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Robert Nix

Drummer and original member of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Robert Nix, died on Sunday morning, May 20th, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, TN; he was 67 years old.

Nix began his professional career in Roy Orbison's backing group, The Candymen. He co-founded Atlanta Rhythm Section (ARS) in 1970 with some of the Georgia city's best studio musicians. ARS has been described as a cornerstone of Southern rock while the band claims its influences came from nuanced British rock and progressive American acts like Steely Dan and Little Feat. Nix remained with the band until 1979, having recording nine albums, including Champagne Jam, the band's hit platinum record, and co-writing three of band's most recognizable songs; "Spooky," "So Into You" and "Champagne Jam."

Having grown up in Jacksonville, FL, Nix was close friends with Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant since childhood, which led him to play on Skynyrd's epic track "Tuesday's Gone."

Nix, who was living near Memphis before his death, was suffering from diabetes and had been in the hospital for more than a month after undergoing surgery.

The drummer was working on a memoir titled The Days of Love and Blood.

Robert Nix is survived by his wife and three children.

Atlanta Rhythm Section