Sampler Daze: Capricorn’s Dixie Rock


The Allman Brothers Band

The Warner/Reprise sampler series wouldn’t have been the same without the contributions from Capricorn Records, the Macon, Georgia, label that put out down-home Southern rock.  Phil
Walden, who served as Otis Redding’s manager until the singer’s death in 1967, found this young Florida kid playing guitar and nutured the kid’s talent into a rock band.

That, of course, was Duane Allman and as the Allman Brothers Band took off Walden founded a record label with the blessing of Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler (whose own label distributed Otis Redding).  Capricorn Records didn’t take off immediately – as the Allmans’ first album sold poorly – but when the group put out their classic double live set At Fillmore East in 1971, Walden left Atlantic and signed a new distribution deal with Warner Bros.

The Capricorn roster appeared on most of the Warner/Reprise peachessamplers from then on, and the label even put out two double-album samplers called Peaches (1974 and 1975).  Capricorn Records virtually defined Southern rock in the 1970s – among the artists signed were the Allmans, the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, White Witch, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Mull, Black Oak Arkansas and Grinderswitch.

After riding the Southern rock wave in the 1970s (the most successful band of this genre, Lynyrd Skynyrd, recorded for MCA), Capricorn went belly up in 1979.  Warner Bros. brought the label back in the 1990s as a Nashville outfit for country artists – Kenny Chesney’s first albums were released on it.  That finally dried up the label by the early 2000s, and Phil Walden died in 2006.

We offer here a small sampling of Capricorn’s acts, including one of the Allman Brothers’ best-known songs with a small bonus: Humphrey Bogart and Alfonso Bedoya from Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

MP3: “Treasure of the Sierra Madre sound clip/Ramblin’ Man” by the Allman Brothers Band (from All Singing, All Talking, All Rocking)

MP3: “Dixie Rock” by Wet Willie (from All Meat)

MP3: “Juke Joint Jump” by Elvin Bishop (from All Meat)

MP3: “Highway Call” by Richard Betts (from Peaches)

MP3: “Hillbilly Band” by the Marshall Tucker Band (from Appetizers)

MP3: “Rita” by Arthur Conley (from The Days Of Wine and Vinyl)

MP3: “(Shu-Doo-Pa-Poo-Poop) Love Being Your Fool” by Travis Wammack (from Peaches, Vol. 2)

MP3: “These Days” by Gregg Allman (from I Didn’t Know They Still Made Records Like This)

MP3: “Show Me Yours (And I’ll Show You Mine)” by Martin Mull (from All Meat)

MP3: “Let The South Wind Blow” by Grinderswitch (from All Meat)

Inside the Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders at

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