Scott B. Bomar

Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock

Scott B. Bomar
Foreword by Doug Gray of the Marshall Tucker Band

Buy now at
Buy now at

ne of the best music-themed books of the year."
- PopMatters

"a sprawling gem of a book....the best-available literary encapsulation of Southern Rock."
- Peter Cooper, The Tennessean

“Southern rock....finally gets its comprehensive Bible in Scott B. Bomar's 
Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock. Insanely detailed. 
- Houston Press

"A superbly-written and researched book....This is the defining book on all things Southern rock."
Steven Rossen, Curled Up with a Good Book

"Southbound is essential for any lover of Southern rock as well as for anyone wishing to explore the rich musical heritage of the Southland. Highly recommended.”
- Michael Buffalo Smith, Kudzoo

"Imagine if everything ever written about Southern rock was boiled down to its essence--and combined into one big book...Besides the musical significance of Southern rock, Bomar also investigates the cultural impact the genre had across the rest of the country."
- Philip Ramati, The Telegraph (Macon)

“With concise prose and an eye for important details, Bomar packs an incredible amount of information into tightly written chapters, while also tearing down many persistent and pernicious music history memes....
It’s essential reading for the most hardcore fan of ‘redneck’ rock and the neophyte rebel rouser.”
- Record Collector magazine

"Scott B. Bomar is truly the Expert in the Field of this often overlooked, yet musically-rich genre....Bottom Line: This guy knows his stuff and he's shared it in a one-of-a-kind and amazing book."
- Jeb Wright, Classic Rock Revisited

”The artistry and innovations these musicians brought to rock music are often overlooked, casualties of persistent and pernicious prejudices about the South. Bomar tackles those oversights directly, building a case for the importance and inclusiveness of a style that sought to embrace the most admirable aspects of Southern life and culture while rejecting old bigotries....Southbound gives the stories of individual bands as well as the history of a truly American music.”
- Randy Fox, Chapter Sixteen

Awarded "Best Historical Research in Recorded Rock and Popular Music" in 2015 by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections

Many of the architects of rock and roll in the 1950s, including Elvis Presley Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, were Southerners who were rooted in the distinctive regional traditions of country, blues, and R&B. As the impact of the British Invasion and the psychedelic era faded at the end of the following decade such performers as Bob Dylan and the Band returned to the simplicity of American roots music, paving the way for Southern groups to reclaim their region's rock-and-roll heritage.

Embracing both Southern musical traditions and a long-haired countercultural aesthetic, artists including the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd forged a new musical community that Charlie Daniels called "a genre of people more than a genre of music." Focusing primarily on the music's golden age of the 1970s, Southbound profiles the musicians, producers, record labels, and movers and shakers who defined Southern rock, including the Allmans, Skynyrd, the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, the Charlie Daniels Band, Elvin Bishop, the Outlaws, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, .38 Special, ZZ Top, and many others. From the rise and fall of the mighty Capricorn Records to the music's role in helping Jimmy Carter win the White House, and to its continuing legacy and influence, this is the story of Southern rock.


“Scott is a great writer, and there’s so much good stuff here....If you want to know what Southern rock was all about, read this book.”
Elvin Bishop, guitarist and recording artist, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”

“Scott B. Bomar has dug deeply into a special time in my career and my life, and the lives and careers of some people who are very dear to me—the bands who were involved in what has become known as Southern rock. We so often see only the professional side of entertainers, but Scott has also exposed the personal side—up close and intimate looks at some of the people I admire the most.”
Charlie Daniels, Grammy-winning vocalist and multi-instrumentalist

“I’m overwhelmed by the effort that Scott invested in this book to remind us, not only of our history, but to help point us on to what’s next. I’ve got all the confidence in the world in his ability to tell the story, from its earliest roots to its ongoing and unfolding future.”
Doug Gray, vocalist and founding member of the Marshall Tucker Band

“Scott B. Bomar has done his research! The chapters about Lynyrd Skynyrd are as accurate as can be. His matter-of-fact style makes Southbound a good resource . . . and a great read.”
Ed King, guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

“In Southbound, Bomar captures the golden age of Southern rock and takes the reader on a wonderful journey that some of us were privileged to experience.”
Chuck Leavell, Grammy-winning keyboardist for the Allman Brothers Band and the Rolling Stones

“It’s apparent that Scott took the extra initiative with respect to the truth regarding this genre of music. The players who struggled against impossible odds to reach their dreams and goals are grateful for that truth. He fully fleshes out the passion, the persistence, the underdog spirit, and incredible fortitude it took for these relatively few musicians to make their mark in the highly competitive music world. Scott gets it right.
Don Barnes, vocalist, guitarist, and founding member of 38 Special

“I thought I knew everything I’d ever need to know about Southern rock until I read Scott B. Bomar’s Southbound. Filled with great photos and insightful information culled from his interviews with many of the genre’s most important figures, Scott brings the Southern rock era roaring back to life in this extremely entertaining and well-written book.”
Randy Poe, author of Skydog: The Duane Allman Story

“We are very fortunate to have Scott B. Bomar telling our story. His passion for the music—and all the details behind it—makes this book an accurate and worthy resource for generations to come.”
Jimmy Hall, vocalist for Wet Willie

“Thanks a million to Scott for his tireless efforts in the pursuit of factual information. He rocks!”
Dave Hlubek, guitarist and founding member of Molly Hatchet

“Thank God for people like Scott, who love and appreciate this beautiful music and the musicians who have created it . . . and continue to create it. It is a fascinating art form and is as deeply and truly American as the culture that influenced it. We in Blackberry Smoke feel honored to be included.”
Charlie Starr, vocalist and guitarist for Blackberry Smoke

“Thanks to Scott for shedding new light on a bright spot in our lives. His approach is very respectful and insightful, and I know the fans will love it!”
Henry Paul, vocalist and guitarist for the Outlaws

“Southern rock gets the detailed historical treatment it’s long deserved in this fascinating, well-written book. Not only does Scott B. Bomar attempt a solid definition of the elusive genre that came to prominence with the rise of the Allman Brothers Band in the late 1960s, but he follows the music’s trajectory straight up to present-day country. Meticulously researched and reported, with proper attention to the culture of the South and the social and political mood of the times, Bomar traces Southern rock from its blues, country, and R&B roots in the 1950s to its FM-radio heyday of the 1970s, with full stories (and loads of stunning photos, many rarely seen) of every important act that came in the Allmans’ wake: Wet Willie, the Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, Blackfoot, 38 Special, Molly Hatchet, and more. A welcome addition to the rock canon.”
Mark Kemp, former senior music editor for Rolling Stone and author of Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South

“There’ve been quite a few books written about the Southern rock genre, with varying degrees of accuracy. In Southbound, Scott B. Bomar gets down in the trenches with the Southern rock soldiers and chronicles their stories—from being hungry, struggling hopefuls, to staying the course and finally ‘making it’ against all odds. And Scott gets it right!”
Paul Hornsby, musician and producer of the Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels, and Wet Willie

“Scott B. Bomar digs deep into the history of one of America’s most misunderstood musical genres, writing not only about the well-known bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but also fantastic bands like Grinderswitch, Hydra, and Cowboy. Richly illustrated with rare and never-before-seen photographs, this one is a must read for all of us fans of good ol’ Dixie rock!”
Michael Buffalo Smith, author of Rebel Yell: An Oral History of Southern Rock

“Scott’s dedication to the truth and to the music is unmatched. His revealing look at Southern rock will certainly become the standard by which future works on the subject are viewed and valued.”
Tommy Talton, founding member of Cowboy and former guitarist for Gregg Allman