Allman Brothers Producer Johnny Sandlin Dies at 72

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One of Johnny Sandlin’s heralded productions for the Allman Brothers Band

Yet another death in the Allman Brothers Band family: Record producer, engineer and musician Johnny Sandlin, a presence on the Southern music scene for decades, died today (Sept. 19) in Decatur, Ala. The cause has not yet been reported. Sandlin was 72.

He is best known for his work with the Allmans, having produced their 1973 album Brothers and Sisters and 1975’s Win, Lose or Draw, as well as co-producing that year’s The Road Goes on Forever. Prior to that he was involved in mixing the iconic live album At Fillmore East as well as the band’s classic Eat a Peach. Sandlin was also the drummer in the group Hour Glass with Duane and Gregg Allman, just prior to the formation of the ABB.

He also produced Gregg Allman’s solo albums Laid Back and Gregg Allman Tour and Gregg’s joint album with his then-wife Cher in the mid-’70s.

Much of Sandlin’s work was in the genre that became known as Southern rock, producing primarily in the Muscle Shoals, Ala., area and Macon, Ga., for artists on Capricorn Records and other Southern labels.

Related: Friends and family of Gregg Allman gathered to pay tribute at a farewell jam

John Everett Sandlin Jr. was born in Decatur on April 16, 1945, and began playing guitar in his teens, also learning drums and bass. He played in a number of bands and on sessions in the region and in 1967 was recruited by Duane and Gregg Allman in 1967 to join their new band.

He moved into the technical side in 1969, first producing Johnny Jenkins’ album Ton Ton Macoute! and recordings by the band Cowboy for the new Capricorn label. Among Sandlin’s other production credits were albums by Wet Willie, Widespread Panic, Dixie Dregs, Elvin Bishop, Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Delbert McClinton, Jimmy Hall, Bonnie Bramlett, Livingston Taylor, Derek Trucks, Kitty Wells, Chuck Leavell, Jerry Reed and others.

Sandlin was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2016. He was also the owner/operator of Duck Tape Music in Decatur.

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