How the Allman Brothers Band helped Jimmy Carter win the White House

Carter, like thousands of other Americans, was a fan of the Southern rock-and-roll band in the 1970s.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 2:51 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2023 at 7:23 PM EDT
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MACON, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - At the Allman Brothers Big House Museum in Macon, you’ll find a lot of memorabilia like concert posters, instruments and photos of Jimmy Carter.

“I think people are unaware of (the band’s) relationship with President Carter,” Richard Brent, who runs the museum, said.

Carter, like thousands of other Americans, was a fan of the Southern rock-and-roll band in the 1970s. It was the same time period in which he was campaigning for president.

Though the band called Central Georgia home, Brent showed Atlanta New First a framed concert poster from a show in Providence, Rhode Island on November 25, 1975. That was the night The Allman Brothers Band played a benefit concert for Carter at the Providence Civic Center.

“His campaign was low on funds and that particular show really gave him the resources that he needed to carry on,” Brent said. “He recognized that there was an opportunity to gain some voters with what we’ll I’ll call the ‘hippie movement’ is a way to say it, I guess. But he just recognized there was an untapped resource right there.”

The show raised thousands of dollars and likely thousands of new voters. Carter even sent the band a thank you note that’s on display in Macon.

“In this letter, he’s basically saying my campaign is going very well and we really expect to see good results,” Brent said.

Carter was elected president one year later.

“Here you got this peanut farmer coming out of Plains, Georgia who just ran on honesty and integrity and that’s what he offered. He was just genuine and that’s what the country was looking for,” Brent said.

Cater continued his friendship with the band for decades, even receiving a degree from Mercer University with Greg Allman in 2016.

Through the years, things changed, and band members passed away. But the music and the memories never faded. At 99, Carter is still known by many as the “rock-and-roll president.”