Recently, pro-shot video featuring the Allman Brothers Band's last concert with Berry Oakley has surfaced on YouTube, recorded for ABC's In Concert program at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY:
The performance starts with a spirited version of "One Way Out" featuring a nice Berry Oakley lead beginning at about 3:25, followed by "Ramblin' Man" and "Whipping Post".
Oakley's bass sound was groundbreaking. He was one of the first bass players to utilize overload distortion in order to get a fatter and more powerful tone with enhanced low harmonic frequencies. As you can see in this picture, he played a custom Fender Jazz Bass fitted with a Hagstrom humbucking pickup for more output:
In terms of overall talent, the Allman Brothers Band is widely regarded as being among the greatest rock bands of all time, fusing rock and roll, blues, psychedelic rock, country, soul, jazz, and classical music into a sound that would later be called "Southern Rock". At their height, The Allman Brothers consisted of 6 people on stage who were all true virtuosos with unique and innovative personalities as musicians.
Duane Allman, the original leader of the band, tragically died in a motorcycle accident in 1971. The band continued, releasing the eternal classic Eat A Peach album in February of 1972 featuring previously recorded tracks with Duane Allman like "Blue Sky" and "Mountain Jam" in addition to songs written and recorded in response to his passing like "Aint Wastin' Time No More" and "Melissa".
The second official leader of the band was Berry Oakley. In a cruel twist of fate, Berry died in a motorcycle accident on November 11th 1972, just 3 blocks from where Duane had a year before. At the time, the band was working on the album Brothers and Sisters which included two of the band's biggest all-time radio hits, "Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica", both written by Dickey Betts.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" was inspired directly by Duane Allman and Berry Oakley. Click here to see a video of Skynyrd on The Old Grey Whistle Test from 1975 where Ronnie Van Zant pays tribute.