BEGINNINGS

The Allman Brothers Band + Idlewild South combined into Beginnings, 1973.

I bought Beginnings, the Allman Brothers vinyl double album, at Grimey’s New & Preloved Music in Nashville, in 2011. It is actually two albums, The Allman Brothers Band and Idlewild South. It is unbearable beautiful music — all the early hits, all the favorites, and some I hadn’t heard before.

The double vinyl was re-mastered in 1973 ©Atlantic Recording Corporation, manufactured by Warner Bros. Records, Inc. and released in 1974 by Capricorn Records, Inc., Macon Georgia. The artists are the originals: Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dicky Betts, Jai Johanny Johanson, Berry Oakley, and Butch Trucks.

The liner notes by Jean-Charles Costa are like a text-book on bands, especially Allman Brothers. He describes the evolution of the band and highlights each of the tracks, with accuracy and sensitivity. I found myself flipping from the track listings to the liner notes — to see if I could hear what he was hearing, and if I could understand what he was writing about.

I have loved this double album for a long time, and could only recently bring myself to listen again. I was doing pretty well, even moving some and singing along. Then they got to “Dreams.” I had to cry. I cried for the beauty, I cried for the youth, I cried for their searches for meaning and truth. I love this song, I love this band.