The Allman Brothers Band

RIP Chank Middleton


In the spring of 1969 six musicians decamped from Jacksonville, Florida to their new home base of Macon,
Georgia. They found a place to crash and started rehearsing in their manager’s recording studio. The studio was
hot, with no air conditioning and no amenities. The guys would drop into the barbershop next door to grab a
Coke from the soda machine and cool off in the air conditioning, and sometimes slide in back for a few rolls of
the bones in the ever-running dice game that took place there. The barbershop’s shoeshine concessionaire was
young, just like the musicians, and they struck up immediate conversations with each other, sharing the joy of
music and life, and become fast friends. That was the nexus of Hewell “Chank” Middleton and the Allman
Brothers Band.

Chank developed a friendship with the entire group, but especially Gregg Allman, as they became the
closest of friends. At various times, Chank worked for Gregg and the ABB as a personal assistant, facilitator
and confidant; everyone in the ABB loved and cherished Chank.

When asked why he was called Chank, he smiled, laughed in his trademark chuckle and replied, “I don’t
know; my grandma called me that. It must have been something I was doing as a little kid.”
The Allman Brothers Band family is deeply saddened by the loss of their brother, Chank Middleton, as
he joins Duane, Berry, Butch, Gregg, and the rest of the “crew.” Let them know we will all be coming – won’t
be long before we are there.


One Response

  1. A man both Duane and Gregg had a connection with. Gregg highly praises his friendship with Chank. My guess he was an unassuming man and simply got into a groove with both brothers, but especially Gregg subsequent to Duane’s death. It’s somewhat odd how friendships develop, some many factors involved. We can be eternally grateful for those that do, when the connection is established that lasts a lifetime.

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