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For all you classic rock lovers, prepared to feel a bit nostaglic. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album, Pronounced ‘Leh-‘nerd ‘Skin-‘nerd, was released on August 13th, 1973. Yep, 50 years ago. So in celebration of the 50th anniversary of this release, I give you 9 of the best Lynyrd Skynyrd Memorabilia items the internet has to offer. I also gave you a bonus item, just because it’s awesome. Scroll down to shop immediately or read on about the history of this iconic band.
Lynyrd Skynyrd History
Lynyrd Skynyrd had been around for several years but was never able to land a proper album deal. That changed when Al Kooper (founder of Blood Sweat and Tears) saw the band performing in Atlanta, and signed the band to his label, Sounds of The South. He also swapped out the piano on “Free Bird” for an organ and let the guitarists go for four minutes at the song’s end.
With the unique spelling of the band’s name, entitling their first album Pronounced ‘Leh-‘nerd ‘Skin-‘nerd, was an exceptionally smart move. The band famously named themselves after their high school gym teacher, Leonard Skinner, who gave Ronnie and Gary a hard time over their long hair.
The only single that was released from the album initially was “Gimme Three Steps.” It wasn’t until after the success of Second Helping’s “Sweet Home Alabama” that “Free Bird” was released as a single in the form of a shortened version without the four-minute instrumental at the end. Even with the truncated edit, “Free Bird” made it to #19 on the U.S. charts (soundfacts.com).
Ronnie Van Zant was one of the finest storytellers that the world of rock and roll has ever seen. “Gimme Three Steps” was written about Ronnie’s run-in with the boyfriend of a girl Ronnie was caught dancing with. “Simple Man” is a compilation of the advice that Ronnie and Gary Rossington got from the strong woman in their lives, their mothers and grandmothers. I could go on for days about the stories behind Lynyrd Skynrd’s songs, but for now, let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of this amazing debut album with memorabilia from the band and album. I hope you find something you like!