Jessica is the name of Allman Brothers 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 also inspired one of his famous Allman Borthers songs: he wrote "Blue Sky" for her. The couple were 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 two fingers in the style of Django Reinhardt, a 1930s Jazz musician Betts admired who lost two fingers in a fire.
The Allman Brothers performed this on The Late Show with David Letterman on February 29, 1996.
A live recording was included on the album An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set in 1995. This version won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
When we spoke with Devon Allman, he offered some insight on why songs like this don't need lyrics. "'Flor D'Luna' by Santana, 'Jessica' by the Allman Brothers - these songs don't need words because that lead guitar is doing the talking and the singing. It's a strong enough melody to stand on its own. Words over that wouldn't make sense because it's already doing the speaking."
Elaine from Charlotte, Mi"Jessica" takes me to a very happy place, one I love to be and where I don't like to be disturbed. There should be much more music like this around! Or, you could do an "extended" version! Thank you for so many years of fabulous music! <3
Poppa T from Greensboro, NcMy daughter Jessica was born August 1970. I toured in a southern rock/blues band that loved and played AB covers. She lost her battle with breast cancer April 7, 2015. The song "Jessica" played at the end of the memorial service. Powerful song, thank you Dickie Betts for sharing this song with the world.
Steve from Whittier, CaJessica 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.
Brad from Hickory, NcI 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!
Vince from Lantana, FlDuane Allman died in a motorcycle accident just outside of Macon Georgia, in October 1971 ,what a shame !!!
Nate from New York, NyThis is a beautiful song. I love it. I can play it on guitar. By the way, how DID Duane Allman die?
Reg from Kemptville, OnI 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.
Steve from Coralville, IaChuck 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!
Ryan from Anahola, HiThis song was in Guitar Hero 2.
Vince from Lantana, FlThe best instrumental of all time,,,,,#47 best solo of all time,,,,,, should be #1 Dickey rocks!!!!!!!!
Bill from Aberdeen, WaThis 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
Vince from Lantana, FlGood 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!!!!!!!Vinny
Charles from Peru, InEvery 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).
Oldpink from New Castle, InI 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.
Michael from Summerdale, AlFantastic song, but hard as heck to play. It changes melodies so many times you need the sheet to keep up.
Craig from Memphis, TnMy 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!
Scott from Boston, MaMy favorite instrumental song of all-time. It's so relaxing to listen to.
Alex Park from Lemont, PaThis song was also the theme for Cruisin' USA the video game for nintendo 64
Jessica from Wood River, IlMy 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.
Arun from Chennai, Indiawas the intro/theme for the long running auto show on BBC "Top Gear"
Jim from Nycity, Nylittle 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
Tyler from Providence, RiGreat instrumental song. Has to be my favorite allman brothers song along with blue sky.
Douglas from St. Paul, MnThis song is used as the end title for the movie "Lassie" (the 1994 version)
Kyle from Detroit Rock City, MiThis 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.
Mike from Atlanta, GaKeyboardist 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.
Josh from New York, Nyi'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.
John from Millersville, MdChuck Leavell leaves his mark again. That man should be a household name.
Jason from New York, NyStarting 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".
John from Cleveland, TnIt'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.
Mark from Atlanta, GaSurprisingly 21 years after the original release, a live recorded version of 'Jessica', blended with 'Mountain Jam' won the 1994 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental.
Teresa from Mechelen, Belgium"Jessica", a very beautiful song, one of the best instrumentals, always a pleasure to hear it again.
Andrew from New Canaan, CtHonestly, 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.
Antonio from Orlando, FlBecause of its fame as a "travelling" or "driving" song, this song is featured as the main theme of the BBC show "Top Gear".
Louie from Sumerduck, VaMy daughter was born on February 23, 1974... I named her Jessica Elizabeth after this song and In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.
Michael from Bonnieville, Ky 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.