Friday, March 8, 2013


From an interview with Paul Hornsby (keyboards with the band and future session master at Muscle Schoals studios in Alabama)

 About 1965, I was playing with a band down at Dauphne Island, Alabama near Mobile. Some of the guys went down to a local club called the Stork Club & came back raving about a band they saw called the Allman Joys. They said the band  sounded great and had long hair & everything. (Long hair was a big deal at that time) They invited Duane & Gregg Allman, who the band was named after, to come out & see us on Dauphne Island. That was our first meeting & I was equally  impressed when they sat in and played with us.We started to see quiet a bit of the Allman Joys after that. They came up to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I was living at the time, and played for several fraternity parties at the University Of Alabama. Those were about the most lucrative gigs you could land back then.
I had the band The Five Minutes going at that time and our drummer, Bill Connell,was offered the job of playing with the Allmans. Johnny Sandlin, who had played with  the Minutes before, came back aboard as our drummer.
We became fast friends with the Allman Joys and they turned us on to their booking agent in Nashville. We went on the road playing music full time and played the same clubs as the Allmans.
Then, in early 1967, The Men-its (by then, we had changed the spelling) broke up when our singer, Eddie Hinton left the band to be a session player in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. We were looking around for a replacement when I got a call one day from Duane.  Seems the Allman Joys had  just broken up & we decided to merge the two  groups.We practiced for a couple of weeks & got our first booking at a club in St. Louis, Mo. One night during this gig, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, along with their manager, Bill McEuen, happened into the club. McEuen was very impressed with the band’s  sound & convinced us to go out to Los Angeles. When we got out there, we signed with him as our manager and he landed us a deal with Liberty Records. Pretty fast work, since the group had only been together for about 3 months.
We named the new group the “Hourglass“ and over the next couple of years, we cut 2 very forgettable albums for Liberty. Unfortunately, the label never captured our true sound. They just didn’t understand the music we brought out there as we were probably the first, what now would be called, Southern Rock band.

 Hour Glass was the debut record by the group of the same name, issued in October 1967 on Liberty Records, the first of two by the group that featured the namesakes of The Allman Brothers Band.

The album was recorded by a group saddled by a producer unable to quite realize the group's potential. Dallas Smith, a formulaic producer noted for his work with Bobby Vee, knew the group was from the South. He knew they had formed from the ashes of groups that had performed liberal amounts of blues covers. And he heard soulful qualities in the voice of nineteen-year-old Gregg Allman. Therefore, he referred to them as a "Motown band", much to the dismay of the group.

The Hour Glass was recorded with an emphasis on lead vocalist Gregg Allman's voice and dispensing with nearly all original material. Of the eleven tracks on the original LP, only one was penned by a group member, Gregg Allman's "Got To Get Away". The remaining ten were written by songwriters running the gamut from Curtis Mayfield and Jackson Browne to Del Shannon and the Goffin-King team. The Hour Glass performed the basic tracks, which were overdubbed by Smith with layers of vocals and instrumentation.

The album was a failure in both sales terms and in properly showcasing the group. On the follow-up, 1968's Power of Love, the group would be given a bigger role in the making of the album.

    Duane Allman - guitars, sitar, vocal
    Gregg Allman - vocal, organ, piano, guitar
    Paul Hornsby - piano, organ, guitar, vocal
    Pete Carr - bass, guitar, vocal (1967–1968)
    Johnny Sandlin - drums, guitar, gong
    Mabron McKinney - bass (1967)


ronnieb said...

Wow I'm Enjoying all these Early Allmans Thank You Again!

Anonymous said...


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