Hour Glass (band)

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Hour Glass
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Years active1967 (1967)–1968 (1968)
Associated actsThe Allman Brothers Band
Past membersGregg Allman
Duane Allman
Pete Carr
Paul Hornsby
Johnny Sandlin
Mabron McKinney
Bob Keller

Hour Glass were a 1960s rhythm and blues band based in Los Angeles, California in 1967 and 1968. Among their members were two future members of the Allman Brothers Band (Duane Allman and his brother Gregg) and three future studio musicians at the world-renowned Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (Pete Carr, Johnny Sandlin and Paul Hornsby).


Formed from the ashes of two disbanded rival groups that had played the same southern circuit, The Allman Joys (based in Florida) and the Men-its (based in Alabama), the group was booked in early 1967 into a month-long engagement in St. Louis, Missouri, where they met members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whose manager, Bill McEuen, arranged for them a contract with Liberty Records.

Moving to Los Angeles, they were soon opening for groups like The Doors and Buffalo Springfield and recording their eponymous debut album, full of lighthearted poppy soul that was quite contrary to what the group was performing in various clubs and theatres in California such as the Fillmore West and Troubadour, picked out by the label from a pool of songwriters including Jackson Browne and Jimmy Radcliffe whose song "Nothing But Tears" was the plug for their initial single. The album flopped, perhaps because the group, aside from Gregg Allman, was sparsely used in the studio.

Onstage, the group rarely performed tracks from the album, preferring original material by Gregg Allman alongside covers of Otis Redding and Yardbirds songs. Over the next few months, however, the group lingered, unable to perform outside of southern California due to label constraints. Eventually losing bassist Mabron McKinney and his successor Bob Keller, they soldiered on, performing concerts and recording a second album, Power of Love, which featured bassist Pete Carr. However, like their debut, Power of Love, which also featured the songwriting skills of Gregg Allman and material that fit the group much better than the material on their debut, flopped.

Pulling out one last-ditch effort by leaving Los Angeles to work at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the group recorded a handful of tracks that, for once, showed their full potential in the studio. After these tracks were rejected by the label, the group became dejected and broke up. The group over, Duane and Gregg Allman went to Jacksonville, Florida where they jammed with folk-rockers The 31st of February, featuring drummer Butch Trucks. The others went to do session work in Muscle Shoals.

Liberty Records threatened to sue the group for disbanding. Consequently, Gregg Allman gave them the rights to a solo album to prevent their doing so. However, tracks for the album were only issued twenty-five years later when they were released as bonus tracks on the compact disc reissues of the group's two albums. With his brother back in Los Angeles, Duane Allman temporarily joined his bandmates in Muscle Shoals, where he met drummer J. Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson.

Interested in recruiting bassist Berry Oakley of Jacksonville psychedelic blues band the Second Coming, whom he had met the previous July at an Hour Glass performance at Jacksonville's Comic Book Club, Allman and Johanson bolted Muscle Shoals for Florida, where Allman began sitting in with Oakley's band. Impressed with Second Coming guitarist Dickey Betts' playing, Allman decided to add him to his fledgling line-up as well. With the addition of a second drummer, former 31st of February drummer Butch Trucks, and brother Gregg on vocals and organ, who would abandon his solo career in Los Angeles, this new line-up became the Allman Brothers Band.





October 1967: "Nothing But Tears" / "Heartbeat"
- from Hour Glass (1967)
March 1968: "Power of Love" / "I Still Want Your Love"
- from Power of Love (1968)
June 1968: "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" / "Changing of the Guard" (as Gregg Allman and the Hour Glass)
- Side "A" new recording by Gregg Allman and session musicians, Side "B" from Power of Love (1968)
September 1968: "She Is My Woman" / "Going Nowhere" (as Gregg Allman and the Hour Glass)
- Side "A" new recording by Gregg Allman and session musicians, Side "B" from Power of Love (1968)
October 1968: "Now Is the Time" / "She Is My Woman" (as Gregg Allman and the Hour Glass)
- Side "A" from Power of Love (1968), Side "B" previously released on 45 in September 1968
January 1969: "I've Been Trying" / "Silently" (as Gregg Allman and the Hour Glass)
- from Hour Glass (1967)

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