The Hour Glass

Hour Glass, TheFrom: Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Hour Glass was formed by brother Duane and Gregg Allman, who would eventually form the Allman Brothers Band. The Allman family moved to Florida when the boys were still in school. By 1961, both brothers were playing guitar in local bands. Their first gig was played at the local YMCA, and in 1962, the two played in Y Teens and the Shufflers and then the Escorts.

Duane and Gregg Allman were never directly involved with the civil rights movement that was happening in America at the time, but they were strong supporters of change. In 1963, they joined the band the House Rockers, a band that backed an African-American trio called the Untils. The decision was considered controversial, but the brothers were passionate about taking a stance.

In 1965, Gregg Allman graduated from high school, and the brothers went on the road together for the first time calling themselves the Allman Joys. The Allman Joys played a lot of covers. Duane started to develop his legacy as one of the greatest guitarists in history. The brothers continued to establish themselves as quality musicians. In 1966, Buddy Killen of Dial Records saw the Joys live at the Briar Patch club in Nashville. He liked what he saw and agreed to produce the band’s first release. They did a cover of “Spoonful” that was more psychedelic, similar to Cream, opposed to the version by the Butterfield Blues Band.

The Allman Joys broke up in early 1967. The brothers moved to Decatur, Alabama, and worked with a band called the Five Minutes. Soon after, the band relocated back to St. Louis, picking up where the Allman Joys left off. Bill McEuen, manager of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, heard the Allman Joys one night in St. Louis, and said that the band would have a much better chance at success if they moved with him to Los Angeles. They did, and made two albums as the Hour Glass. The band consisted of Duane Allman (guitars, sitar, vocal), Gregg Allman (vocal, organ, piano, guitar), Paul Hornsby (piano, organ, guitar, vocal), Pete Carr (bass, guitar, vocal), and Johnny Sandlin (drums, guitar, gong). Marbon McKinney (bass) was only with the band for a short time.

The brothers would often refer to their time as the Hour Glass as being painful, and even an embarrassment. They were talked into wearing psychedelic outfits and cover hit pop songs, and, worst of all, were prevented from playing live too much. Gregg once said “All we wanted to do was play. We would have done small clubs in the valley, but they told us we’d blow the whole image if we did that.” Although this period in the Allman Brothers history is seen as a negative, one good thing did come out of it. Duane Allman began to play slide guitar, a feat that would catapult him to the top of the guitar world.

The Hour Glass released two albums, first of which was their self-titled release. The album featured “Cast Off All My Fears,” a positive-thinking song with heavy fuzz-tone that sounds similar to the Blues Magoos. The song was written by Jackson Browne before he began recording his own material. The band’s second album, Power Of Love, was more blues and R&B based that their debut. After the release of this album, the band had had enough, and they decided to relocate themselves to St. Louis. The Hour Glass broke up, but the band still owed their label, Liberty Records, money. Duane and Gregg Allman were legally prevented from recording on their own until the money was paid back. Further projects would continue before the brothers really broke through as the Allman Brothers Band.

Artist information sources include: The Allman Brothers Band on Anglefire.com and Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1967 album The Hour Glass
Hour Glass

  • Cast Off All My Fears

From the 1968 album Power Of Love
Power Of Love

  • Going Nowhere
  • Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)