Back in the 1970’s when I was first married I found an album by The Atlanta Rhythm Section. I had heard a song that I loved called “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight.” It turns out it was not the hit that had brought them to the fore rather it was “Champagne Jam.”
I purchased their album and listened to them and it turns out they were a great southern group however they were overshadowed by a group called Lynyrd Skynyrd. This group had a smash hit called “Sweet Home Alabama.” It was a retort to Neil Young’s song “Southern Man”
The Atlanta Rhythm Section was an interesting group. Most groups start out by practicing in the garage or somewhere and then they get a job and then they go on the road and then they get a following and then sooner or later someone picks up their work and they make a recording. After a recording gets big then they go on the road again and play the key songs and have concerts. That is the primary way groups get started.
In the case of the Atlanta Rhythm Section these guys were top notch studio musicians. Many of them were employed to play on some of the big songs that were recorded in studios near them. Finally when they got together that is exactly what they did. They made songs in the studio and that is how they released them. They were not musicians that went on the road. It was only after they became known that they went on the road. Then they had a problem of making their music sound as good as it was in the studio. It was so well done in the studio it was difficult to make it sound the same on stage. They had to make changes which they did and then they became very popular.
I have linked to a number of their songs. You will see how well done they are. You will hear the harmonies and the rhythm and how excellent it all sounds.
Today the group is still in existence but most of the great ones are gone. They still tour although they have not made new songs. As you will see throughout the course of their music they had some original songs like “Champagne Jam,” “Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” and “Homesick.” Later they began to do cover songs like “Spooky” although I think it is the best “Spooky” ever done; it was much better than the original by the Classics IV.
In my humble opinion they are one of the all-time great groups. Certainly they had great musicians particularly in lead player Barry Bailey and bassist Paul Goddard. (Note their work in “Spooky”)