This is my tribute to the greatest band, in my opinion in rock and roll history... Lynyrd Skynyrd! In the mid-60's Skynyrd was just getting started with members Ronnie VanZant, Gary Rossington, and Allen Collins. They were paying their dues in bars in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. By 1969, they had all dropped out of high school. The band was named after a high school football coach named Leonard Skinner who expelled one of the members of the band, which is still debated today for having long hair. In 1971 Skynyrd recorded some demo tapes in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. When they wrote the song Sweet Home Alabama this is what they were talking about! Lynyrd Skynyrd thought this would be their big break but it wasn't. They continued playing in southern bars. In 1973, in a club in Atlanta, Georgia called Funochio's Skynyrd was discovered by MCA subsidiary Sounds of the South producer Al Kooper. This was their big break. They signed and went to the studio to record their first album, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd .
After a few more albums, and member changes (The lineup was Ronnie, Allen, Gary, Steve Gaines, Leon Wilkeson, Ed King, Billy Powell and backup singer Cassie Gaines.) Skynyrd was rolling wonderfully along. On October 20. 1977 at 6:42 PM Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane was flying over a swamp over McComb, Mississippi when the aircraft was dangerously low on fuel. The airplane plunged 6,000 feet into the swamp killing Van Zant, Steve and Cassie Gaines, and road manager Dean Kilpatrick. The rest of the band was seriously injured. Billy Powell had stitches all in his face and was updating all of the heartbroken fans of the condition of Lynyrd Skynyrd. All of the members lived. In 1990, after many years of drug addiction Allen Collins commited suicide.
The music of Lynyrd Skynyrd will live on forever in the hearts of many. Ronnie's little brother, Johnny VanZant has gotten the band back together and they are touring. However, I believe it will never be the same without Ronnie... Fly on FreeBirds!
These are the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd who have passed away
Fly on Freebird!!!
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