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Music Storytellers - LYNYRD SKYNYRD (Edited 11/28/12 04:26PM by )
Music Storytellers - LYNYRD SKYNYRD <span style="font-size:12px;">(Edited 11/28/12 04:26PM by )</span> Photo


Lynyrd Skynyrd - 


ALBUMS:
August 13, 1973 (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
April 15, 1974 Second Helping
March 24, 1975 Nuthin' Fancy
February 2, 1976 Gimme Back My Bullets
October 17, 1977 Street Survivors
June 11, 1991 Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991
February 16, 1993 The Last Rebel
August 9, 1994 Endangered Species
April 29, 1997 Twenty
August 10, 1999 Edge of Forever
September 12, 2000 Christmas Time Again
May 20, 2003 Vicious Cycle
September 29, 2009 God & Guns
August 21, 2012 Last of a Dyin' Breed

Mention the term “Southern rock” and two bands instantly leap to mind: the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. They defined the genre in its Seventies heyday and beyond, and both bands are still active entities. But whereas the Allmans were deeply steeped in blues and jazz, Lynyrd Skynyrd more freely embraced rock. Their three-guitar lineup gave them an uncommon musical muscle, while their down-to-earth songs spoke plainly and honestly from a working-class Southerner’s perspective. Theirs is one of the most dramatic tales in rock history. The saga of Lynyrd Skynyrd has unfolded in an almost mythical series of ups and downs, from being in the vanguard of a musical movement to the tragic 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of three band members. From the ashes, the survivors re-formed a decade later, and what started as a tribute turned into a full-fledged renaissance.

It all began in Jacksonville, Florida, where a teenaged Ronnie Van Zant got turned on to several kinds of music: black country blues, which he learned from a neighbor; Merle Haggard-style hard country, which would play on the radio in his father’s truck; and the rocking sounds of the British Invasion that were in the air. He was floored by the Rolling Stones, vowing to form a group that would be their American equivalent. From the start Lynyrd Skynyrd has been a standard-bearer for Southern rock, but their biggest early influences were British - the Stones, the YardbirdsCream, Free and Led Zeppelin - and some of those bands’ controlled frenzy seeped into even their most Dixie-fied material.

In 1965 Van Zant assembled the Noble Five, which included guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins, drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom (later of .38 Special). Having grown their hair long, they were given school suspensions and endless grief by a high-school gym teacher named Leonard Skinner. They solved the problem by dropping out and moving to a cabin in Green Cove Springs, south of Jacksonville. There they wrote songs, learned how to play together, and changed their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd - an intentionally misspelled reference to their old nemesis.

By 1970, Lynyrd Skynyrd was a veteran bar band with a pile of original songs but had no recording contract. They cut some demos at producer Quin Ivy’s studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and returned in 1971 to make a proper album at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. By this time, bassist Leon Wilkeson had replaced Junstrom in the group. The album was rejected by numerous labels. By then they’d begun playing regularly in Atlanta, where producer Al Kooper signed them to his Sounds of the South label (an MCA subsidiary) in 1972. Some personnel shuffles ensued: Wilkeson left for a half-year and was replaced by Ed King (late of Strawberry Alarm Clark), who moved from bass back to guitar when Wilkeson rejoined. Billy Powell, their piano-playing roadie, had become a full-fledged member, too. Now Lynyrd Skynyrd was a seven-man monster with three guitarists.

Kooper produced their first three albums: “pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd” (1973), Second Helping (1974) and Nuthin’ Fancy (1975). Kooper’s innate musicality and studio know-how helped capture the seemingly incongruous elements in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s sound. They were raucous but tight, rowdy but smart, and down-home Southern with a twist of bluesy British rock. Having cut their teeth in rough Jacksonville bars, they were a red-hot, jukin’ rock band. Pete Townshend was sufficiently impressed to offer Lynyrd Skynyrd the opening slot on the Who’s Quadrophenia tour.

Though their debut album had just been released, Lynyrd Skynyrd was a veteran band ready for bigger stages. Fame came quickly, propelling them to the status of headliners and establishing Southern rock as the Seventies’ hottest musical trend. The movement also included such fellow travelers as Wet Willie, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Outlaws and Molly Hatchet.

Each of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first three albums contains its share of classics. From “pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd” came “Down South Jukin’,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “Simple Man,” “Tuesday’s Gone” and the immortal “Free Bird.” The last of these had been a fixture of Skynyrd’s live repertoire, and they’d recorded a demo version as far back as October 1970. The song was initially conceived as a tribute to Duane Allman, and onstage they would dedicate it to the late guitarist. After the death of Ronnie Van Zant, the song served as an homage to Van Zant himself.

Second Helping, an album that was every bit as solid as the debut, yielded “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Workin’ for MCA,” “Call Me the Breeze,” “Swamp Music,” “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” and “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe.” Nuthin’ Fancy, the third album in a row produced by Kooper, contained the classics “Saturday Night Special” and “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller.”

In its own way, the uncompromising lyrical stance of vocalist Van Zant was as much a band signature as their three-guitar attack. As John Swenson wrote, “Many of Van Zant’s lyrics were about betrayal, paranoia and the certainty of evil. He articulated the never-forgotten rage of a beaten South. Violence and death walked constantly through his writing.” What redeemed it all was the unified show of power by the band, who rivaled rock’s very best in concert. As Rolling Stone would observe some years later, “In matters of unpretentiousness, power and invention, the best hard-rock band in America during the first half of the 1970s might well have been Lynyrd Skynyrd.”

And yet some chinks were appearing in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s seemingly impenetrable armor. Exhausted by touring, drummer Bob Burns dropped out prior to Nuthin’ Fancy, replaced by Artimus Pyle. This lineup embarked on the “Torture Tour,” a grueling three-month outing during which the band members’ drug and alcohol intake accelerated. bolstering their reputation as the rowdiest of all Southern rockers. Ed King left midway through the tour, and he was not initially replaced, as guitarists Rossington and Collins divided up his parts. Gimme Back My Bullets (1976), Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fourth album, was cut as a six-piece. It also found them working with producer Tom Dowd, whose disciplined approach helped the band regain its focus.

The addition of guitarist Steve Gaines restored Lynyrd Skynyrd to a three-guitar lineup and lit a fire under the band. They played some of their hottest shows on the 1976 tour, which was documented on the live double album One More from the Road. This revitalized lineup cut Street Survivors (1977), which was their strongest studio album since Second Helping. It contained a brace of instant classics: “What’s Your Name,” “You Got That Right,” “I Know a Little” and the eerily prescient “That Smell.” The last of these was a cautionary song about fast living, hard drugs and the aura of death, hinging on the line “The smell of death surrounds you.”

Three days after the release of Street Survivors, on October 20, 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour plane - a 1947 Convair 240 turbo-prop plane that they’d nicknamed Free Bird - ran out of gas due to an engine malfunction and crashed in rural Mississippi. Three band members (Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and backup vocalist Cassie Gaines) were killed, as was their road manager and the two pilots. Twenty others on the plane survived with injuries of varying severity. After the survivors recovered, a number of them regrouped as the Rossington-Collins Band.

The surviving members came together for a one-time performance at Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam in 1979. In 1987, on the tenth anniversary of the plane crash, they reunited again for a full tour, calling themselves the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band. Ronnie Van Zant’s place was taken by brother Johnny, and Ed King rejoined on guitar. Randall Hall replaced a disabled Allen Collins, who was confined to a wheelchair after a car wreck the previous year. (Collins died in 1990.) The tribute tour did so well that they reprised it the next two years. Then came a studio album, Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991, their first set of new material since Street Survivors. Released on Atlantic Records, the album reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd with producer Tom Dowd and mixer Kevin Olsen, who’d been the group’s soundman on tour in the Seventies.

Having returned to active duty, Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded prolifically in the Nineties. Their output included The Last Rebel (1993) and the all-acoustic Endangered Species (1994). The latter appeared on the Capricorn label, which had been home to the Allman Brothers and other Southern rock groups in the Seventies. Twenty (1997) and Edge of Forever (1999), along with the concert album Lyve from Steel Town, were released on CMC International. Along with their new works came a flood of compilations and reissues, including a box set, a single-disc of greatest hits, a two-CD set of rarities, expanded editions of several of the classic early albums, a Christmas album, and the double disc Thyrty: The Thirtieth Anniversary Collection.

By 2001 only two original members, Gary Rossington and Billy Powell, were left in Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, they’d become a virtual Southern-rock supergroup with the addition of guitarists Ricky Medlocke (Blackfoot) and Hughie Thomason (Outlaws). Medlocke had been a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the beginning (albeit as a drummer), while Thomason’s Outlaws had frequently opened for Skynyrd in the Seventies. Johnny Van Zant’s continued involvement kept it all in the family. Still waving the rebel flag, Lynyrd Skynyrd released Vicious Cycle in 2003. Thirty years had passed since the release of their debut album, and Lynyrd Skynyrd was, despite incalculable setbacks, still making music.

http://rockhall.com/inductees/lynyrd-skynyrd/bio/


| Closed on 12/28/12 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
15 Fans 
40%a. 10 (Awesome band)
20%b. 7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)
33%c. 5-6 (They were ok)
7%d. 1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)
0%e. KILL THAT FREEBIRD!

 &nbp;
TOP COMMENT * * * * * * * * * * * *
#6 | 601 days ago

Great band!  Sweet Home Alabama really gets to me...in the beginning, after the guitar riff and he says "Turn It Up", I DO! 
10 (Awesome band)  
  
22 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 601 days ago
Nick__ (+)

Great band, back in the 70's when most of their original band members were still alive!

Not sure why they are still around with only 1 surviving member?!?!   In my opinion, it's a shame that they are using the LYNARD SKYNARD name (smh)
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#2 | 601 days ago

i've spent way too much time in bars to want to ever hear another one of their songs. but one thing i definitely took away from them was the shirt leon wilkeson is wearing on the cover of the street survivors album, "my grass is blue."
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#3 | 601 days ago

Who doesn't love Free Bird or The Last Rebel. Every 3-4 songs on the pod is a tune by them. They are Awesome (said in a high pitched sing song voice)  yesheartkiss
10 (Awesome band)  
#4 | 601 days ago

What's going on with the name spelling difference?
1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)  
#5 | 601 days ago

kobe_lova wrote:
What's going on with the name spelling difference?
LYNYRD SKYNYRD (is correct)
10 (Awesome band)  
#6 | 601 days ago

Great band!  Sweet Home Alabama really gets to me...in the beginning, after the guitar riff and he says "Turn It Up", I DO! 
10 (Awesome band)  
#7 | 601 days ago
Nick__ (+)

(Edited by Nick__)
JenX63 wrote:
Who doesn't love Free Bird or The Last Rebel. Every 3-4 songs on the pod is a tune by them. They are Awesome (said in a high pitched sing song voice)  yesheartkiss
"That Smell" will always be my favorite song of theirs!

I also like Give Me Back My Bullets.......to go along with all of their other top charted songs! yes
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#8 | 601 days ago

JenX63 wrote:
LYNYRD SKYNYRD (is correct)
I know... soooo?
1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)  
#9 | 601 days ago
Nick__ (+)

(Edited by Nick__)
kobe_lova wrote:
I know... soooo?
Their old HS GYM Teacher (Leonard Skinner) tried sueing them for using his name as their band name, but lost.  Shortly after that happened, when the Band had released their revamped version of "Free Bird" (the original was actually written in 1968), they decided to change the spelling to Lynyrd Skynyrd as a tribute to the band, The Byrds, by replacing every syllable with a Y.
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#10 | 601 days ago

Nick__ wrote:
Their old HS GYM Teacher (Leonard Skinner) tried sueing them for using his name as their band name, but lost.  Shortly after that happened, when the Band had released their revamped version of "Free Bird" (the original was actually written in 1968), they decided to change the spelling to Lynyrd Skynyrd as a tribute to the band, The Byrds, by replacing every syllable with a Y.
Hmm... talk to me like I'm dumber than usual. Why do you have "Lynard Skynard" as the title? Are you saying it was originally spelled that way?
1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)  
#11 | 601 days ago

kobe_lova wrote:
I know... soooo?
It's Nick! (why are you questioning the madness)
10 (Awesome band)  
#12 | 601 days ago

JenX63 wrote:
It's Nick! (why are you questioning the madness)
1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)  
#13 | 601 days ago
Nick__ (+)

(Edited by Nick__)
kobe_lova wrote:
Hmm... talk to me like I'm dumber than usual. Why do you have "Lynard Skynard" as the title? Are you saying it was originally spelled that way?
yeah.....I fudged up the spelling in the title......going to fix now....thanks for pointing that out.

BTW - I never talk to you like you were dumb.....what's up with THAT comment?!?!angry
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#14 | 601 days ago

Nick__ wrote:
yeah.....I fudged up the spelling in the title......going to fix now....thanks for pointing that out.

BTW - I never talk to you like you were dumb.....what's up with THAT comment?!?!angry
Are kidding me?!! I was thinking there was this whole big dispute/fight story and you just can't spell?!  Boooooooo :)
1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)  
#15 | 601 days ago
Nick__ (+)

kobe_lova wrote:
Are kidding me?!! I was thinking there was this whole big dispute/fight story and you just can't spell?!  Boooooooo :)
Well, the whole grammar thing is probs right wink    I type too fast and never proof read what I typed until after I submit.
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#16 | 601 days ago

Nick__ wrote:
Well, the whole grammar thing is probs right wink    I type too fast and never proof read what I typed until after I submit.
I type to fast while drinking, so there are more errors and I am to lazy to fix after I hit submit.


*fixed*
10 (Awesome band)  
#17 | 601 days ago

Nick__ wrote:
Well, the whole grammar thing is probs right wink    I type too fast and never proof read what I typed until after I submit.
We've discussed this. Take your time...do it right...
1-4 (No Interest / Never heard of them)  
#18 | 601 days ago
Nick__ (+)

kobe_lova wrote:
We've discussed this. Take your time...do it right...
I know...I know...... frown


Soooooorrry!
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#19 | 600 days ago

I was a fan of Skynyrd and Rossington Collins in the 70's............But my Taste in music has changed since then.
5-6 (They were ok)  
#20 | 595 days ago

Awe man!  Awesome band, awesome songs and what some memories!!  My favorites are (and this could get long ;) )  FreeBird, That Smell, Sweet Home Alabama, Simple Man, Gimme Back My Bullet, Gimme Three Steps,  Saturday Night Special, The Ballad of Curtis Lowe, Call Me the Breeze, Swamp Music....plus many more.  yes
10 (Awesome band)  
#21 | 595 days ago
Nick__ (+)

evilquacks101 wrote:
I was a fan of Skynyrd and Rossington Collins in the 70's............But my Taste in music has changed since then.
my taste hasn't changed much but that band sure has and should of been renamed to something else since there is only 1 living member left.   Sad!
7-9 (Pretty Damn Good)  
#22 | 595 days ago

I like maybe 2 songs...I'm sure they are/were great, just not my style.
5-6 (They were ok)  

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