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Dickey Betts, who wrote ‘Jessica’ used for the Top Gear TV theme, has died

Guitarist and singer with the Allman Brothers Band passes away aged 80

Published: 19 Apr 2024

Commemorative air guitars at the ready, readers, for a giant of American rock has sadly died. Dickey Betts, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, has passed away at the age of 80.

The guitarist, singer and songwriter composed a number of US hits including the classic instrumental Jessica, which won a Grammy in 1996 for ‘Best Rock Instrumental Performance’. That song of course, was used for the theme tune for Top Gear TV.

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A statement posted on the Allman Brothers Band’s website said: “With deep sadness the Allman Brothers Band learned today that founding member Dickey Betts has passed away peacefully in his home in Sarasota, Florida, following a period of declining health.

“Dickey wrote quintessential Brothers songs including ‘Blue Sky’, ‘Rambling Man’, ‘Jessica’, ‘in Memory of Elizabeth Reed’ and many others. His extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.

“He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing. Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.

“Play on Brother Dickey, you will be forever remembered and deeply missed,” the statement added.

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Thanks for the soundtrack to our show, Dickey. TopGear.com sends its condolences to the Betts family.

Image: Getty

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