In honor of the inaugural Country 500 from May 27-29, we take a look at some of Daytona Beach's best local music talent.
The Allman Brothers Band
In 1958, Duane and Gregg Allman moved to Daytona Beach with their mother Geraldine. In the summer of 1960, thirteen-year-old Gregg bought his first guitar at a Sears department store in Daytona Beach and music became a way of life for the Allmans. After a year of practice, Duane and Gregg were playing with the local bands like the Shufflers, the Escorts and the Y-Teens.
Both attended Seabreeze High School. Duane never quite finished high school, but Gregg graduated in 1965. The following summer, with their own sound system and amps in tow, they went on the road as the Allman Joys. Each night they played a grueling six-set schedule with gigs in clubs across the region.
Their first album, Allman Brothers Band was released in late 1969. It was a critically acclaimed, but not the financial success they were hoping for. Following the release of the album, the band remained on the road for an extended period of time.
This touring schedule included two stops in Daytona Beach in 1970, one at their old high school on May 21 and the other at the Daytona Beach Bandshell on September 16.
By October of 1971, their third album, The Allman Brothers Band at the Fillmore East, was an artistic and commercial breakthrough. In just two weeks in was at the top of the charts and well on its way to million-selling status.
The band has been awarded eleven gold and five platinum albums, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Rolling Stone ranked them 52nd on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004.
Seabreeze High School Auditorium, 5/21/1970
Peabody Auditorium, 9/16/1970
Ocean Center, 10/30/1991
Ocean Center, 9/15/2002
Alex & Sierra
Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton formed their pop-music duo while they were both students at the University of Central Florida. In 2013, they won the third and final season of the "The X Factor USA" singing contest, collecting a $1 million recording contract and widespread fan support. They were mentored by Simon Cowell and became the first and only group to win the American version of the show.
Alex hails from New Smyrna Beach and attended New Smyrna Beach High School, while Sierra is from the Orlando area.
Their debut album “It's About Us” was released on October 7, 2014, on Columbia Records. The album debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 selling 27,000 copies within its first week of release.
Nearly 1,000 fans greeted them when they returned home for a performance at the Daytona Beach Bandshell on December 26, 2013. In addition, Daytona Mayor Derrick Henry honored the duo with keys to the city and proclaimed that week to be “Alex & Sierra Week.”
The young duo has already collaborated with a slew of award-winning artists including Jason Mraz, Harry Styles and John Legend.
Daytona Beach Bandshell, 9/6/2015
Daytona Beach Bandshell, 12/26/2013Daytona Beach will once again prove why it's a music hotspot as the first annual Country 500 kicks off May 27-29 -- Memorial Day Weekend. Click here for tickets and more information.