May 12, 2018 8:00pm
Access Showroom Tickets from $25
Formed from the cream of Atlanta’s studio musicians, the Atlanta Rhythm Section (actually hailing from nearby Doraville, Georgia) came together in 1970 after working on a Roy Orbison recording session.
Keyboardist Dean Daughtry and drummer Robert Nix had been members of Orbison's backing group, the Candymen, and Daughtry and guitarist J.R. Cobb had been members of the Top 40 hitmakers Classics IV (“Spooky,” “Stormy,” “Traces”). Rounding out the original ARS lineup were vocalist Rodney Justo (replaced after the first album by Ronnie Hammond), guitarist Barry Bailey, and bassist Paul Goddard.
The group recorded two albums for Decca Records in 1972, neither of which made an impact, before signing to Polydor Records in 1974. Their first album for that company, Third Annual Pipe Dream, only reached number 74 in the U.S. The next two albums fared worse. Finally, in 1977, “So In To You” became the band’s breakthrough single, reaching the U.S. Top 10, and the album from which it came, A Rock And Roll Alternative, went gold. Their platinum followup album, Champagne Jam, broke into the Top 10 in 1978, together with the blockbuster single “Imaginary Lover” (“I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” was another major hit from the same album). Nix left after that, replaced on drums by Roy Yeager. During this magical timeframe, ARS performed at the White House for President Jimmy Carter, another notable Georgia product.
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