You, Would You Make Her Feel at Home? (1972); Raunch 'N' Roll/Live (1973); High on the Hog (1973); Street Party (1974); Balls of Fire (1976)

Charlie Daniels Band--Honey in the Rock (1973); Fire on the Mountain (1974); Million Mile Reflections (1979)

Lynyrd Skynyrd--Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973); Second Helping (1974); Nuthin' Fancy (1975); Gimme Back My Bullets (1976); One More From the Road (1976); Street Survivors (1977); Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 (1991)

Marshall Tucker Band--The Marshall Tucker Band (1973); A New Life (1974); Where We All Belong (1975); Searchin' For a Rainbow (1975); Long Hard Ride (1976); Carolina Dreams (1977); Together Forever (1978); Tuckerized (1982)

Molly Hatchet--Molly Hatchet (1978); Flirtin' With Disaster (1979); Beatin' the Odds (1980); Take No Prisoners (1981); Double Trouble (1985)

The Outlaws--Outlaws (1975); Lady in Waiting (1976); Hurry Sundown (1977); Bring It Back Alive (1978); Soldiers of Fortune (1986)

Ozark Mountain Daredevils--The Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1974); It'll Shine When It Shine (1974); The Car Over the Lake Album (1975); Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1980)

Rossington-Collins Band--Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere (1980); This Is the Way (1981); Love Your Man (1988)

Sea Level--Sea Level (1977); Cats on the Coast (1978); On the Edge (1978); Ball Room (1980)

.38 Special--.38 Special (1977); Rockin' Into the Night (1980); Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (1981); Special Forces (1982); Tour De Force (1983); Strength in Numbers (1986); Bone Against Steel (1991)

Wet Willie--Wet Willie (1971); Drippin' Wet/Live (1973); Keep on Smilin' (1974); Dixie Rock (1975); Which One's Willie? (1979)