Atlanta Rhythm Section, sometimes abbreviated ARS, is an American southern rock band, formed in 1971. The band's current lineup consists of founding members keyboardist Dean Daughtry (who is the band's only constant member) and vocalist Rodney Justo, al...
Atlanta Rhythm Section, sometimes abbreviated ARS, is an American southern rock band, formed in 1971. The band's current lineup consists of founding members keyboardist Dean Daughtry (who is the band's only constant member) and vocalist Rodney Justo, along with newer members, guitarists David Anderson and Steve Stone, and drummer Jim Keeling.
The band was formed in 1971, by musicians who were former members of the Candymen and the Classics IV that had become the session band for the newly opened Studio One in Doraville, Georgia, near Atlanta in 1970. After playing on other artists' recordings, they decided to become a true band in their own right. The original lineup consisted of vocalist Rodney Justo, guitarist Barry Bailey, bassist Paul Goddard, keyboardist Dean Daughtry, and drummer Robert Nix. Guitarist James B. Cobb, Jr. joined the band in early 1972. Justo left the band after the first album and was replaced by Ronnie Hammond. Buddy Buie, the band's manager and producer, is listed first on almost all of their songwriting credits. Noted Christian Music artist and southern rocker Mylon LeFevre appeared on "Jesus Hearted People", from the band's album Third Annual Pipe Dream. Before they became founding members of Atlanta Rhythm Section, members of LeFevre's backup band included Barry Bailey, Paul Goddard, and Dean Daughtry.
While ARS did not achieve the commercial success of Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers, the group had a strong following in the South and charted a consistent string of hits such as "Doraville", "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight", "Champagne Jam", "So Into You", "Imaginary Lover", "Do It Or Die", "Neon Nites", and a cover version of the Classics IV 1968 hit, "Spooky", plus fan favorites such as "Boogie Smoogie", "Jukin'", and "Georgia Rhythm". They also influenced a number of rock and country artists, notably Travis Tritt, who covered the ARS songs "Back Up Against the Wall" and "Homesick". The group Shudder to Think covered "So Into You".
The band maintains a website (see external links below) and still tours with some of its original members, playing mostly festivals and other nostalgia-themed concerts.
Former drummer Roy Yeager had been involved in a controversy concerning the destruction of a Tennessee American Civil War landmark.
Deaths of former members
R.J. Vealey died on November 13, 1999 of a heart attack at age 37.
Ronnie Hammond died on March 14, 2011 in Forsyth, Georgia at age 60 of heart failure.
Robert Nix died on May 20, 2012, at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 67, from complications following surgery in April; he suffered from diabetes and multiple myeloma.
Paul Goddard died from cancer at age 68 on April 29, 2014, according to his manager.
Dean Daughtry - keyboards, vocals (1971-present)
Rodney Justo - vocals (1971-1972, 1983, 2011-present; substitute - April 2008)
Steve Stone - bass (1986-1988), guitar (lead from 2007 onwards), harmonica, backing vocals (1988-present)
Jim Keeling - drums, percussion (1999-present)
David Anderson - guitar, backing vocals (2007-present)
Justin Senker - bass (1992-2011, June 2014-present)