Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Lynyrd Skynyrd is a Southern rock band that gained prominence in the 1970s. The name of the band came from Leonard Skinner, the assistant principal at Lee High School, their senior high school. Mr. Skinner required them to get their hair cut. Rather than do that they transferred to a nearby school, Fletcher High. When the band gained some fame, Leonard Skinner would attend their performances.

The group became known for their triple guitar lineup, as seen in their hit "Freebird", a tribute to Duane Allman, the lead guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band who died in a motorcycle accident. "Freebird" has become the subject of a generic rock concert cliche, the joke being that you can't go to a concert without hearing somebody shouting a request for that song.

In 1974 they released the album Second Helping, featuring the hit single "Sweet Home Alabama" (the Lynyrd Skynyrd's most popular song). Another well-known song is "Give Me Three Steps". While it is fairly well known and obvious from lyrics that "Sweet Home Alabama" was something of a rebuttal to the Neil Young song "Southern Man", the belief that Young and the members of Skynyrd were rivals is incorrect. Young and Skynyrd had actually considered collaborating on several occasions and, after the breakup of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Young performed "Sweet Home Alabama" on stage on rare occasions. There was a "feud", but it was of a strictly amicable nature.

The leader was Ronnie VanZant, who also co-wrote many of the group's hits. But their legend is grounded in a 1977 tragic plane crash in which VanZant and two other band members, guitarist Steve Gaines, and his background vocalist/sister Cassie Gaines, were killed.

The group broke up after the air crash. They reunited in the late 1980s and 1990s and are still recording and touring.

Lineup

  • Ronnie VanZant - lead vocals (killed in 1977; replaced by Johnny VanZant in 1987)
  • Gary Rossington - Gibson Les Paul guitar
  • Allen Collins - Gibson Firebird guitar (died in 1990)
  • Ed King - Fender Stratocaster guitar (replaced by Steve Gaines in 1976, who was himself killed in 1977, and in turn replaced in 1987 by Randall Hall)
  • Billy Powell - keyboards
  • Leon Wilkeson - bass (died in 1999)
  • Bob Burns - drums (replaced by Artimus Pyle in 1975)
  • Cassie Gaines - background vocals (killed in 1977)

Discography

  • 1973 Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
  • 1973 Smokes
  • 1974 Second Helping
  • 1975 Nuthin' Fancy
  • 1976 Gimme Back My Bullets
  • 1976 One More from the Road
  • 1977 Street Survivors
  • 1988 Southern By the Grace of God: Lynyrd Skynyrd... (live)
  • 1991 Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991
  • 1993 The Last Rebel
  • 1994 Endangered Species
  • 1996 Freebird: The Movie
  • 1996 Southern Knights
  • 1997 Twenty
  • 1998 Lyve (live)
  • 1999 Edge of Forever
  • 2000 Christmas Time Again
  • 2001 One More From the Road (live)
  • 2001 Street Survivors
  • 2001 Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
  • 2002 Christmas
  • 2003 Vicious Cycle

External links

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