Ronnie Hammond - vocals; Barry Bailey - guitars; Dean Daughtry - keyboards; Paul Goddard - bass; J.R. Cobb - guitar, vocals; Robert Nix - drummer
The Atlanta Rhythm Section was trying to cash in on the fame of groups like the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, who backed such legendary artists as The Staple Singers, Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield and many others on their now legendary hit singles.
Assembled to be the house band of a studio in Doraville, Georgia, the Atlanta Rhythm Section (or the ARS as they were known) contained members of the Candymen and the Classic Four. By the early 1970s, they were considered one of the best studio bands below the Mason-Dixon. But producer and studio owner Buddy Buie felt they were good enough to have hit records of their own. He wrote and produced a number of tracks, and in 1972 the group landed a deal with Polydor Records. They released five albums in four years, and although they had some minor radio hits, the band didn't see platinum success until releasing 1976's A Rock and Roll Alternative. That album would yield the hit "So Into You," but it wasn't until 1978, with Champagne Jam, that the band would see its greatest chart success.
In additional to the title track, ARS scored two other big hits with the album: "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me" and "Imaginary Lover," the latter of which broke into the Top 10. ARS plays their biggest hits during this show, including "So Into You" and "Imaginary Lover;" in addition, they offer up some incredible musicianship on the extended track entitled "Jam." They return for an encore of The Beatles' "Rocky Raccoon" and the Little Richard classic, "Long Tall Sally."
Fans of ARS could hardly ask for a better setlist - or a better performance. Listen and enjoy.