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Ramblin' Man

by

The Allman Brothers Band



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is based on a 1951 Hank Williams song of the same title. It's about a guy whose travels take him to many places, and he takes life as it comes.
Allmans guitarist Dickey Betts wrote this in the house the band shared in Macon, Georgia. Betts sang lead on this track.
This was The Allman's first top 10 hit. The song came out after the death of guitarist and driving force Duane Allman. Although the band lost a major part of their sound, they showed they could still be successful without Duane. (thanks, Dee - Northfield, IL)
The original working title of the song was "Ramblin' Country Man." A heretofore unknown third verse was sung by Dickey Betts on his Instant Live CD released in 2004. (thanks, Dave - Madison, WI)
The band played this on the premiere of an ABC show called In Concert. It was their first national TV appearance, and also Berry Oakley's last performance, as the bass player died in a motorcycle accident a week later. The show aired after his death and was dedicated to him.
This was the last song Oakley recorded. He died in a motorcycle accident on November 11, 1972.
This was kept out of the #1 spot by Cher's "Half Breed." Gregg Allman married Cher in 1975.
A short part of this song appears in the 1973 movie The Exorcist. It's used in a bar scene when the priest is in the bar. (thanks, burak - Mersin, Turkey)
This song was referenced in the Nickelodeon Cartoon Hey Arnold! briefly and not by title, but by lyric. In the episode "The Journal," when discussion of the title Character's birth springs up, his grandmother responds, "I Thought he was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus going down highway 41." (thanks, Logan - Troy, MT)
The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band Artistfacts
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Comments (21):

Dickey got the lyrics in the chorus from a conversation he had with his neighbor one day. The guy was outside working in his yard and Dickey yelled over to him, how are you? etc. ... and the guy replied back. Oh you know not too bad doin the best I can. ... Not sure of the exact quotes here but the story itself can be found in the book Midnight riders -- and no this is not a plug for that book, just a clarification for the story.
- Greg, Harrington Park, NJ
I love and have listened to this song so much I can sing along word for word. Great song even if it is corny
- Laura, El Paso, TX
I am one of the biggest brothers fan ever, but this is there worst crap song. Like it says it was made to see if they could do it without Duane. They took it to pop music and that's never been good for great music. Don't get me wrong it's good, just to commerical for the bro's. I see Mike Allman play on a regular basis at a local bar in Florida and he plays all his dad's songs but not this one for sure.
- Celine, Rockledge, FL
Ramblin Gamblin Man is from 1968 and it is a great song!
- Art, Columbus, OH
If you like Les Dudek, pick up Ghost Town Parade, excellent album and very underrated
- Rick, graysville, MO
great organic country song- the ABB after Duane's
death became a country-rock bank- prior to that
they embodied a classic blues-jazz-improv live
band- no band could match their virtousity
with Dickey and Duane playing dual leads-flv
- francis l. vena, new york city,, NY
For some reason, this song sounds so country to me. This sounds like something that country groups have done before. I wouldn't be surprised if a country group or two has made a version of it. About what plays on classic rock stations, I like that "Old Time Rock-And-Roll" as well as that '70s style with the disco beat, but it's nice to also have a little country-sounding rock included.
- andrew, birmingham, United States
les dudek plays the harmony parts of the solos not the actual lead solos, those are all dickey. read this interview for more info on dudek: http://www.xmfan.com/les.php
- chris, milford, CT
There are two different versions of this song that exist. The original LP version is much slower than the common single mix which we all know and love. I did a A/B side by side comparison with the CD hits collection. There IS a difference...the CD version is sped up to give the harmonies a more "poppy" feel to it.
- Robert, Chicago, IL
A great guitar song! The guitars melodies dancing ansd twirling together during the fade-out is right up there with Hotel Califoria.
- Guy, Woodinville, WA
Les Dudek did indeed take the first solo on "Ramblin' Man", but it;s not ghosted , but credited, even back then. It's a good solo, and different; I can't find anything from from Duane or Dickie quite like it, (and that includes when Betts tries and fails to play this solo live). If his birth info is correct, Les was -16- years old when he did this.
- lazur, chicago, IL
the most popular and known song performed by the allman brothers band, I really like the song alot, it's country inflicted, but i would never consider it southern rock. if you listen to some of dickey bett's live solos you can hear some of his dancy "country like" structures. but, i will always consider the brothers to be a blues rock jam band...
- Jim, Laramie, WY
This song is definately not the best song of the 70s but it is probably my favorite Allman Brothers Band song, and i don't know if i'm right did Duane Allman die before this was made?
- Ray, Stockton, NJ
Very corny song. Guitar playing is great at the end, but the lyrics aren't. Not anywhere close to as good as most of their other songs from 1969-1975 when they were still great.
- Jimmy, Troy, NY
If I am not mistaken Les Dudek ghosted the Duane Allmanism lead, not Dickey Betts
- David, New York City, NY
the #1 driving song EVER!!! priceless!
- Victor, Vienna, VA
my old man lives along highway 41 in Ft Myers Florida, but I wasn't born in the backseat of a greyhound bus rolling along it!
- tony, perth, Australia
I found this song in a random search. It's OK, for a '70s song, but not really on a level with "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" by Bob Seger, which I don't find in this database. Can someone fill this gap pls? When was "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" recorded and released, etc.?
Thanks.
- Chuck, Paris, France
A part of this song appears on the scene when the priest is at a bar in the movie, ''The Exorcist''
- burak, Mersin, Turkey
It Was Also Used In The Great Tim Burton Film, BIG FISH
- brice, tallmadge, United States
I think this song was playing in the background in a restaurant near the begining of "When Harry met Sally." I'm not sure though
- James, Bridgeport, CT
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