In the early to mid ’70s, the band was king. The South, in particular, turned out some earth-shattering new sounds that forever changed popular music. What was it that turned small-town boys born in the idyllic 50’s into the “rebels” of the ’70s? Was it the rapid descent of trust in the establishment after JFK’s assassination? Was it the disillusionment of their older brothers and friends going off and dying in Vietnam? Was it the influence of the counterculture instructing them to “turn on, tune in, and drop out”?
Whatever the cause, the South produced some dynamically talented bands who proved themselves capable musicians and, in many cases, insightful poets. With hair to their waists, mustaches and goatees, and hip-huggin’ bell bottoms, they hit the road…hard, converting the young masses in the process.
There were so many great ones that came out of that decade, but here are a few of my favorites. None of these, with the exception of Z Z Top, are in tact anymore, but through the magic of video and audio, they are preserved.
We’re an American Band, Grand Funk Railroad
Tobacco Road, Edgar Winter
Rock & Roll Hoochie Coo, Johnny Winter
FreeBird, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Can’t You See, Marshall Tucker Band
Born on the Bayou, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Shame On You, Wet Willie
Midnight Rider, The Allman Brothers
Spooky, Atlanta Rhythm Section
Jim Dandy to the Rescue, Black Oak Arkansas
Smokin’ in the Boys Room, Brownsville Station
Tuff Enuff, Fabulous Thunderbirds
If You Want to Get to Heaven, Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Tush, Z Z Top