Their roots go way back to the mid sixties when they evolved out of a number of bands, namely The Mods, Noble Five, My Backyard and Wildcats. They called themselves" Lynyrd Skynyrd " after one of their school teachers, named Leonard Skinner and released their first album in 1973. They were almost an instant success from the start and went on to become one of the US's best bands, releasing a number of charting albums. Fate played a cruel hand with Skynyrd on October 20th, 1977: an aircraft crash claimed the lives of vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister Cassie, who was one of three backing singers, and personal manager Dean Kilpatrick. Other members, guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins, bassist Leon Wilkeson and keyboard player Billy Powell were all seriously injured, but they would thankfully all recover. Lynyrd Skynyrd ceased to exist as a band, with the surviving members going on to form a number of offshoots. The band was revived in 1987 and are still going strong to this day. Their 1999 album, " Edge of Forever ", was one of our top albums of the year.

Lynyrd Skynyrd 
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Simple Man, from their debut album, "Pronounced....", released in 1973. A tribute to vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backing singer Cassie Gaines and roadie Dean Kilpatrick, all of whom were killed in that fateful air crash on 20 October 1977, which effectively caused the break-up of probably the most popular and successful Southern rock band of all time. The various surviving members went on to other projects, although Lynyrd Skynyrd reformed in 1987, with Ronnie's brother, Johhny, fronting the band. They're still going strong today - it will be a sad day indeed if they ever decide to pack it in. 

Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd - On the Hunt, from "Nuthin' Fancy" in 1975. their 3rd album, recorded around the time when they were close top eaking. Skynyrd, who are firm favourites on The Dinosaur Days and are well represented elsewhere in these pages, are probably the best known and mostf amous of all the Southern rock outfits, next to the mighty Allmans, that is. (After all, "Freebird", is a tribute to Duane Allman). This was the first album to feature drummer Artimus Pyle, who replaced Bob Burns and it was also the last one to feature original guitarist Ed King, although he would return in 1987 and would appear on a few more albums. As you no doubt know by now, Skynyrd essentially ceased to exist as we knew them after the aircraft crash that claimed the lives of vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie and manager Dean Kilpatrick on 20 October 1977. Guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins, bassist Leon Wilkerson and keyboard player Billy Powell were all seriously injured in the crash, but they would all recover, with some of them going on to other bands, namely the Rossington Collins Band, Rossington and the Allen Collins Band (Collins died from pneumonia on 23 January 1990). Other Skynyrd offshoots included Alias and  The Artimus Pyle Band (APB), but none could quite capture the magic and excitement of Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1987, Wilkerson, Powell, Rossington, King, Pyle, guitarist Randall Hall andR onnie's brother, Johnny Van Zant, revived the Lynyrd Skynyrd name and released the fantastic double live "For the Glory of the South" that year. Fourteen years later, the band are still going strong today, having released brilliant albums all the way through the nineties. Ex-Outlaws guitarist/vocalist Hughie Thomasson and ex-Blackfoot guitarist/vocalist Ricky Medlocke joined the band a few years back, completing an already awesome line-up.

  
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Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Lynyrd Skynyrd was the definitive Southern rock band, fusing the overdriven power of blues-rock with a rebellious Southern image and a hard rock swagger. Skynyrd never relied on the jazzy improvisations of the Allman Brothers. Instead, they were a hard-living, hard-driving rock & roll band — they may have jammed endlessly on-stage, but their music remained firmly entrenched in blues, rock, and country. For many, Lynyrd Skynyrd's redneck image tended to obscure the songwriting skills of their leader, Ronnie Van Zant. Throughout the band's early records, Van Zant demonstrated a knack for lyrical detail and a down-to-earth honesty that had more in common with country than rock & roll. During the height of Skynyrd's popularity in the mid-'70s, however, Van Zant's talents were overshadowed by the group's gritty, greasy blues-rock. Sadly, it wasn't until he was killed in a tragic plane crash in 1977 along with two other bandmembers that many listeners began to realize his talents. Skynyrd split up after the plane crash, but they reunited a decade later, becoming a popular concert act during the early '90s.

While in high school in Jacksonville, FL, Ronnie Van Zant (vocals), Allen Collins (guitar), and Gary Rossington (guitar) formed My Backyard. Within a few months, the group added bassist Leon Wilkeson and keyboardist Billy Powell, and changed their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd, a mocking tribute to their gym teacher Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for punishing students with long hair. With drummer Bob Burns, Lynyrd Skynyrd began playing throughout the South. For the first few years, the group had little success, but producer Al Kooper signed the band to MCA after seeing them play at an Atlanta club called Funocchio's in 1972. Kooper produced the group's 1973 debut, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, which was recorded after former Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed King joined the band. The group became notorious for their triple-guitar attack, which was showcased on "Free Bird," a tribute to the recently deceased Duane Allman. "Free Bird" earned Lynyrd Skynyrd their first national exposure and it became one of the staples of album rock radio, still receiving airplay decades after its release.

"Free Bird" and an opening slot on the Who's 1973 Quadrophenia tour gave Lynyrd Skynyrd a devoted following, which helped their second album, 1974's Second Helping, become its breakthrough hit. Featuring the hit single "Sweet Home Alabama" — a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man" — Second Helping reached number 12 and went multi-platinum. At the end of the year, Artimus Pyle replaced drummer Burns and King left the band shortly afterward. The new sextet released Nuthin' Fancy in 1975, and it became the band's first Top Ten hit. The record was followed by the Tom Dowd-produced Gimme Back My Bullets in 1976, which failed to match the success of its two predecessors. However, the band retained their following through constant touring, which was documented on the double live album One More from the Road. Released in late 1976, the album featured the band's new guitarist, Steve Gaines, and a trio of female backup singers, and it became Skynyrd's second Top Ten album.

Lynyrd Skynyrd released their sixth album, Street Survivors, on October 17, 1977. Three days later, a privately chartered plane carrying the band between shows in Greenville, SC, and Baton Rouge, LA, crashed outside of Gillsburg, MS. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and his sister Cassie, one of the group's backing vocalists, died in the crash; the remaining members were injured. (The cause of the crash was either fuel shortage or a fault with the plane's mechanics.) The cover for Street Survivors had pictured the band surrounded in flames; after the crash, the cover was changed. In the wake of the tragedy, the album became one of the band's biggest hits. Lynyrd Skynyrd broke up after the crash, releasing a collection of early demos called Skynyrd's First and...Last in 1978; it had been scheduled for release before the crash. The double-album compilation Gold & Platinum was released in 1980.

Later in 1980, Rossington and Collins formed a new band that featured four surviving members. Two years later, Pyle formed the Artimus Pyle Band. Collins suffered a car crash in 1986 that killed his girlfriend and left him paralyzed; four years later, he died of respiratory failure. In 1987, Rossington, Powell, King, and Wilkeson reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd, adding vocalist Johnny Van Zant and guitarist Randall Hall. The band embarked on a reunion tour, which was captured on the 1988 double live album Southern by the Grace of God/Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour — 1987. The re-formed Skynyrd began recording in 1991, and for the remainder of the decade, the band toured frequently, putting out albums occasionally. The reunited Skynyrd frequently switched drummers, but it had little effect on their sound.

During the '90s, Lynyrd Skynyrd were made honorary colonels in the Alabama State Militia, due to their classic rock staple "Sweet Home Alabama." During the mid-'90s, Van Zant, Rossington, Wilkeson, and Powell regrouped by adding two Southern rock veterans to Skynyrd's guitar stable: former Blackfoot frontman Rickey Medlocke and ex-Outlaw Hughie Thomasson. With ex-Damn Yankee Michael Cartellone bringing stability to the drum chair, the reconstituted band signed to CMC International for the 1997 album Twenty. This lineup went on to release Lyve from Steeltown in 1998, followed a year later by Edge of Forever. The seasonal effort Christmas Time Again was released in fall 2000. Although Wilkeson died one year later, Lynyrd Skynyrd regrouped and recorded Vicious Cycle for a 2003 release. The DVD/CD Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour followed a year later and 2006 saw the release of Face to Face. 

 

Carol Chase
Allen Collins
Artimus Pyle
Steve Gaines
Bill Powell
Jo Jo Billingsley
Carol Bristow
Bob Burns
Michael Cartellone
Custer
Mike Estes
Cassie Gaines
Owen Hale
Leslie Hawkins
Larry Junstrom
Ed King
Dale Krantz-Rossington
Rick Medlocke
Gary Rossington
Hughie Thomasson
Johnny Van Zant
Ronnie Van Zant
Leon Wilkeson
Greg T. Walker
Randall Hall

Molly Hatchet
Derek & the Dominos
ZZ Top
Blackfoot
Gregg Allman
Charlie Daniels
Black Oak Arkansas
.38 Special
Point Blank
Allen Collins
The Outlaws
Johnny Van Zant
Allman and Woman
Great Southern Memphis Section
Dickey Betts
Atlanta Rhythm Section
Sea Level
Ozark Mountain Daredevils
The Marshall Tucker Band
Duane Allman
Wet Willie

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Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1973 - Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd - 5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1974 - Second Helping - 5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1975 - Nuthin' Fancy - 3/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1976 - Gimme Back My Bullets - 3/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1976 - One More from the Road - 3/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1977 - Street Survivors - 4.5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1988 - Southern By the Grace of God, Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour, vol. 1 - 4.5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1991 - Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 - 2/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1993 - The Last Rebel - 2/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1994 - Endangered Species - 4/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1996 - Freebird, The Movie - 2.5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1996 - Southern Knights - 2.5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1997 - Twenty - 2/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1998 - Lyve - 2.5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1999 - Edge of Forever - 2.5/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1999 - Universal masters Collection - 4/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 2000 - Christmas Time Again - 2/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 2003 - Vicious Cycle - 4/5

Lynyrd Skynyrd - 2004 - Lyve, The Vicious Cycle Tour - 3.5/5

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