Lynyrd Skynrd is an American rock band that formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1964. They performed under different names and with varying line-ups for several years, finally settling on the name Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969.
Growing up in Massachusetts, I was aware of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I did not fully appreciate the southern rock genre until I later moved to Tennessee. However, once I began to listen more, I was hooked. These good ole boys set the standard for southern rock with genius-level musical talent combined with the ability to write songs that spoke to the hearts of American listeners across this nation.
So much of their music was just good foot-stomping fun. This was always one of my favorites. I still sing along with it today when nobody is in earshot!
Gimme Three Steps (Knebworth Fair, 1976)
I sometimes think life would be so much better for us all if people would take to heart the simple advice in this next song, another of my favorites.
Simple Man (Oakland Coliseum Stadium, 1977)
Following a concert at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 20, 1977, the band boarded a chartered Convair CV-240 bound for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they were scheduled to appear at LSU the following night. Running out of fuel, the plan crashed in a heavily forested area five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi.
Ronnie Van Zant. Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, the assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were all killed on impact. Other band members, including Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins, as well as the tour manager Ron Eckerman and several road crew members, suffered severe injuries.
The band later reformed with Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother, Johnny (formally of .38 Special), taking over as lead vocalist. In the video below, Johnny Van Zant and the boys are performing a rare live version of The Ballad of Curtis Lowe. The original Skynyrd line-up only played the song once on stage. It was not played again until the tribute tour with Johnny.
The Ballad of Curtis Lowe (Virginia, 1998)
How’s about a little boogie … Lynyrd Skynyrd style!
I Know A Little (Coca Cola Star Lake Amphitheater, 1997)
While in their early years, the band had a reputation for partying hard and brawling on occasion, one thing they always got right was the music!
You Got That Right (1977, Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ)
Of course, in today’s “oh so perpetually offended” society, I am sure Lynyrd Skynyrd would catch hell because of the rebel flags and “southern whiteness” of their music. It’s really too bad. These good ole boys put out some great music that appealed to rockers of all races, religions, and creeds.
I think the narrow-mindedness of so many people today deprives them of some really great opportunities to expand their cultural awareness. Oh well!
I hope you will take a few minutes and check out some of my other Tunes for Tuesday blog posts by clicking here!
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