The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

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Willie Nelson inducts the Allman Brothers

"When the Allman Brothers band came up on the scene in 1969, the created a whole new genre of music, and their Southern Rock was an exciting fusion of rock, jazz, country, and blues, and was reflective of the emergence of the new South.  And like many of us in those days who grew up in the South, we grew up in an environment of music that included a little bit of everything.  Music was not confined to such rigid formats, and the Allman Brothers Band took what moved them, and merged it into something unique, that audiences love - a sound that redefined the definition of rock and roll, and opened the door to a spirit of experimentation that continues in today's music.  The Allman Brothers Band defined Southern rock.  They had tremendous influence on those who followed in their footsteps, and they could be imitated, but never duplicated.  And their music was initially met with slow acceptance outside of the South, so they took it on the road, and they let the public decide what they wanted.  And I've always believed that if you let the people have the choice, they will always respond to good music.  The Allman Brothers Band were and still are one of the most exciting live bands to ever hit the stage.  They became road warriors with a vengeance, and left devoted fans wherever they went.  Their sound, Duane's incredible guitar work, matched to Dickie Betts' equally incredible guitar licks, created complex dual melodies supported by drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, and the powerful bass playing of Berry Oakley, and the soulful organ and vocals of Gregg Allman.  Unfortunately, the band was beset by tragedy.  Duane's death was a great loss, and is still felt by every day.  And Berry Oakley's death was another harsh blow.  But the band survived, and continued to make great music.  And more than twenty-five years later, the music not only survives, but continues to inspire, influence, and impact the music of today.  I'm very proud to have the honor of inducting a band that reflects so many of my own sentiments about music: originality and the determination not to be confined musically or stylistically, but instead, to forge your own way and make music that moves you; a devotion to the road, and an understanding that, beyond pleasing yourself as an artist, the only other consideration should be the people - the fans that come to hear you.  And when you make music that's heartfelt and real, the people will respond.  And so, with pleasure, I give you rock and roll's greatest jammin' blues band, the Allman Brothers Band."