Little Martha (February 2023)
First in a series from historian Bob Beatty, author of Play All Night! Duane Allman and the Journey to Fillmore East and Long Live the ABB: Conversation from the Crossroads of Southern Music, History, and Culture.
This statue in memory of Martha Ellis stands at historic Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon. Dating to 1840, the site has tremendous significance to the Allman Brothers Band’s story. I have been visiting Rose Hill for more than 25 years and this may be one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken there. Rumor had it that this statue inspired Duane Allman’s acoustic instrumental “Little Martha.” That is not true. Duane wrote the song for Dixie Meadows, his girlfriend at the time. But fans (myself included) have adopted Martha Ellis as “Little Martha” and pay our respects each visit to the cemetery.