The ten best southern rock songs include tunes by a host of classic rock bands and a few musicians who don't live in the American South but have adopted the style of a classic southern rock band.
- "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. This southern rock song standard was released in 1973 by the seminal southern band that had a changing musician base. Founder Ronnie Van Zant, Ed King and Leon Wilkeson are featured on this tune that hit the Billboard Hot 100 in the top 20 position.
- "Dumas Walker" by the Kentucky Headhunters. This southern rock group released their first album in 1989 with a host of classic southern music including the Indiana picker Bill Monroe's "Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine" and Don Gibson's "Oh Lonesome Me." The album had a handful of original songs including this best southern rock song about a bar owner who enjoys a game of marbles. Doug Phelps, Greg Martin, Fred Young and Richard Young make up the Kentucky Headhunters.
- "Ramblin' Man" by the Allman Brothers Band. Another rock music standard, this was released in 1973 on the group's "Brothers and Sisters" album. The tune was written by guitarist Dicky Betts and has been heard on the soundtrack of at least four major feature films.
- "Can't You See" by Marshall Tucker Band. This southern band had roots in South Carolina. The core of the band included the late Toy and Tommy Caldwell, Doug Gray, the late George McCorkle, Jerry Eubanks and Paul Riddle, but a core of the group continued to perform in 2010. This tune was released in 1973 and hit the charts immediately.
- "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band. Daniels played with the early Marshall Tucker Band and also headed bands that released albums under his direction that charted on both the country and rock music hit lists. This tune, released in 1979, crossed the chart categories and hit the top 20 on both the rock and country stations.
- "Midnight Rider" by the Allman Brothers Band. The dual performances by guitar virtuosos Duane Allman and Dick Betts make this tune a classic southern rock song. Released in 1970 on the original album by the band, the tune has found a voice with many other non-southern music acts, including English singer Joe Cocker, rocker Patti Smith and country singer Alison Krause.
- "Blue Sky" by the Allman Brothers Band. Written for group member Dick Betts' wife, this song featured Duane Allman before his untimely death in a motorcycle accident. The tune appears on the classic southern rock album "Eat a Peach" released in 1972.
- "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynard Skynyrd. Another southern rock standard by the band inspired by hatred of a high school teacher. This tune was released in 1974 and remains today as one of the most played Skynyrd songs.
- "Whipping Post" by the Allman Brothers Band. This southern ditty was first released in 1969 on the group's first album, but the classic version is the live performance on the group's "Live at Fillmore East" album offering.
- "I'm No Angel" by Gregg Allman Band. Another southern rock classic by one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band. This single was released on Allman's first solo effort released in 1987.
Brant, Marley. "Southern Rockers: The Roots & Legacy of Southern Rock." Billboard Books, 1999.
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