Melissa is a song written by Greg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band. Gregg’s inspiration came from a trip to a grocery store where he encountered a woman with her granddaughter. The child was running all about the store with the older woman calling her name Melissa. Allman who was struggling to come up with a new song took the name Melissa to pen a new song. He went home and grabbed his brother Duane’s guitar and incorporated the name into a song he had been working on. The song didn’t get recorded until 1972.
When Duane died in 1971 in a motorcycle accident Gregg played the song at his funeral. Saying it was “My brother’s favorite song that I ever wrote." Duane’s death put a cloud over the future of the band, but they stayed together and returned to performing. The Allman Brothers eventually recorded the song for the album Eat a Peach using music added by guitarist Dickey Betts. Released in February 1972 Eat a Peach peaked at number four on the Billboard charts and later went gold.
I was lucky to see Gregg Allman perform live in 2012 at The Showroom at The Talking Stick Resort here in Scottsdale, AZ, an intimate 650-seat lounge. It was like watching a private concert.
Gregg Allman died in 2017 from liver disease.
Here is a lovely song we all can enjoy. Melissa.