The Reasons Why Lynyrd Skynyrd Became Rock Legends

via @Darryl Hushaw | YouTube

Lynyrd Skynyrd (1965) the Southern rock group was born in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. It all started as a wish from some school kids: Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zandt and Allen Collins, who decided to form a band. Of the three Collins he was the one with the most musical experience as he played in various clubs and bars in Florida under various names.

Within his repertoire there were his own compositions, and also versions by Cream, Led Zeppelin and Yardbirds. When they finished school in 1970 they dropped out of school and formed the first Lynyrd Skynyrd nucleus, Greg Walker on bass, Rickey Medlock on guitar and Bob Burns on drums.

In 1971 they were contacted by Alan Walden, a skilled manager, head of Capricorn Records. The band entered the Muscle Schoals Studios in Alabama with producer Jimmy Johnson, with him, Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded his first demo, it had 17 songs produced by Jimmy and pianist Billy Powell, who since then has been part of the group. After this event, two members of the band decided to retire to found a new band, Blackfoot. Greg Walker and Rickey Medlock were replaced by guitarist Leon Wilkeson and drummer Bob Burns.

Soon after, Wilkeson left the group. He was replaced by Ed King, a southern California guitarist who had already participated in bands like Sixpence. When the group was in Atlanta, they met Al Kooper, this important music entrepreneur decided to hire the group and produce their first album, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd. With this album the musical quality of the southern band was demonstrated, which at that time had seven members: Ronnie Van Zandt, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Ed King, Billy Powell, Robert Burns and Leon Wilkeson. In that album we can highlight the songs Mississippi kid, Free bird, this song was placed in the Top 20 in America, also songs like Poison whiskey, Simple man and I ain’t the one.

While their hits were being played on the radio, Peter Townshend contacted them to open for his 1973 Quadrophenia tour concert. Their performance was successful. In a few months his second album, Second Helping, released by MCA and produced by Al Kooper, had the collaboration of Bobby Keys. This album is one of the most successful and successful works of the band and it became a gold record in North America. From this album the single Sweet home Alabama was the only one that managed to enter the American Top 10.

Exhausted by the hustle and bustle of fame, Ed King decided to leave the band. He was replaced by Steve Gaines. Bob Burns, had problems with alcohol and drugs, so he withdrew from the group to undergo a detoxification process. He was replaced by Artymus Pyle. He was a key figure in the group for his great sense of humor and charisma on stage. Lynyrd Skynyrd, in 1974 got a new manager, hand in hand they played in Europe, the United States and Japan. On several occasions they were accompanied by talented backup singers, Leslie Hawkins, Cassie Gaines and Jo Billingsley.

The most amazing thing is that days before the group published Street survivors, with a cover in which they appear engulfed in flames. After the accident, MCA withdrew the album, releasing it again with a different cover. In 1980, a double album in tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd was released, titled Gold and Platinium, it sold three million copies. The surviving members Gary Rossington and Allen Colins formed The Rossington Collins Band. The band debuted in 1980, and the following year they released “This is the way,” to no avail.

In 1988 MCA released the moving 1987-Southern Tribute tour by the grace of god, an album featuring the surviving Skynyrds. This double live album reveals a powerful and visceral sound, and with some very emotional moments, his most famous hits appear on the album: Sweet home Alabama, Call me the breeze, Swamp music, Working for MCA and Gimme back my bullets.