10 Forgotten Southern Rock Bands

10 Forgotten Southern Rock Bands | Society Of Rock Videos

via Alex DeLarge / YouTube

Southern rock has given us iconic bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and the Marshall Tucker Band, but there’s a whole treasure trove of other incredible Southern rock acts that have been overshadowed by the giants of the genre. These bands rocked audiences, produced fantastic albums, and then seemed to disappear from the spotlight. It’s time to shine a light on these unsung heroes of Southern rock.

Atlanta Rhythm Section

The Atlanta Rhythm Section, aptly named after their hometown, emerged as a formidable force in the early ’70s Southern rock scene. While their acronym, ARS, might not have been the catchiest, their music certainly was. With a series of albums released between 1972 and 1976, they quietly honed their craft before making waves in 1977 with “So Into You,” a chart-topping hit in the US.

Their soulful Southern rock sound left an indelible mark, showcasing their ability to blend bluesy melodies with rock sensibilities. But it was “Imaginary Lover” and the laid-back “I’m Not Going To Let It Bother Me Tonight” from their platinum-selling “Champagne Jam” in 1978 that solidified their place in the Southern rock pantheon. Atlanta Rhythm Section was a class act deserving of more recognition.



Ozark Mountain Daredevils

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils from Missouri brought a unique blend of AOR and country-infused sounds to the Southern rock scene. Their standout hit, “Jackie Blue” in 1974, became an anthem of the era. It showcased their ability to craft melodic and catchy tunes that resonated with audiences.

Their music was an upbeat and fun-loving journey, as evident in tracks like “If You Want To Get To Heaven.” The band’s sense of humor and laid-back style set them apart in the ’70s music landscape, making them a cherished part of Southern rock history.


Wet Willie

Despite their playful name, Wet Willie, hailing from Alabama, proved that they were no musical joke. Their biggest hit, “Keep On Smilin'” in 1974, propelled them into the limelight. This laconic and steady-rolling track became synonymous with their gritty and funky rock sound.

Wet Willie’s live album, “Drippin’ Wet,” released in the same year, showcased their electrifying performances. With backing singers known as The Williettes, which at one point included British solo star Elkie Brooks, the band left an indelible mark on the Southern rock landscape.



Fronted by the legendary Stephen Stills and featuring Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas brought a refreshing blend of rootsy country-rock to the Southern rock scene. Their eponymous debut album in 1972 was a sprawling masterpiece that showcased their musical prowess.

Manassas was not bound by genre constraints, offering listeners a diverse musical experience. The album featured four sides of glorious rootsy country-rock and explored other musical territories as well. Despite the exceptional talent within the band, Manassas never achieved the fame they deserved.


Little Feat

Little Feat, led by the immensely talented Lowell George, stands as a testament to musical greatness in the Southern rock genre. George’s background in West Coast jazz added sophistication to the band’s sound, setting them apart from their contemporaries.

Their ’70s albums were a masterclass in blending rock, blues, funk, and more. Little Feat’s ability to effortlessly switch between genres and deliver captivating performances made them a hidden gem in the Southern rock landscape. Lowell George remains one of rock history’s great what-ifs, but his musical legacy lives on through Little Feat’s incredible body of work.


Dixie Dregs

The Dixie Dregs were a Southern rock anomaly, known for their virtuoso playing and ability to seamlessly fuse elements of Southern rock, progressive rock, and jazz fusion. Hailing from Augusta, Georgia, this instrumental powerhouse made waves with their unique sound.

Their 1976 demo album, “The Great Spectacular,” showcased their exceptional talent and set the stage for their remarkable career. While not a household name, the Dixie Dregs left an indelible mark on the Southern rock landscape with their innovative and intricate compositions.



Grinderswitch may be best known for their mention in the Charlie Daniels Band’s tune, but they had a dedicated following of their own. Originating from the late ’70s and gaining a start at Capricorn Records, this band brought their own flavor to the Southern rock scene.

Their song “Pickin’ the Blues” even found its way onto John Peel’s BBC radio show, attesting to their musical prowess. While not as widely recognized as some of their peers, Grinderswitch carved out their own niche in the Southern rock landscape.


Crimson Tide/Alabama Power Band

Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Crimson Tide, originally known as the Alabama Power Band, was driven by the exceptional guitar solos of Wayne Perkins. Perkins, known for his contributions to Bob Marley and Rolling Stones records, led this band on their musical journey.

Their sound was unique and reflected the rich musical heritage of the South. Wayne Perkins’ guitar work added a layer of sophistication to their music, making Crimson Tide a noteworthy addition to the Southern rock scene.


Winters Brothers Band

The Winters Brothers Band, based in Tennessee, was a powerhouse of Southern rock talent. Led by veteran Southern rockers Dennis and Donnie Winters, the band brought electrifying performances to the stage.

Their commitment to delivering a memorable musical experience was evident in every performance. Dennis Winters, the third generation of musicians in his family, ensured that the band’s electricity excited everyone around. Their professionalism and dedication made them a force to be reckoned with in the Southern rock landscape.


Rossington Collins Band

Formed in the aftermath of the tragic 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash, the Rossington Collins Band featured surviving members and a female lead vocalist, Dale Krantz. Their hit “Don’t Misunderstand Me” in 1980 became a notable part of the Southern rock scene.

While they aimed to develop their unique sound rather than being a reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band left an indelible mark on the genre. Their music carried the legacy of Southern rock forward.

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