This band of hairy Americans who made friendly Southern AOR – not unlike a less thrashy Lynyrd Skynyrd – was formed in 1970 around keyboard player Dean Daughtry (a one-time member of Roy Orbison‘s backing group The Candymen), guitarist JR Cobb and manager Buddy Buie – all of whom had been members of Classics IV who had hits with Spooky and Stormy in 1968 and Traces and Everyday With You Girl in 1969.
The album Atlanta Rhythm Section (1972) marked a defiant break with the pop of Classics IV, but by the time of Dog Days (1975), their sound had mellowed to include ballads and songs of social comment as well as straight-ahead Southern boogie.
Constant touring and a stream of well-crafted singles sung by Ronnie Hammond – including Doraville (1974), a paean to the band’s home town, So In To You (1977), Imaginary Lover (1978) and a remake of Spooky (1979) – resulted in several big-selling albums, the most successful of which was Champagne Jam (1978) on which Roy Yeager replaced Robert Nix as the group’s drummer.
The band switched to Columbia in 1981 and had a final chart album, Quinella, and single, Alien, before disbanding.
The unfortunate abbreviation of the band’s name made them ARS . . .