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Macon getting Duane Allman Memorial Boulevard

Macon still loves Duane Allman more than 40 years after his death.

To pay tribute to the legendary guitarist, a portion of Vineville Avenue will also be named Duane Allman Memorial Boulevard during a ceremony Saturday.

Part of the road -- actually from Pio Nono Avenue to New Street -- will have signs designating it as a historic street in Allman’s honor. The stretch passes by The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House.

Galadrielle Allman, Allman’s daughter, is scheduled to attend.

“We’re excited about this, especially with the timing working out with Galadrielle in town to celebrate the dedication,” said Rob Schneck, executive director of The Big House. “And the community showing its appreciation of Duane. As much as they were crazy hippies running around, they really did put Macon on the map.”

The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at the Library Ballroom, located at 652 Mulberry St.

The annual GABBA Fest is this weekend, drawing Allman Brothers Band enthusiasts from far and wide, and street signs will be put in place during the festival.

The Big House, at 2321 Vineville Ave., was home to members of the band, roadies, friends and families until 1973.

Allman -- Howard Duane Allman -- was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on Nov. 20, 1946. His mother moved with her sons to Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1957, where Duane and his brother, Gregg, learned to play the guitar.

They formed their first official band, the Allman Joys, which later became The Hour Glass. During these years, Duane perfected his electric slide guitar technique, using a small glass bottle as a slide.

He was in great demand as a session musician for performers including Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge and Herbie Mann, but he finally grew frustrated by those limits and headed back to Florida. The Allman Brothers Band formed in 1969.

Allman died in a motorcycle accident in Macon on Oct. 29, 1971, less than a month before his 25th birthday. The band recorded three successful albums before his death.

Rolling Stone magazine named him No. 9 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

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