Atlanta Rhythm Section Bassist Paul Goddard Dies at 68

Atlanta Rhythm Section - H 2014
Getty Images

Atlanta Rhythm Section - H 2014

The founding member of the Southern rock band played on such hits as “So in to You,” “Are You Ready” and “Spooky.”

Paul Goddard, the bass player and a founding member of the stylish Southern rock band the Atlanta Rhythm Section, died Tuesday of cancer in Atlanta, the group's manager, Len Fico, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 68.

Goddard performed on such ARS hits as “So Into You,” “Imaginary Lover,” “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “Do It or Die” and the remake of the Classics IV’s “Spooky.”

Rolling Stone magazine voted Goddard’s work on “Another Man’s Woman,” from the 1979 live album Are You Ready!, as one of the top five bass solos of all time.

The bespectacled Goddard, who favored Rickenbacker 4001 and Fender P bass guitars, had retired from touring in the mid-1980s but returned to the band in 2011 with singer Rodney Justo, another founding member.

“I knew Paul when he was a guitarist, and maybe that’s why his bass playing was so musical,” said Justo, who exited the band in 1972 to be replaced by the late singer Ronnie Hammond.  “And to go with that musicality was a unique sound that made him so identifiable to fans and other musicians as well. Yes, at one time he was ‘that big fat guy that played bass,’ but once he started playing, he wasn’t fat. He was a giant.”

Guitarist Barry Bailey, keyboardist Dean Daughtry and drummer Robert Nix were the other original members of ARS, which came out of the small town of Doraville, Ga.

Buddy Buie, a songwriter and guitarist for Classics IV, put the band together and produced, managed and wrote songs for ARS.

ARS’ first big hit was the top 10 single “So Into You,” from their 1976 Polydor release A Rock and Roll Alternative, which went gold.

The band loved to tour, and they once played for President Jimmy Carter (and fellow Georgia native) at the White House.

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