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The Berry Oakley Suite at The Big House

The Berry Oakley Suite at The Big House.

The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House held a grand opening reception yesterday to unveil the Berry Oakley suite to the public. The newest addition to the museum is a remodel of the room by Oakley’s wife and daughter based on their time spent living in the house during the early ’70s. Previously, the space had served as the administrative offices for the facility, so the transformation has also increased the overall exhibit space in the museum.

“It’s just been a fantastic addition to the museum. You always hear people talking about the Allman Brothers family,” said Lisa McLendon, director of the museum. “To me, Linda, Berry and Brittany were the poster children for that mentality. They were a family. They were very much a family.”

When describing the addition, McLendon continued to focus on the important role of family in the life of Oakley and the band as a whole. The suite features memorabilia belonging to the Oakley family, including a dress worn by Oakley’s daughter Brittany on the “Brothers and Sisters” album cover and a piano played by Oakley and his daughter.

“You have the piano where Berry and Brittany would sit down and play. It’s a very father-daughter moment,” she continued. “When they were here, this was their home… their sanctuary.”

The dress worn by Berry Oakley's daughter Brittany hangs in the closet of the Berry Oakley suite.

The dress worn by Berry Oakley’s daughter Brittany hangs in the closet of the Berry Oakley suite.

According to McLendon, the Berry Oakley suite highlights the cultural legacy preserved in the museum. The Big House is the former home of the Allman Brothers Band and their families from 1970-1973. Along with housing its collection of band memorabilia, the museum also offers free hand-drumming lessons as part of an after-school program in partnership with the local school system.

The Allman Brothers Band Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for seniors, students and military; and free for children five and under.

The Allman Brothers Band Museum: 2321 Vineville Ave., Macon; 478-741-5551; thebighousemuseum.org

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