The happiest song that doesn’t need a word
The instrumental tracks didn’t become major hits, but Allman Brothers’ “Jessica” did. The seven-minute instrumental melody was released in 1973 as the second single from the rock band’s album, Brothers and Sisters. It was released after the very successful “Ramblin ‘Man”.
The song reached No.65 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it peaked the best in Billboard’s Easy Listening chart, reaching No.29. Although it had little success in the charts, it was. ‘one of the Allman Brothers songs that has remained as the classic rock radio staple and a favorite. to many fans. A Wall Street Journal article even considered the song “a true national heritage.”
By the mid-1970s, more and more radio listeners in London, England, became even more familiar with “Jessica” as the opening theme of the BBC car program. Top speed. The song has also been featured in various movies and TV shows such as The Simpsons, My Name Is Earl, and more.
More than two decades later, a live recording of “Jessica” at An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set in 1995 received a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance.
Story behind the song
Written by guitarist Dickey Betts, “Jessica” was designed to be played with just two left fingers in honor of jazz guitar legend Django Reinhardt. Reinhardt’s left hand was badly burned, so he focused on using his left index and middle fingers.
Betts wrote most of the song at a farm in Juliet, Georgia owned by the group. However, while he already had the main melody, Betts revealed that he was starting to get frustrated with the direction it was moving. Luckily, her baby girl – whose name is Jessica – crawled into the room and started bouncing to the music. Betts then tried to musically capture how she reacted to the melody and beat of the song and, of course, gave it her name.
You can listen to Allman Brothers’ “Jessica” by watching the video below.