The Allman Brothers Band – Melissa

Gregg Allman spoke at length about this song in an interview with the San Luis Obispo (California) Tribune on November 30, 2006: “I wrote that song in 1967 in a place called the Evergreen Hotel in Pensacola, Florida. By that time I got so sick of playing other people’s material that I just sat down and said, ‘OK, here we go. One, two, three – we’re going to try to write songs.’ And about 200 songs later – much garbage to take out – I wrote this song called ‘Melissa.’ And I had everything but the title. I thought (referring to lyrics): ‘But back home, we always run… to, sweet Barbara’ – no. Diane…? We always run… to, sweet Bertha.’ No, so I just kind of put it away for a while.

So one night I was in the grocery store – it was my turn to go get the tea, the coffee, the sugar and all that other, s–t… and there was this Spanish lady there and she had this little toddler with her – this little girl. And I’m sitting there, getting a few things and what have you. And this little girl takes off, running down the aisle. And the lady yells, Oh, Melissa! Melissa, come back, Melissa!’ And I went, ‘Oh – that’s it.’ I forgot about half the stuff I went for, I went back home and, man, it was finished, only I couldn’t really tell if it was worth a damn or not because I’d written so many bad ones. So I didn’t really show it to anybody for about a year. And then I was the last one to get to Jacksonville – I was the last one to join the band that became the Allman Brothers. And my brother sometimes late at night after dinner, he’d say, ‘Man, go get your guitar and play me that song – that song about that girl.’ And I’d play it for him every now and then.

After my brother’s accident, we had three vinyl sides done of Peach, so I thought well we’ll do that, and then on the way down there I wrote: “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.” I wrote that for my brother. We were all in pretty bad shape. I had just gotten back from Jamaica and I was weighing at about 156, 6-foot-1-and-a-half – I was pretty skinny. So we went back down there, got in the studio, and finished the record. And the damn thing shipped gold.”

This was first recorded in 1968 by the 31st Of February, one of Gregg and Duane Allman’s first bands. Duane’s version of this with the 31st Of February is the first recording of him playing the bottleneck slide guitar, a technique he became famous for.

Steve Alaimo, who was operating the studio where The Allman Brothers recorded this song, received a songwriting credit on this track along with Gregg Allman. Alaimo had a few Hot 100 entries as a singer in the ’60s and early ’70s before moving into production work.

The part of the song that begins: “Crossroads, will you ever let him go” is probably a reference to Robert Johnson, a blues legend who supposedly went to a crossroads and sold his soul to the devil.

This was one of the first songs the band recorded without Duane Allman, who died in a motorcycle accident about four months before it was released. Eat A Peach was dedicated to Duane.


Song Lyrics – 

Crossroads, seem to come and go, yeah
The gypsy flies from coast to coast
Knowing many, loving none
Bearing sorrow, having fun
But, back home he’ll always run
To sweet Melissa
Mmm, hmm

Freight train, each car looks the same, all the same
And no one knows the gypsy’s name
And no one hears his lonely sighs
There are no blankets where he lies
Lord, in his deepest dreams the gypsy flies
With sweet Melissa
Mm, hmm

Again, the mornin’s come
Again, he’s on the run
A sunbeam’s shinin’ through his hair
Fear not to have a care
Well, pick up your gear and gypsy roll on
Roll on

Crossroads, will you ever let him go?
Lord, Lord
Or will you hide the dead man’s ghost?
Or will he lie, beneath the clay?
Or will his spirit float away?
But, I know that he won’t stay
Without Melissa
Yes, I know that he won’t stay, yeah
Without Melissa
Lord, Lord, it’s all the same

Writer/s: STEPHEN ALAIMO, GREGG ALLMAN – Credit: Songfacts

28 thoughts on “The Allman Brothers Band – Melissa

    1. Yes, it sure is sad. I love that band, they have a bluesy, soulful sound!

      I finally figured out that you were speaking of adding a featured image, so I tried it, and now I show up. I am going to do the others that way and see if more people start liking and commenting on my posts. Thank you!

            1. I am doing well, just trying to catch up on a few days that I didn’t have the opportunity to blog. I have to do what I can to make this blog start generating some income for me. I launched it in December 2017 and it has not generated any income since. Any and all advice is welcome!

              1. Well just because I can give advice…doesn’t mean it’s good! lol.
                I thought about doing it also. I like you probably…have to pay for my account…

                First thing if you have a facebook, twitter and other things…repost your posts on those…that helps…and comment a lot on new peoples posts. That last part is hard at times and time consuming as you know. I usually now just comment on peoples that I know and like.

                1. Well, that’s good news. Happy you are well.

                  You gave me some great advice, and I do have a Twitter account but have yet to set up a Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest account. Those accounts are my personal, and not about my blog.
                  I am going to set aside time to do these things.

                  Your advice has been great, and I thank you!

                  1. I got a facebook just to see someone’s video cast…when I published mine on there…it did help my views some.

                    If you get lucky…someone one time liked an article I wrote about Fred and Ethel off of I Love Lucy…and I got 2000 views in a day because they had posted it on Reddit.

                    1. I hope it helps…but I will suggest one more thing…don’t sell out…lol…because it’s obvious when people do…stick with things you love…we could get more views talking about…what? Lady Gaga but I would go crazy.

                    2. Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it. No, I won’t sell out, it’s just finding the time to get these accounts set up, and also go back and edit the previous posts with photos that stand out. I will get it done. This is a new year and I plan on making it a positive year! I appreciate you following me and giving me pointers. This is my first attempt at blogging, and I find it therapeutic. Thank you…have a great day, Max!

                    3. No problem and it’s been my pleasure. If you ever want an index…go to my address…if you like the menu and index…we can set one up for you. That really upped my views.

                    4. I will go to your site and check it out today.

                      I am getting ready to log in and start working. We are still working remotely, which I love quite a bit. Not sure if I ever want to go back into the building and work again.

                    5. It doubled my views…because people would see it on google search and see the “Songs A-Z” index and start going down and clicking.

                    6. Ok…now I have to see how much you are different from me…as far as setup….I will walk you right through it…and if everything else fails…If you want to give me permission to help direct I will….I know you don’t know me from Adam…but I will be happy to if walking walking you through it doesnt work….Remember last time you accidently gave me that.

                      You are on your own server right?

                    7. Ok…let me read some about it and see if it is any different…I don’t think it will be

                    8. I’m here for you either way…I think I might be able to walk you through it. I wouldn’t ever do anything to your blog..but it would be good for you to do so you will know…It will take some work on your part but doable

                    9. Ok cool…thanks for trusting me. Let me figure out the best way to do this…archive is the first step… it might be best if we can email if that is alright…my email is max.gower

                      take the space out of it.