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Butch Trucks (1947 - 2017)

Getty / Charles Eshelman

Butch Trucks (1947 - 2017)

Butch Trucks, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, died Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 69.

Trucks co-founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 along with guitarist Duane Allman, lead singer and keyboardist Gregg Allman, guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley, and fellow drummer Jai Johanny Johanson.

In a statement released Wednesday, Gregg Allman mourned the loss of his longtime friend and partner.

"I'm heartbroken. I've lost another brother and it hurts beyond words. Butch and I knew each other since we were teenagers and we were bandmates for over 45 years. He was a great man and a great drummer and I'm going to miss him forever. Rest In Peace Brother Butch," Allman said.

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Trucks, who was born Claude Hudson Trucks May 11, 1947, first met Duane and Gregg Allman in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1966.

Johanson, whose drumming was influenced by jazz, and Trucks, a more conventional rock drummer, provided a unique rhythmic drive that was a critical part of the band's signature sound.

"When Butch came along," Betts told Guitar World about Trucks joining his co-founder bandmates, "he had that freight train, meat-and-potatoes kind of thing that set Jaimoe up perfectly. He had the power thing we needed. Now we had a five-piece band that really started to sound like something."

Trucks recorded and performed with the Allman Brothers Band until they broke up in 2014. Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971, and Oakley died the following year, also in a motorcycle accident. 

Members of the band Foghat paid tribute to Trucks in a post on Facebook, writing, "We are very sad to hear about losing Butch Trucks. Our thoughts are with his bandmates, family & friends."

Trucks' surviving relatives include nephews Derek Trucks, the leader of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Duane Trucks, Derek's younger brother, who has drummed for the bands Widespread Panic and Hard Working Americans.

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