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About The Band:
The members of the band all went to school together in Jacksonville, Florida. They had a teacher called Leonard Skinner who demanded that they get their hair cut before returning to school. This was the catalyst for them to not only leave school permanently and form a band but also to name the band after Skinner (with a few letters changed so he wouldn’t sue them). After the band formed in 1970, by then Lynyrd Skynyrd was a veteran bar band with a pile of original songs but had no recording contract. They cut some demos at producer Quin Ivy’s studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and returned in 1971 to make a proper album at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. By this time, bassist Leon Wilkeson had replaced Junstrom in the group. The album was rejected by numerous labels. By then they’d begun playing regularly in Atlanta, where producer Al Kooper signed them to his Sounds of the South label (an MCA subsidiary) in 1972. Kooper produced their first three albums: “pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd” (1973), Second Helping (1974) and Nuthin’ Fancy (1975). Then on October 20, 1977, Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines died in a plane crash in Mississippi. Gaines’ sister, Cassie, who was a backup singer with the group, also died. Walter Wiley McCreary (pilot) William John Gray (co-pliot), Dean Kilpatrick (manager) were also killed in the accident.

Johnny Van Zant took over vocals when his brother died. Their other brother, Donnie is lead singer of 38 Special. Allen Collins survived the 1977 plane crash, but became paralyzed from the waist down in a 1986 car crash (a girl he was with died in the accident). He died January 23, 1990 from pneumonia as a result of decreased lung capacity from paralyzation. After the plane crash, the remaining members said that Lynyrd Skynyrd was finished, with Collins stating, “Some people are telling us we should keep the name because it obviously has value since people recognize it. To hell with them”. In 1980, Rossington, Collins, Powell, and Wilkeson formed the Rossington-Collins Band, but they later decided to revive Lynyrd Skynyd with the addition of Johnny Van Zant.

Members:

Ronnie Van Zant(vocals)1966-1977

Gary Rossington(guitar)

Allen Collins(guitar)1966-1977

Bob Burns(drums)1966-1975

Leon Wilkeson(bass)1966-2001

Artimus Pyle(drums)1975-1992

Steve Gaines(guitar)1975-1977

Ed King(guitar)1973-1975, 1987-1995

Johnny Van Zant(vocals)1987-

Dale Krantz-Rossington(backup vocals)1991-

Randall Hall(guitar)1987 – 1995

Billy Powell(keyboards)1970-2009

Ean Evans(bass)2001-

Michael Cartellone(drums)1998-

Rickey Medlocke(guitar)1971-1971, 1996-

Hughie Thomasson(guitar)1996-2005

Albums:
album: “(pronounced ‘leh-‘nérd ‘skin-‘nérd)” (1973)
I Ain’t The One
Tuesday’s Gone
Gimme Three Steps
Simple Man
Things Goin’ On
Mississippi Kid
Poison Whiskey
Freebird

album: “Second Helping” (1974)
Sweet Home Alabama
I Need You
Don’t Ask Me No Questions
Workin’ For MCA
The Ballad Of Curtis Loew
Swamp Music
The Needle And The Spoon
Call Me The Breeze

album: “Nuthin’ Fancy” (1975)
Saturday Night Special
I’m A Country Boy
Cheatin’ Woman
Am I Losin’?
On The Hunt
Railroad Song
Made In The Shade
Whiskey Rock A Roller

album: “Gimme Back My Bullets” (1976)
Gimme Back My Bullets
Every Mother’s Son
Trust
Cry For The Bad Man
Double Trouble
Roll Gypsy Roll
Searching
I Got The Same Old Blues
All I Can Do Is Write About It

album: “Street Survivors” (1977)
What’s Your Name?
That Smell
One More Time
I Know A Little
You Got That Right
I Never Dreamed
Honky-Tonk, Night-Time Man
Ain’t No Good Life

album: “First And… Last.” (1978)
Down South Jukin’
Preacher’s Daughter
White Dove
Was I Right Or Wrong
Lend A Helpin’ Hand
Wino
Comin’ Home
The Seasons
Things Goin’ On

album: “Legend” (1987)
Georgia Peaches
When You Got Good Friends
Sweet Little Missy
Four Walls Of Raiford
Simple Man
Truck Drivin’ Man
One In The Sun
Mr. Banker
Take Your Time

album: “Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991” (1991)
Smokestack Lightning
Keeping The Faith
Southern Women
Pure & Simple
I’ve Seen Enough
Good Thing
Money Man
Backstreet Crawler
It’s A Killer
Mama (Afraid To Say Goodbye)
End Of The Road

album: “The Last Rebel” (1993)
Good Lovin’s Hard To Find
One Thing
Can’t Take That Away
Best Things In Life
The Last Rebel
Outta Hell In My Dodge
Kiss Your Freedom Goodbye
South Of Heaven
Love Don’t Always Come Easy
Born To Run

album: “Endangered Species” (1994)
Down South Jukin’
Heartbreak Hotel
Devil In The Bottle
Things Goin’ On
Saturday Night Special
Sweet Home Alabama
I Ain’t The One
Am I Losin’?
All I Have Is A Song
Poison Whiskey
Good Luck, Bad Luck
The Last Rebel
Hillbilly Blues

album: “Twenty” (1997)
We Ain’t Much Different
Bring It On
Voodoo Lake
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Travelin’ Man
Talked Myself Right Into It
Never Too Late
O.R.R.
Blame It On A Sad Song
Berniece
None Of Us Are Free
Now Soon We Forget

album: “Edge Of Forever” (1999)
Workin’
Full Moon Night
Preacher Man
Mean Streets
Tomorrow’s Goodbye
Edge Of Forever
Gone Fishin’
Through It All
Money Back Guarantee
G.W.T.G.G.
Rough Around The Edges
FLA

album: “Christmas Time Again” (2000)
Santa’s Messin’ With The Kid
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Christmas Time Again
Greensleeves
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Run Run Rudolph
Mama’s Song
Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’
Hallelujah, It’s Christmas
Skynyrd Family

album: “Vicious Cycle” (2003)
That’s How I Like It
Pick ‘Em Up
Dead Man Walkin’
The Way
Red White And Blue
Sweet Mama
All Funked Up
Hell Or Heaven
Mad Hatter
Rockin’ Little Town
Crawl
Jake (When The Smoke Clears)
Life’s Lessons
Lucky Man
Gimme Back My Bullets

album: “God & Guns” (2009)
Still Unbroken
Simple Life
Little Thing Called You
Southern Ways
Skynyrd Nation
Unwrite That Song
Floyd
That Ain’t My America
Comin’ Back For More
God & Guns
Storm
Gifted Hands
Bang Bang[Special Edition Bonus Track]
Raining In My Heartland[Special Edition Bonus Track]
Hobo Kinda Man[Special Edition Bonus Track]

album: “Last Of A Dying Breed” (2012)
Last Of A Dying Breed
One Day At A Time
Homegrown
Ready To Fly
Mississippi Blood
Good Teacher
Something To Live For
Life’s Twisted
Nothing Comes Easy
Honey Hole
Start Livin’ Life Again
Poor Man’s Dream[Bonus Track]
Do It Up Right[Bonus Track]
Sad Song[Bonus Track]
Low Down Dirty[Bonus Track]

Our Favorites:

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird (Live August 21st, 1976)

well just found that clip on a hard disk - not sure about the location and when it was recorded (@edit: Knebworth fair show in Hertfordshire England August 21st, 1976) - but the original Skynyrd lineup from 1976 with Ronnie van Zandt, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkenson, Artimus Pyle, Steve Gaines (plus Billy Powell I guess) - most of them are in Heaven - RIP all, you guys were so great!

Raquel Litteral is a classic rock reporter who lives life in the fast lane – literally..