Monday, October 13, 2008

and people down in Florida can’t be still when ol’ Lynyrd Skynyrd’s pickin’ down in Jacksonville

Well, the train to Grinder's Switch is runnin' right on time, And the Tucker Boys are cookin' down in Caroline, and people down in Florida can’t be still when ol’ Lynyrd Skynyrd’s pickin’ down in Jacksonville.
Continuing the “South’s Gonna Do It” theme, today’s band is Lynyrd Skynyrd. Out of Jacksonville Florida, Skynyrd was probably the biggest of the Southern Rock bands, at least through the mid ‘70s. Like MTB, there is no person Lynyrd Skynyrd, but the band is named after a real person, Leonard Skinner, who was a teacher in the school that several of the guys attended. No brothers in Skynyrd, but lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s 2 brothers also were/would be/are in Southern Rock bands. With the wonderfully “southern” names of Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant… The band did have a sibling connection, though, with guitarist Steve Gaines brought into the band by and backup singer and sister Cassie Gaines. Skynyrd had several of the most iconic songs of the southern rock era, including “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama”. They hit the Top 40 five times, which may be tops in the genre. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Skynyrd was my favorite band as a teenager. I wore out copies of each of their first 5 albums by the end of college. Each was replaced on vinyl, and subsequently on CD… I was fortunate enough to see them twice in 1976, shortly before, and not long after Steve Gaines joined. I could probably write a small book with observations and experiences related to Lynyrd Skynyrd, but this is a blog, not a book….

Useless trivia 1: Original guitarist Ed King was formerly a member of the 60’s psychedelic band Strawberry Alarm Clock, famous for Incense and Peppermints.
Useless Trivia 2: Skynyrd is referenced in 2 songs I can think of, Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” and Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long”. There's probably more….

And my biggest pet-peeve: it’s not Skynard, folks. It’s Skynyrd.

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