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B.B. King, Ed Shane and the Allman Brothers

by Pam Shane


In 1969 Atlanta, Ed Shane was in great demand to emcee concerts of all kinds because he was the program director of the exciting progressive rock station WPLO-FM.  While the station was not a ratings giant, it was a big deal to the people it served and it was on FM, which was quite new and clearly better quality than the AMs that ruled the market.


Ed Shane, Bottom of the Barrel, Atlanta


Ed played everything that he thought would interest his listeners, so ‘PLO ran the gamut from Jerry Lee Lewis to the blues to Donovan to new bands like The Allman Brothers.  During his time, Ed interviewed Duane Allman and had him on the radio as a guest deejay, resulting in two of the few recordings available of Duane Allman.


One night Ed was the emcee for r&b singer Bobby “Blue” Bland at the Atlanta Municipal auditorium.  Both Duane and Gregg Allman went to the concert with Ed because they were fans of Bobby Bland’s.  Afterward, they all went backstage to meet Bobby, who already knew Ed and was delighted to meet these young white blues men.


Bobby suddenly said to Ed that B.B. King was playing at the Royal Peacock that night.  This was an all-black nightclub in downtown Atlanta.  Bobby said he’d like to take them to the show and introduce them to B.B.  Ed and the Allmans were delighted but wondered if they’d be able to get in.  Bobby Bland said that as his guests it would happen.


They went, they got in, and loved the experience of hearing B.B. King play to a highly appreciative crowd.  After the music, Bobby Bland introduced them to the great blues guitarist.  Ed always said this was one of the most memorable concert events of his life, to see Duane and Gregg in awe of B.B. King and then to see them all talking together and enjoying each other’s company.


I heard an interview with B.B. King this morning where he said he wanted to be remembered for loving people and hoped people would have loved him.  As far as Ed and the Allman Brothers go, B.B. King’s wish came true.





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