Lynyrd Skynyrd
Formed 1966
Jacksonville Florida

1970's Hits Include:
Workin For MCA
Sweet Home Alabama
Gimme Three Steps
Tuesday's Gone
Saturday Night Special
Simple Man
Gimme Back My Bullets
That Smell
What's Your Name

Members at the
time of the 1977
plane crash were:
Ronny VanZant
Gary Rossington
Allen Collins
Billy Powell
Leon Wilkeson
Steve Gaines
Artimus Pyle
Leslie Hawkins
Cassie Gaines

JoJo Billingsley
She was also a
back-up singer in
the band at the time ,
but was not
on the plane

Early Nashville
Concerts in Nashville
of the original band
before plane crash.
March (1-2) 1974
June 9, 1974
September 21, 1974
January 17, 1976
July 30, 1976

Early Nashville
Venues included:
Muthers Music Emporium
Tennessee State Fair
Municipal Auditorium
March 1, 1974: A barely
known, Lynyrd Skynyrd
plays at Muthers Music
Emporium on Hermitage
Avenue in Nashville,
in front of only a few
hundred people
September 21, 1974:
Well known by Sept of '74,
Skynyrd plays at the
Tennessee State Fair, with
opener Blue Oyster Cult
Ticket stub from a
January 17, 1976 concert
featuring the original
band, at the Municipal
Auditorium in Nashville  
(on the same stage as
shown in pictures above)
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lymyrd Skynyrd
at Nashville's
on Saturday
August 12, 2006
2007 TOUR
The Rowdy Friends
Tour  with Lynyrd
Skynyrd, 38 Special
& Hank Williams Jr.
Lynyrd Skynyrd Tour
announced: Lynyrd
Skynyrd members
Gary Rossington,
Johnny VanZant and
Rickey Medlocke were
in Nashville's Rock
105.9 Studio's on
February 2nd at
5:30pm to announce
this summers tour
Lynyrd Skynyrd Tour.
The Rowdy Friends
Tour features
Lynyrd Skynyrd,
Thirty-Eight Special
and Hank Williams Jr.
They stated on the
radio that Nashville is
like there L.A as far as
recording, etc.
They went on to say
that they love
Nashville and have
recorded about all of
there albums here
since re-uniting in the
1980's. This will be  
the fourth time
Lynyrd Skynyrd has
played here in the
past year (or so),
including the
Ryman Auditorium,
CMA Music
Festival/Fan Fan,
Starwood, and now
at Gaylord.
The Rowdy Friends
Tour will be playing
Nashville's Gaylord
Entertainment Center
on May 4, 2007.
This will be there
second time to play at
Gaylord. They played
there before with
ZZ Top. I went to that
show, it was great!
Allen Collins :
Tragedy struck
again in 1986 when
Allen Collins crashed
his car killing his
girlfreind, and
leaving him
paralyzed from the
waist down. Four
years later he died of
respiratory failure
due to pneumonia
at age 37

Leon Wilkeson:
Bass Player
Leon Wilkeson
died in 2001.
Johnny Van Zant:
Johnny Van Zant took
the place of Ronnie
as singer in the band.
His song "Brickyard
Road" recieved
airplay in the 1980's.
He also, currently
(2006) performs with
his brother Donnie,
in the country music
duo Van Zant
Lynyrd Skynyrd
1970's-2015 - Lynyrd Skynyrd Back On Stage
Nashville Reunions, Concerts, Albums, Video Tapings, Tours & Guestbook
By Pat Adams from the Tennessee Concerts website
2nd Lynyrd Skynyrd Reunion:
1987: The next Lynyrd Skynyrd appearance, also took place at
Volunteer Jam (XIII) Concert in Nashville.
Allen Collins served as music director, in a wheel chair, partially paralyzed,
after crashing his car. He could be seen at the back of the stage, clapping
along during Lynyrd Skynyrd's set, which included Ronnie Van Zant's
brother, singer
Johnny Van Zant.  
1979: Papa John Creach, Barry Chance from Barefoot Jerry,
Billy Crain from the Henry Paul Band, Charlie Daniels,
Gary Rossington from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Toy Caldwell from
Marshall Tucker Band and country singer Janie Fricke
Back on-stage, once again, at the Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam V, at the
Municipal Auditorium  in Nashville. They begin by jamming on "The Breeze"
with members of the Charlie Daniels Band. They go on to play an
instrumental version of
Freebird for the first time without singer
RonnieVanZant. He was killed along with members Steve Gaines,
Cassie Gaines
and assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick.
Skynyrd survivors on-stage included
Gary Rossington, Allen Collins,
Billy Powell & Artimus Pyle. Ronnie Van Zant's widow Judy Van Zant made
an appearance on stage (as did Teresa Gaines).
Leon Wilkeson, came out
with his arm still in a cast. Others paying tribute to
Lynyrd Skynyrd at this
show included the
Henry Paul Band performing "Grey Ghost",
and the
Charlie Daniels Band singing "Million Mile Reflections"
Poem by Charlie Daniels: While on the way to Ronnie's
funeral, Charlie wrote the poem. Ronnie's wife,
Judy, had the poem carved into the bench.
The bench was place in front of Ronnie's grave


By Charlie Daniels
1980's Nashville Concert Poster
January 21, 1979 :
1st Reunion
of Lynyrd Skynyrd
at the Charlie Daniels Band,
Volunteer Jam V
A yearly event (at the time) in Nashville.
Volunteer Jam began in the 1974
and was an annual event in Nashville
for many years. I attended
approximately 20 Volunteer Jams.
One of the  highlights for me, was
when Charlie Daniels announced
"Lynyrd Skynyrd is back".
This was their first time on stage since
the fatal plane crash that killed six
people. Just feet from the stage,
I saw many people with tears in their
eyes as they played an instrumental
version of
Freebird, on-stage for the
first time without their late singer
One of the most popular groups to come out of the Southern Rock
movement of the 1970's, Lynyrd Skynyrd's career was cut short in 1977 by a
plane crash that took the lives of three members. A
1987 reunion, the
Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band, was first planned as a single concert at the
Volunteer Jam XIII in Nashville Tennessee. They decided to tour, and the
name changed to
Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991. Later, with Judy VanZant's
permission, the name changed back to
Lynyrd Skynyrd
2000's DVD Taping
2005:  Lynyrd Skynyrd members, before and after the plane crash,
Ed King & Artimus Pyle play with the band Deep South, including
members of  
Wet Willie, Atlanta Rhythm Section & 38 Special
at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville Tennessee                 
Click on Pictures to Enlarge                  Pictures by Jimbo Hagey Junior
Ed King left the band before
the plane crash. The late
Steve Gaines took his place
Artimus Pyle, pictured
here  with a fan, went for
help after the plane crash
Above: 1980's & 1990's Assorted line-ups of Lynyrd Skynyrd
continue to tour and play in Nashville every year.
2005: The only members remaining from the plane crash in the
current touring band are
Gary Rossington and Billy Powell.
Right: 2000's: Lynyrd Skynyrd returns to Nashville to record
another DVD in the Music City.
The Vicious Cycle Tour.
Promotional picture from Billboard Magazine
Left: Pictured in 1987
at the
Lynyrd Skynyrd
2nd on-stage reunion
are guitarist
Randall Hall
and singer Johnny VanZant
Rossington Collins Band
plane crash survivors
Gary Rossington
Allen Collins
Leon Wilkeson
Billy Powell
plus singer
Dale Krantz
and others

Nashville Concert
Tennessee Theater
June 27 & 30, 1980
with opening act
Johnny Van Zant
Click on Image to Enlarge
Above poster thanks to original Charlie Daniels Band drummer Gary Allen
Lynyrd Skynyrd re-unites
for the first time since the
tragic plane crash in 1977
Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991
Promotional Photo
2006: Lynyrd Skynyrd is inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame
Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Artimus Pyle, Ed King & Bob Burns
Lynyrd Skynyrd was  inducted into the
Rock  &  Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006
Guitar Player Magazine features Lynyrd Skynyrd in January 1988
10 Years Later LYNYRD SKYNYRD Rocks Again - Back With A Veneance!
Search this website
Lynyrd Skynyrd
1970's - 2010
* What happened after the crash *
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Reunion Tour
In 1987 Lynyrd Skynyrd takes on a
full-scale tour with five major members
of the pre-crash band: crash survivors
Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon
Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle, along with
guitarist Ed King, who had left the band
two years before the crash. Ronnie Van
Zant's younger brother, Johnny, took
over as the new lead singer and
primary songwriter. Due to Collins'
paralysis from the 1986 car accident,
he was only able to participate as the
musical director, choosing Randall
Hall, his former bandmate in the Allen
Collins Band, as his stand-in. As part
of his plea deal, Collins would be
wheeled out onstage each night to
explain to the audience why he could
no longer perform (usually before the
performance of "That Smell", which had
been partially directed at him). Collins
was stricken with pneumonia in 1989
and died on January 23, 1990.

The reunited band was meant to be a
one-time tribute to the original lineup,
captured on the double-live album
Southern By The Grace Of God/Lynyrd
Skynyrd Tribute Tour 1987. The fact that
the band chose to continue after the
1987 tribute tour caused legal
problems for the survivors, as Judy Van
Zant Jenness and Teresa Gaines
Rapp (widows of Ronnie and Steve,
respectively) sued the others for
violating an agreement made shortly
after the plane crash, stating that they
would not "exploit" the Skynyrd name
for profit. As part of the settlement,
Jenness and Rapp collect nearly 30%
of the band's touring revenues
(representing the shares their
husbands would have earned had they
lived), and hold a proviso which forces
any band touring as "Lynyrd Skynyrd" to
include at least two from among Gary
Rossington, Artimus Pyle, Leon
Wilkeson, Billy Powell and Ed King.
King is no longer able to tour due to a
heart condition (which caused him to
leave Skynyrd a second time in 1996),
Pyle has had legal problems and fell
out with Rossington and Johnny Van
Zant, and Wilkeson and Powell are
now dead. This leaves Gary
Rossington as the sole member of the
designated group still in the band.

The reconstituted Lynyrd Skynyrd has
gone through a large number of lineup
changes and continues to record and
tour today. One by one, the members of
the pre-crash band have left, been
forced out, or have died. Artimus Pyle
left the band in 1991 and his place has
been taken by a variety of drummers
since, with Michael Cartellone finally
becoming his permanent replacement.
Randall Hall was replaced by Mike
Estes in 1993. Ed King had to take a
break from touring in 1996. In his
absence, he was replaced by Hughie
Thomasson. King has stated that his
break from the band was to be
temporary, but the band did not let him
rejoin after he recovered[citation
needed]. At the same time, Mike Estes
was replaced by Rickey Medlocke, who
had briefly played drums with the band
in the early 1970s. Leon Wilkeson,
Skynyrd's bassist since 1972, was
found dead in his hotel room on July
27, 2001; his death was found to be
due to emphysema and chronic liver
disease. He was replaced in 2001 by
Ean Evans. The remaining members
released a double album called Thyrty
which had songs from the original line
up to the present. Lynyrd Skynyrd also
released a live DVD of their Vicious
Cycle Tour and on June 22, 2004,
Lynyrd Skynyrd released the album
Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour. On
December 10, 2004, Lynyrd Skynyrd did
a show for CMT, Crossroads, a concert
featuring country duo Montgomery
Gentry and other genres of music. In
the beginning of 2005 Hughie
Thomasson left the band to reform his
disbanded Southern Rock band
Outlaws. Thomasson died in his sleep
on September 9, 2007 of an apparent
heart attack in his home in Brooksville,
Florida. He was 55 years old.

On February 5, 2005, Lynyrd Skynyrd
did a Super Bowl party back in
Jacksonville with special guests 3
Doors Down, Jo Dee Messina, Charlie
Daniels and Ronnie and Johnny Van
Zant's brother Donnie Van Zant of 38
Special. On February 13 of that year
Lynyrd Skynyrd did a tribute to Southern
Rock on the Grammy Awards with
Gretchen Wilson, Tim McGraw, Keith
Urban and Dickey Betts. On May 10,
2005, Johnny and Donnie Van Zant
released a country album called Get
Right with the Man which featured the
hit single "Help Somebody". In the
summer of 2005, lead singer Johnny
Van Zant had to have surgery on his
vocal cord to have a polyp removed. He
was told not to sing for three months.
On September 10, 2005, Lynyrd
Skynyrd performed without Johnny Van
Zant at the Music Relief Concert for the
victims of Hurricane Katrina, with Kid
Rock standing in for Johnny. In
December 2005, Johnny Van Zant
returned to sing for Lynyrd Skynyrd. The
band performed live at Freedom Hall in
Louisville, Kentucky, as a part of their
2007 tour. The concert was recorded in
high definition for HDNet and
premiered on December 1, 2007.

The band in 2008Mark "Sparky"
Matejka, formerly of the country music
band Hot Apple Pie, joined Lynyrd
Skynyrd in 2006 as Thomasson's
replacement. On November 2, 2007,
the band performed at the University of
Florida's Gator Growl, the world's
largest student-run pep rally, in Ben Hill
Griffin Stadium – also known as "The
Swamp." The event's 50,000-person
attendance marked the largest crowd
that Lynyrd Skynyrd had ever played in
front of in the United States, until the
July 2008 Bama Jam in Enterprise,
Alabama where more than 111,000
people were in attendance.[16]

On January 28, 2009, keyboardist Billy
Powell died at age 56 at his home near
Jacksonville, Florida. Powell called 911
at 12:55 a.m., complaining of
shortness of breath. He had previously
missed his doctor's appointment on
the day before his death; the
appointment was for a checkup on his
heart. The EMS responders found
Powell unconscious and
unresponsive, with the telephone still
in his hand. Rescue crews performed
CPR, but he was pronounced dead at 1:
52 a.m. Although a heart attack was
suspected, and it was originally
reported that an autopsy was to be
performed, none in fact was ever done.
Powell's death left Gary Rossington as
the sole pre-crash member of the
band, unless Rickey Medlocke's brief
stint with the band in the early 1970s is

On March 17, 2009, it was announced
that Skynyrd had signed a worldwide
deal with Roadrunner Records, in
association with their label, Loud &
Proud Records, and released their new
album God & Guns on September 29
of that year. They toured Europe and
the United States in 2009 with Peter
Keys of the 420 Funk Mob on
keyboards and Robert Kearns of The
Bottle Rockets on bass (in place of Ean
Evans, who died of cancer at age 48 on
May 6, 2009, at his home in Columbus,
Mississippi).[17] Scottish rock band
Gun performed as special guests for
the UK leg of Skynyrd's tour in 2010.

In addition to the tour, Skynyrd
appeared at the Sean Hannity Freedom
Concert series in late 2010. Hannity
had been actively promoting the God &
Guns album, frequently playing
portions of the track "That Ain't My
America" on his radio show.
by Pat Adams
The Volunteer Jam drew fans from all over the country. The jam
events hosted by the Charlie Daniels Band, included hundreds of
well-known artists. Various Volunteer Jam shows have appeared on
albums, television shows, a movie, CD's & DVD's.  Pat Adams from the
TennesseeConcerts website covered almost every Volunteer Jam and tells
his memories of seeing some of the greatest musicians in the world.

Check out our Volunteer Jam page
including pictures, text & rare videos of the jam
My Memories Of The Volunteer Jam
Pat Adams & Charlie Daniels
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Tribute Pages
Lynyrd Skynyrd Interview
prior to Tribute Tour 1987
Lynyrd Skynyrd getting ready to play the Volunteer Jam
again, and go out a Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour.
The Backstreet Video Magazine was invited to interview
the entire Lynyrd Skynyrd Band in 1987. The 3/4 inch
Umatic program master was recently discovered and so
we are releasing this for fans. The Backstreet program was
granted the permission to shoot, edit and air this interview
as well as the music that was recorded at this session.
See video of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 1st Reunion
The Complete Set at Volunteer Jam V
Lynyrd Skynyrd Reunion:  The Breeze & Freebird
See Lynryrd Skynyrd (with members of the CDB) do their whole set at the Volunteer
Jam V, starting off with The Breeze sung by CDB keyboardist the late Taz
DiGregorio. After that they go into an instrumental version of Freebird. Time 19:18
See video of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 2nd Reunion
The Complete Set at Volunteer Jam XIII
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Live in Nashville, TN 9/6/87
Lynyrd Skynyrd live at Charlie Daniels "Volunteer Jam 13"
at The Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville, Tennessee.
This is their complete set!
40th Anniversary of the Volunteer Jam (2015)
at the 40th Anniversary of the Volunteer Jam
Lynyrd Skynyrd makes a surprise visit the 40th Anniversary of the Volunteer Jam
at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee, playing the last song of the
night, their classic 70's hit Sweet Home Alabama. This was on August 12, 2015.
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