When former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts died in April 2024, he left a legacy of technical virtuosity and generation-defining songwriting that inspired plenty of his peers — including Bob Dylan.

Betts reflected on his relationship with Dylan in an interview with Ray Padgett for his book Pledging My Time: Conversations With Bob Dylan Band Members, which he reshared in his Flagging Down the Double E's newsletter. The two first crossed paths in the '70s, when Betts spent a couple of days on the road with Dylan and Robbie Robertson. Both musicians hung out and jammed several other times over the years, including a memorable performance of "Ramblin' Man" during Dylan's 1995 concert in Tampa, Florida, near where Betts grew up.

When Betts asked how familiar Dylan was with the song, he was pleasantly surprised at the singer's response.

"Another time, Bob wanted do 'Ramblin' Man,'" Betts recalled. "I said, 'You don't know the words to that, do you?' He said, 'I know all the words to "Ramblin' Man." I shoulda wrote that song myself.' I said, 'OK, let's check. If you don't know, just make shit up, and you'll do well.' So we sang 'Ramblin' Man.' He sang every word exactly the way I wrote it."

He continued: "I mean, he knew it! And he sang it better than it's ever been sung before. [Betts busts into a Dylan impression:] 'I'm on my way down to New Or-leans this morning.' He was talking and singing at the same time. It was great."

READ MORE: Dickey Betts Dies: Rockers React

Bob Dylan Shouted Out Dickey Betts In One of His Own Songs

Dylan later expressed his fondness for Betts in his 2020 song "Murder Most Foul." The 17-minute epic includes the lyrics "Play Oscar Peterson, play Stan Getz / Play 'Blue Sky,' play Dickey Betts."

"Oh, that was such an honor," Betts told Padgett. "All my friends were coming to me saying, 'Man, did you hear Bob Dylan's mentioned you in a song?' I said, 'No shit.'

"I heard the song. I was so embarrassed, I would say, 'Well, he just used me because it rhymes with Getz.' [laughs] People would tell me, 'Oh, bullshit,' but anyway, I was very embarrassed because it was such a flattering thing for Bob Dylan to mention you in a song."

Hear Bob Dylan and Dickey Betts Play 'Ramblin' Man' in Tampa in 1995

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Gallery Credit: Michael Gallucci

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