H&H Soul Food is known as the kitchen that fed the Allman Brothers, and Mama Louise as their chef. More than 40 years ago, she started going above and beyond to nourish their band's palates and their souls. Our Yvonne Thomas spoke to Mama Louise as she remembers the Allman Brothers.
An ordinary day in 1969, Louise Hudson, known as "Mama Louise," welcomed a few out-of-the-ordinary guests into her Cotton Avenue restaurant. “I was looking out the window one afternoon and I said, 'Janie...' She said, 'What is it, Louise?' I said, 'Here comes a crowd of hippies!'” said Mama Louise.
Those hippies turned out to be Duane and Gregg Allman, along with the rest of the Allman Brothers band. Mama Louise could tell they were new in town and knew just how to make them feel at home. “They came on in. They were hungry, so I fed them and I just got to be their mama. I enjoyed them boys,” said Mama Louise.
Soon, the H & H Restaurant became the group's home away from home.
When the road trips ended, they'd come to see "Mama," as they called her, craving fried chicken, collards, everything she cooked. “Yeah, I stayed in touch with them,” said Mama Louise.
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They flew her to some shows over the years and talked often. More than 40 years later, the memories still hang as heavy in the air as the chicken grease at H&H. “We turned out to be a family.”
But now, members of her family have passed on -- first, Duane Allman in 1971, and now, Gregg Allman. “It was shocking. I got so many calls the other night about it I just burst out crying,” said Mama Louise. Mama Louise says she's hurting but wouldn't change a thing about the journey and believes her boys are rockin' and rollin' in a better place.
Mama Louise says she does plan to attend Gregg Allman's funeral. There's no word yet his funeral arrangement, but his manager confirmed Gregg Allman will be buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon.