Credit: Shutterstock/Duane Allman

In this coming year, I will seek knowledge from others wiser than me

Skydog was his nickname, Howard was his given name, but Duane Allman is the name this guitarist is remembered by.

Born in Nashville in 1946, Duane was the son of a military family. His father tragically died in 1949. After many difficulties growing up in a single-parent household, young Duane learned to play guitar. “Nothing can ever be wrong about music,” he later said, and his passion for it brought him to the world's attention.

His brother, Gregg, joined him in his love for music. They played in bands and as session musicians for many years, learning their craft. Inspired by blues and folk rock, Duane developed a distinctive sound that caught the attention of Wilson Pickett and Eric Clapton.

The two brothers formed the core of the Allman Brothers Band in the late 1960s. But Duane would continue to appear as a session musician, even after their success. He just loved playing.

His star was on the rise. But after only three Allman Brothers records, Duane died in a tragic 1971 motorcycle crash.

Lynyrd Skynyrd dedicated the song Free Bird to Duane's memory. His distinctive playing style and generous spirit are still remembered fondly today. Often ranked among the top guitarists who ever lived, Duane Allman died young but his legend lives on.