The Allman Brothers - In Memory of Elizabeth Reed - Live 1970
"In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" is a song by the American group the Allman Brothers Band. It first appeared on their second studio album, Idlewild South (1970), released on Capricorn Records. The song—a jazz-influenced instrumental—was written by guitarist Dickey Betts, among his first songwriting credits for the group. Betts named the song after a headstone he saw in Rose Hill Cemetery in the band's hometown of Macon, Georgia. Multiple versions of the song have been recorded, with the version performed on the group's 1971 live album At Fillmore East generally considered the definitive rendition.
"In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" was inspired by a woman Betts was involved with in the group's hometown of Macon, Georgia. She was the girlfriend of musician Boz Scaggs, with Betts later saying she "was Hispanic and somewhat dark and mysterious—and she really used it to her advantage and played it to the hilt." To cloak her identity, the song is named after a headstone Betts saw at the Rose Hill Cemetery, where band members often ventured in their early days to relax and write songs.
Elizabeth Jones Reed was a young Southern belle when she attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She married Confederate Army Captain Briggs Hopson Napier on April 26, 1865 and had 12 children but three died before reaching adulthood. They were farmers, Briggs Napier served for a period as the Editor for the Monroe County Newspaper, and they ran and operated a local pub in Macon in the early 1900s. Elizabeth Reed’s grave in Rose Hill Cemetery is located not far from the graves of Allman Brothers Band members Berry Oakley and Duane Allman.