|Links||Enter Al Kooper, a
producer/performer who wanted to take advantage of the
Southern rock explosion and formed, backed by MCA
Records, the 'Sounds of the South' label with just four
bands. One was Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their first session's had
created around 20 songs. The recording sessions were so
inspiring for them that they wrote the song 'Sweet Home
Shortly after the recording sessions ended, Lynyrd Skynyrd played at a Sounds of the South press party and wrote a special song just to impress the MCA executives, 'Workin' For MCA'. The executives were impressed and they signed Lynyrd Skynyrd to open for The Who's fall tour in 1973.
While 'Freebird' was dominating the charts songs such as 'Gimme Three Steps', were not getting air time. The single, 'Sweet Home Alabama' was released with ronnie's urging to help give the the album some kick. Shortly after they released the single, both the song and album were sent to the top and certified gold.
Skynyrd toured relentlessly in support of their music. Problems arose after touring Europe when founding member Bob Burns left the band due to exhaustion. They found drummer Artimus Pyle and then recorded their next album, Nuthin' Fancy. A grueling tour schedule also took it's toll on guitarist Ed King and he also packed his bags and left the band.
In 1976, a local female backup group the Honkettes, Jo Jo Billingsley, Leslie Hawkins and Cassie Gaines became part of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band. They also restored the three guitar lineup with the addition of Cassie's brother, Steve Gaines, and after Steve joined the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded its first live album, 'One More From The Road'.
One More From The Road shot into the Top Ten and went platinum in record time. 'Street Survivors' was released on October 17, 1977 and became the first Skynyrd album certified gold upon release. 'This prompted the 'Tour Of The Survivors'. On October 20, 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd's private plane ran out of gas and crashed in a forest near McComb, Mississippi.
Ronnie VanZant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and road manager Dean Kilpatrick were killed instantly.
Today, Lynyrd Skynyrd continues touring with ronnie's brother johnnie as the lead singer and he sounds just like him!! (look for my ticket stubs in the pic's area)
Lynyrd Skynyrd's music lives on and always will.