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Listen to the Allman Brothers concert that helped Jimmy Carter become president

Carter wasn’t called the rock ‘n’ roll president for nothing. Here’s a recording of the 1975 Providence concert that helped him raise money for his presidential campaign.

The poster for The Allman Brothers Band's benefit concert for Jimmy Carter in Providence in 1975.Courtesy Jimmy Carter Presidential Library

Jimmy Carter was called the rock ‘n’ roll president thanks to his well-known love of music.

“He really did listen to the music and was a fan: Dylan, the Allman Brothers, the Marshall Tucker Band,” Mark Feeney wrote in a Boston Globe review of the 2020 documentary of Carter’s life.

But there was another reason for the nickname: Carter’s campaign for the White House was boosted by fund-raising concerts.

“It was the Allman Brothers that helped put me in the White House, by raising money when I didn’t have any money,” Carter said in the film. “Gregg [Allman] and I were good friends.”


Carter, who at 98 is the longest-lived American president, has been under hospice care at his home in Plains, Ga., since mid-February.

In 1975, the Democratic field was crowded ahead of the primaries, with 17 candidates. Many of them had far more name recognition than Carter at the time, including Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale, Washington Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, former ambassador to France Sargent Shriver, California Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown, and West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd. Concerts helped Carter stand out.

On Nov. 25, 1975, The Allman Brothers Band played a concert at the Providence Civic Center to raise money for Carter’s presidential run. Tickets were $6.50 in advance, $7.50 at the door, according to the contract signed a month earlier. The concert was expected to gross as much as $90,000.

The 1975 contract for the Allman Brothers Band's benefit concert for Jimmy Carter in Providence.Courtesy Jimmy Carter Presidential Library

Geraldo Rivera offered opening remarks about the then-governor of Georgia.

“You know, in my position I’m not allowed to specifically endorse any political candidate, but that doesn’t stop me from saying what I think about a guy,” said Rivera, then the host of the TV news program “Good Night, America.” “Governor Jimmy Carter is a sincere, hard-working, solid, honest man. In an era when people are sick to death of politicians from Watergate, and the country is tired of all the jargon we hear coming out of Washington, Governor Carter is like a breath of fresh air coming out of Georgia, and I’m telling you he’s sweeping the country. He says what we say about civil rights, about drug abuse, about alcoholism, about mental health and the environment. And I urge you to listen to what he’s got to say. I’d be proud to have this man as President of the United States.”


Carter took the stage in a dark suit, white shirt, and diamond-patterned tie. “Thank you,” he said as the crowd roared. “I’m going say four things. First of all, I’m running for president. Secondly, I’m going to be elected. Third, this is very important, I need your help. Would you help me? And fourth, I want to introduce to you my friends and your friends, the ones that are going to help me get elected, along with you, the great Allman Brothers.”

After thanking Rivera and Carter, the band launched into “Don’t Want You No More” followed by “It’s Not My Cross to Bear” — the opening songs on their first album — and continued playing for two and a half hours, ending with their iconic “Whipping Post.” You can listen to the show here (the set list is below):

Set list:

  1. Don’t Want You No More
  2. It’s Not My Cross To Bear
  3. Long Time Gone
  4. Midnight Rider
  5. Ramblin’ Man
  6. Win, Lose, Or Draw
  7. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
  8. Can’t Lose What You Never Had
  9. One Way Out
  10. High Falls
  11. Nevertheless
  12. Done Somebody Wrong
  13. Statesboro Blues
  14. Jessica
  15. Stormy Monday
  16. You Don’t Love Me
  17. Les Brers In A Minor
  18. Whipping Post
Jimmy Carter being interviewed at his home in Plains, Ga., in 2018. A Bob Dylan album sits on the turntable next to him.James Fideler/ Not Just Peanuts LLC

Lylah Alphonse can be reached at Follow her @WriteEditRepeat.