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Jessica by The Allman Brothers Band

Album: Brothers And SistersReleased: 1973Charted:
65
  • Jessica is the name of guitarist Dickey Betts' daughter. He was working on this song when she crawled into the room and inspired him. Jessica Betts was born May 14, 1972 - she was one year old when her dad wrote the song.
  • Betts had Jessica with Sandy Bluesky, who he wrote "Bluesky" for and married in 1973.
  • This is an instrumental song that had little chart success, but has endured as a staple of classic rock radio and a favorite among fans.
  • This is the theme song to the UK TV show Top Gear.
  • Chuck Leavell played piano on this. He was brought in after Duane Allman died to provide another lead instrument. It created a different sound, as the Allmans now had 1 piano and 1 guitar rather than 2 guitars.
  • Betts was trying to compose a song that could be played on the guitar with 2 fingers in the style of Django Reinhardt, a 1930s Jazz musician Betts admired who lost 2 fingers in a fire.
  • The Allman Brothers performed this on The Late Show with David Letterman on February 29, 1996.
  • This won a Grammy in 1996 (more than 30 years after its release) for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
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Comments: 33

Jessica is a long instrumental rock record with a girls name, an extension on Layla which was four minutes in an instrumental mode after 3 minutes of vocal:) Then there's Susie Q.Steve - Whittier, Ca
I named my daughter, Jessica, after this song having admired it so much & the band's music back in the 70's. I am also from Georgia which made it doubly sweet so to speak growing up about 100 miles from Macon in the Atlanta area. My Jessie was born in Orlando FL on Sep. 23, 1987. Thanks to Dickie Betts for an amazing song. And ironically my daughter's name is like one mentioned in this dialogue, Jessica Elizabeth! urray!Brad - Hickory, Nc
Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident just outside of Macon Georgia, in October 1971 ,what a shame !!!Vince - Lantana, Fl
This is a beautiful song. I love it. I can play it on guitar. By the way, how DID Duane Allman die?Nate - New York, Ny
I consider this to be the second best AB song ever.
The number one spot is occupied by "High Falls" from the LP Win, Lose or Draw. That's another instrumental. A nice, long instrumental.
Reg - Kemptville, On
Chuck Leavell said that when he recorded his piano solo, it was all improvised, and when they played the song live, he would play it differently each time. Then he discovered that fans wanted to hear the solo as it was played in the original song, so he had to go back to the record and learn his own solo!Steve - Coralville, Ia
This song was in Guitar Hero 2.Ryan - Anahola, Hi
The best instrumental of all time,,,,,#47 best solo of all time,,,,,, should be #1 Dickey rocks!!!!!!!!Vince - Lantana, Fl
This is what got me interested in Southern Rock. That's a lousy YouTube video of this GREAT song that's posted above. Try this instead:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIKg5GKn8SY
Bill - Aberdeen, Wa
Good God,The Allman Brothers are awesome!I would let this song put me to sleep for years during the 70's.....Bring back the 8 tracks!!!!!!!VinnyVince - Lantana, Fl
Every time I take a road trip, I like to hear this song playing. Nothing better to set the cruise (the longer the song goes, the heavier my foot gets) listen to Jessica. It gives me a peaceful easy feeling (Sorry Eagles).Charles - Peru, In
I know many purists hate Guitar Hero for taking what they consider nearly sacred music, but I am glad for it.
This song was long a favorite for me, showcasing that classic ABB jam, then I watched my daughter do this on her GH game.
At that point, she was almost exclusively interested in country music, and this particular song started her interest to this day in classic rock.
And I have Dickey and the boys to thank for it.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
Fantastic song, but hard as heck to play. It changes melodies so many times you need the sheet to keep up.Michael - Summerdale, Al
My wife was named after this song too. Also, Chuck Leavell is one of the best pianists in rock and roll ever. That's why he's featured on Eric Clapton's Unplugged (check out Alberta, Alberta), the Black Crowes' first album and is now the keyboardist for the Rolling Stones. Keep on rockin' Chuck!Craig - Memphis, Tn
My favorite instrumental song of all-time. It's so relaxing to listen to.Scott - Boston, Ma
This song was also the theme for Cruisin' USA the video game for nintendo 64Alex Park - Lemont, Pa
My dad named me after this song. It was his favorite. He loved to hear the song as well as play it...I'm proud of my name.Jessica - Wood River, Il
was the intro/theme for the long running auto show on BBC "Top Gear"Arun - Chennai, India
little melody sections, part1...part 2...bridge..
...each one more exciting than the one before.
An instrumental so complex..so melodic, and so damn easy to listen to.
Jessica never gets old !!!!
Uncle Jimmy NYC
Jim - Nycity, Ny
Great instrumental song. Has to be my favorite allman brothers song along with blue sky.Tyler - Providence, Ri
This song is used as the end title for the movie "Lassie" (the 1994 version)Douglas - St. Paul, Mn
This song is on the radio in the movie, Fear, which is a really bad movie by the way. It also has Wild Horses but not by the Stones.Kyle - Detroit Rock City, Mi
Keyboardist Chuck Leavell has played with the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, as well as many others. He played on Clapton's "Unplugged" album, which, unfortunately, did not feature the famous piano part at the end of Layla. He is also a tree farmer in middle Georgia near where the the Allmans got their start in Macon.Mike - Atlanta, Ga
i'm sorry but how can this have won a grammy in 1996 ("more than 30 years after its release") when 1996-1973 = 23 years. that's not more than 30, nor is it equal to 30.Josh - New York, Ny
Chuck Leavell leaves his mark again. That man should be a household name.John - Millersville, Md
Starting in 2002, inexplicably became the unofficial pitching change music of Major League Baseball. You can still hear the instrumental at a lot of different stadiums when the manager pulls the starter out of the game. This may owe a debt to "Field of Dreams".Jason - New York, Ny
It's also used as traveling music in the movie "Primary Colors". I used to pop it in everytime I would drive up from Birmingham to visit my friends in Tennessee... great song.John - Cleveland, Tn
Surprisingly 21 years after the original release, a live recorded version of 'Jessica', blended with 'Mountain Jam' won the 1994 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental.Mark - Atlanta, Ga
"Jessica", a very beautiful song, one of the best instrumentals, always a pleasure to hear it again.Teresa - Mechelen, Belgium
Honestly, everytime I here this song I just can't stop smiling. It's easily one of my favorite Allman Brothers songs, and it proves why Dicky Betts truly is one of the greates guitarists of all time.Andrew - New Canaan, Ct
Because of its fame as a "travelling" or "driving" song, this song is featured as the main theme of the BBC show "Top Gear".Antonio - Orlando, Fl
My daughter was born on February 23, 1974... I named her Jessica Elizabeth after this song and In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.Louie - Sumerduck, Va
Classic rock instrumentals were not as popular as songs with lyrics. "Jessica" endures as popular background music in films. It is used as traveling music in the movie "Field of Dreams". I found it interesting that when I was doing programming and deejaying for a classic rock station in the 90's that instrumentals were considered a "kiss of death" and were banned from on air play even if requested.Michael - Bonnieville, Ky