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Lynyrd Skynyrd


Lynyrd Skynyrd
Courtesy MCA


1964 in Jacksonville, Florida

Original Lynyrd Skynyrd Members:

Ronnie Van Zant - vocals
Allen Collins - guitar
Gary Rossington - guitar
Larry Junstrom - bass
Bob Burns - drums

Significant Facts about Lynyrd Skynyrd:

  • Group disbanded for ten years after three band members were killed in a 1977 plane crash
  • Band's name came from a gym teacher who once told Rossington and Burns they were "never gonna amount to nothin'."
  • Original band recorded five studio albums; the present version of the group, seven

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Beginning:

A group of teenagers who were equally smitten by the British Invasion, blues, and country music started performing in the Jacksonville, Florida area in the summer of 1964 as My Backyard. Through the rest of the '60s they continued to play local clubs and dances as The Noble Five and One Percent. The name that stuck was adopted in 1970, a joking reference to a high school gym teacher (Leonard Skinner) who had hassled Burns and Rossington about their long hair.

Tragedy At the Height of Popularity:

The band continued to hone its distinctive Southern hard rock style and started gaining attention fronting for groups like The Who. The band broke through with its second album, Second Helping in 1974.

On October 20, 1977 the chartered plane carrying the band between dates in South Carolina and Louisiana crashed, killing Ronnie Van Zant, vocalists Steve and Cassie Gaines, the plane's two-man crew and the group's tour manager. Remaining band members were badly injured.


After the crash, Skynyrd disbanded, just as Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album. Ten years later, the band reunited, with Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny assuming the role of lead vocalist. It was intended as a one-off tribute to the original band, but fan response was so great, the group stayed together and continues to perform and record.

After being nominated seven times, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Essential Lynyrd Skynyrd CD:

All Time Greatest Hits
This compilation showcases the band during the peak of popularity of the classic lineup, between 1973 and 1977.

Essential Resources:

  1. About.com
  2. Entertainment
  3. Classic Rock
  4. Bands & Artists K - P
  5. Lynyrd Skynyrd Classic Rock Band Profile

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