A disaster befell this area
last night. A plane with 26
passengers crashed in
the woods eight miles
west of the Gillsburg exit
of Federal Highway 55. Six
people were killed. Four
are in critical condition.
Some came out better.
Telephone calls from all
over the United States
centered in McComb last
night.  There was the
screaming of ambulance
sirens. Among the first
people to arrive at the
scene were Charles
Dunagin and Bob Kirkfield
of the Enterprise-Journal.
They found a scene of
darkness. People were
lying about groaning in
pain, some the pains
preceding death.
The nationally known
Lynyrd Skynyrd rock
band was aboard.
Southwest Mississippi
Regional Medical Center
was ready for the
emergency. The injured
had at least one doctor for
each patient and perhaps
three nurses. They acted
as a team. The hospital
reception room became
the emergency room.
But the hospital was
ready. Under the
leadership of Tom Hogue
everything was organized.
The Highway Patrol was
alerted. The Civil Defense
organization was on hand.
In time a helicopter
hovered above and
focused lights on a
scene of panic.
One big obstacle was a
creek near the plane
crash. It was difficult to
cross the creek from the
highway to reach the
victims on the ground
or trapped in the plane.
The alleged cause of the
plane crash was a
shortage of fuel. But on
the good side was the fact
that a tank full of gas could
have exploded and killed
many more. The pilot and
co-pilot lost their lives in
the crash.
Hundreds of people in
time gathered at the
scene of the disaster.  
People respond to the
excitement and tragedy of
such things. It was not a
dull evening in the
Gillsburg area last night.
The hearts of the people
of the McComb area go
out to the bereaved and
the injured. It was a
terrible accident - yes it
was a disaster.
Text and
images from the
in McComb
Mississippi, USA
October 21, 1977
Search this website

Website by Pat Adams. pat@tennesseeconcerts.com
Gillsburg Plane Crash Kills Six,
Hurts 20 Including Rock Singers
A twin-engine airplane, apparently out of fuel, crashed before 7p.m. Thursday in a wooded area of Amite
County near Gillsburg. Six persons including the lead singer of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed
and 20 were injured. The propeller-driven Convair 240 skidded across tree tops for about 100 yards, then
slammed into a swampy area and split open about eight miles short of McComb Airport after reporting it was
having fuel trouble or was running low on fuel", an Air Traffic Controller reported. The dead included lead
singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and vocalist Cassie Gaines, Gaines sister, medical authorities
said. Pilot Walter Wiley McCreary and co-pilot William John Gray, both of Dallas Texas, and Dean Kilpatrick,
assistant road manager for the group, also died officials said. Six other members of the hard rock band were
injured, two hurt critically and four hospitalized in stable condition. The injured, some of them also in critical
condition, included members of the group's road crew and a cameraman, said officials of Southwest Mississippi
Medical Center. The chartered plane owned by L&J Co. of Addison Texas, came down on its nose southwest of
McComb, twisting the cockpit to the left, and threw seven or eight persons to the ground when it split open at
about the middle of the fuselage, it was believed. The impact, which triggered no fire, tossed other passengers
toward the front of the aircraft. "They were all in front of the plane and they were all shouting, get me out, get
me, get me." said Constable Gerrald Wall. "We were actually standing on people to get others out". Johnny
Mote, who lives near the crash site close to the Mississippi-Louisiana border, said the plane "sounded like a
car skidding in gravel" as it clipped the trees. "When it hit the ground it was a deep rumble, like it was
underground. It sounded like wrinkling metal" he said. The group was en route from a Wednesday night
performance in Greenville South Carolina to a Friday night concert before an expected crowd of 10,000
persons at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The plane had passed McComb when it reported that it
was having fuel trouble, and was told by the Houston Texas flight center to turn around and land at McComb,
said Everett Fairly, an air traffic controller at McComb. "I tried to call them, but we couldn't raise them, and
Houston reported it had lost radar and radio contact", Fairly said. A spokesman for the Federal Administration
in Atlanta GA said the pilot had reported being low on fuel. Thick undergrowth hampered rescue operations
and some emergency vehicles became stuck in the mud when they tried to drive through the woods to get
close to the aircraft. Rescue crews were also hindered by a 20-foot wide, waist deep creek they had to cross to
reach the plane. Pickup trucks and vans were used along with ambulances to carry the dead and injured to
hospitals. A Southwest Medical Center spokesman said identification of the victims were complicated because
passengers were apparently playing poker before the plane went down and had there wallets and identification
papers out.  Fairly said a small jet was landing at McComb at the time the plane was reported in difficulty and
ask the jet pilot to fly over the area. "But it was very dark and the pilot said he could see nothing from the air,"
Fairly said. The plane came down near open pasture land, tearing off one of the wings and twisting the other.
Recuers had to rip open the nose to get to victims. Two bulldozers were used to cut a path through the woods
and brush from nearby Mississippi 568. Donald Chase who lives about five miles from the area, said he heard
"that the plane was having engine trouble because it was sputtering." Mote said he was putting some hay out
when three bloody survivors who had made their way through the woods called him for help. "One of them was
hugging me around the neck and telling me, "We got to get them out." Mote estimated it took up to 3 1/2 hours
to remove all the bodies from the plane. Michael White who lives in Gillsburg, said he and his family heard the
engines of the airplane sputtering about 6:45pm. "I guess it crashed about 6:47pm" he said, but were unable
to find the plane."I called the airport about 7:00pm," he said, but was told there was no plane in the area.
The Pike County Civil Defense said the crash was reported to its office shortly before 7pm.

Busy Night at Hospital
"We practice disaster drills so many times during the year that when this one came up I wondered if people
would think it was practice too," said Southwest Mississippi Regional Administrator Tom Logue this morning.
"But when the first patient arrived, we went to work. They knew this wasn't a drill. I was real proud of everyone
at the hospital," he said. Logue and most hospital employees, as well as Civil Defense personnel and others
who took part in the rescue operations following Thursday night's plane crash near Gillsburg, had gone
through an almost sleepless night. Six persons died in the crash and of the 20 survivors, four were listed in
critical condition at SMRMC today. Eight others were transferred during the night to Jackson hospitals, seven
were listed in stable condition at SMRMC, and one was not hospitalized. Among the injured were members of
the musical rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd. Three members were killed (see related stories). In critical condition in
the intensive care unit at the McComb hospital were Leon Wilkeson, bass guitarist, with chest injuries, multiple
abrasions and fractured left arm and left leg; Craig Reed, a member of the road crew, chest injury , lacerations
and abrasions, fractured left arm; James Bracy, road crew, chest wound, abrasion, fractured left arm. Listed in
critical condition, but not the intensive care unit, was Kevin Elson, the groups sound engineer, with a fractured
right leg and ankle, fractured pelvis and left leg. Others, still being treated at SMRMC, all in stable condition
this morning. were Ron Eckerman, road manager, chest contusion and rib fractures, and road crew members
Kenneth Peden, multiple contusions, Steve Lawler, chest contusions, facial lacerations; Clayton Johnson,
fractured right clavicle and left elbow; Don Kretzechman, chest injury, abrasions; Joe Osborn, multiple
lacerations of the face, fractured ribs, and right clavicle; and Mark Frank, multiple abrasions, probably cerebral
contusion. Transferred to University Hospital and listed in stable condition were vocalist Leslie Hawkins, facial
lacerations and neck problems; Larken Allen Collins, guitarist, spine injuries; and road crewman Gene Odom,
eye injuries and a deep scalp wound, and Paul Welch, injuries not known. At Baptist Hospital, also listed as
stable, were Gary Rossington, guitarist, multiple fractures; Bill Powell, pianist, lacerations; Bill Sykes, a
television film crewman, multiple fractures; and Mark Howard, road crew, head and back injuries. Another
member of the group, drummer Artimus Pyle, was treated at Beacham Memorial Hospital in Magnolia. He
reportedly walked away from the crash site and notified a nearby resident of the crash. Addresses of the
victims have not been released to authorities. Logue said emergency treatment facilities were set up in the
front lobby of the hospital before the first patients arrived from the crash scene. "The emergency room would
have been bottlenecked with that many people, so we set up a treatment center in the lobby," he said. "The
most critically injured were sent directly to surgery, the critical ones were taken care of in the lobby. We had IV
bottles and all the necessary equipment to take care of them right there. Those less seriously injured were put
in rooms upstairs, including the obstetrics ward, and in the emergency room." Logue said several persons
were discharged from the hospital during the night to make room for the accident victims, but that some of
those discharged later were readmitted. "It was a problem for a while, finding enough beds," he said. Three
helicopters from the Coast Guard, National Guard and Forrest County General Hospital assisted in the rescue
operation, Logue said, transporting at least two doctors to the scene and lighting the area with floodlights.
Logue noted two problems hampered operations at the hospital during the night. "The telephone was busy all
night long" he said. "I talked with people from Sydney, Australia and London, as well as from all over the
country." The other problem, he continued, was keeping up with the identities of the victims. "We had a hard
time keeping names straight, and of course everyone wanted a list of the victims and how badly they were hurt".
"They did a tremendous job in organizing the operation and handling events as they came up,"
said Mrs Willy Mae Lund, one of the hospital trustees who assisted during the night.

Bad Place to Bring Plane Down
Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center and other area emergency personnel practice periodically
handling mock disasters. Last night, it was the real thing, and from the looks of the activity at the hospital
the practice has paid off. Only thing, though, nobody had practiced removing 26 plane crash victims from a
swampy patch of woods out from Gillsburg, across a creek to waiting ambulances. It took some three hours or
more from the time the plane crashed to get the job done, but again, those whose jobs it is to do such things,
carried out their duties with precision and skill and as much speed as possible under difficult situations. Bob
Kirkfield, Enterprise-Journal advertising manager, and I arrived on the scene amid the rescue efforts. It was
hard enough getting across the 20-foot wide creek carrying a camera. It obviously would have been harder
carrying an injured person. We walked across a fallen tree. Some were fording the creek, a tributary of the
Amite River. Persons going to the plane had to be careful not to step on the injured and dead who had been
thrown or removed from the aircraft. At first it was thought the ambulances could go around another direction
to get closer to the plane and avoid having to carry the victims across the creek. Later the decision was made
to carry them across the stream. Two Civil Defense workers at the scene said , a sandbar was found
crossing the stream and rescuers were able to carry stretchers across it without wading the water,
however, they had to walk for more than a mile to get to the ambulances.

Who's Lynyrd Skynyrd?
Associated Press article & picture, just after plane crash in October 1977
"We like to call ours "Southern Raunchy Roll" Ronnie Van Zant once said of his musical group Lynyrd Skynyrd.
"The other bands are just as bad, but we go to jail more". Van Zant and his fightin' Southern band prided
themselves on that battling image and a hard driving blaring sound which they rode to sold out concert tours
and million selling albums. They had just begun a tour on the heels of a new album when a charted plane they
were on went down near McComb Mississippi, thursday night en route to Baton Rouge, Louisiana from
Greenville South Carolina.Van Zant, the groups lead vocalist and one of its founders, died along with guitarist
Steve Gaines and his sister Cassie in the crash. All three were 28. Two other members, Gary Rossington
another who helped form the group, and Leon Wilkeson were reported in critical condition after the crash. The
other four members of the group were in stable condition. The band came from Jacksonville Florida in the early
'70's with Ronnie Van Zant, Rossington and Allen Collins playing together in high school and adding other
members later. That school Robert E. Lee, also allegedly produced their strangley spelled group name.  It
seems a physical education teacher named Leonard Skinner didn't cotton to long hair and loud music. A run-in
with him helped get the boys suspended. Vowing to get even, they named there group after him, changing the
vowels to avoid a lawsuit and becoming famous enough to make the story a rock legend. Lynyrd Skynyrd first
hit national prominence in 1974 with a single called "Sweet Home Alabama" which exstolled the virtues of the
South in general and Alabama in particular. A huge Confederate Flag became one of the bands symbols. The
group went on to have two gold and three platinum albums and numerous runins with the law on tour. "Were
kind of like an old dog that ain't housebroke" Van Zant said in a 1976 interview. "I don't know...born under a
bad sign, I guess. The band's most recent hometown performance ended in an uproar with 16 persons getting
arrested. Police later estimated that 15,000 persons took part in the disturbance at the Jacksonville Coliseum
and caused $14,000 in damage. The band included Van Zant, Gaines, Rossington and Allen Collins
guitarist; Leon Wilkeson bass; Billy Powell keyboardist; and Artimus Pyle drummer. Gaines sister
and Leslie Hawkins were backup singers. All were from Florida except Pyle, from Spartanburg
South Carolina, and the Gaineses were from Seneca Missouri. The bands million-sellers were
"Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-erd", "Second Helping", and "One More From The Road".
The bands latest album "Street Survivors" was released October 17 (1977)
Lynyrd Skynyrd web pages by Pat Adams in Nashville TN,
with the help of Jacquelyn Cooper in Mississippi (at the
plane crash scene) See all of our Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute
pages. See exclusive pictures of the plane crash scene
on the most popular Lynyrd Sknynrd plane crash pages.
Courtesy of the TennesseeConcerts website.
Web sites include: SouthernTribute.com
TennesseeConcerts.com Nashville TN
My last picture of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Nashville's CMA Music Festival (Fan Fair) in 2006
Pictures & text by Pat Adams from www.TennesseeConcerts.com & www.SouthernTribute.com
Singer Van Zant in Florida Concert Tuesday Night
He died in Amite County plane crash Thursday night

PAGE 1          PAGE 2          PAGE 3          PAGE 4
by Pat Adams from the
TennesseeConcerts website.
The Volunteer Jam drew fans from
all over the country. The 16 (or so)
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.

The History Of  
The Volunteer Jam

See Rare 1979-1980
Southern Rock videos from
the Volunteer Jam  
in Nashville TN hosted by
the Charlie Daniels Band

Lynyrd Skynyrd's First Reunion
after the 1977 Plane Crash
(Nashville Tennessee)

Lynyrd Skynyrd - The Breeze
(with the late Taz Digregorio
from the CDB on vocals)

Other Southern Rockers

The Charlie Daniels Band
Devil Went Down To Georgia

Henry Paul Band
Grey Ghost

Toy Caldwell & George McCorkle
(from the Marshall Tucker Band)
Can't You See

Winters Brothers Band
I Can't Help It

Wet Willie - Keep On Smilin'

The Allman Brothers Band  
Ramblin' Man
Patsy Cline Plane Crash
Patsy Cline Plane Crash
Camden TN - The remains of four
country music personalities,
including three nationally known
Grand Ole Opry stars, were found
this morning in the scattered bits of
a private plane which crashed in
rugges woodlands near here. The
victims were Patsy Cline, Cowboy
Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and
Randy Hughes, believed to be the
pilot of the ill-fated aircraft.  

Read more on our
Patsy Cline Plane Crash page
Join us on our new
Facebook page
We're mentioned in a
NBC News Story
October 20, 2012:
NBC News mentioned our
Tennessee Concerts website
yesterday in their news story
"Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash
was 35 years ago".
We received ten of thousands
of hits in the days afterward.
The Lynyrd Skynyrd Southern
Tribute pages were put
together by myself and
Jacquelyn Cooper.
Her grandfather owned the
property that the plane crashed
on. At my request, she went up
into the family attic and dug out
newspaper articles & actual
pictures of the crash scene.
Read my interview with her.
We published it all on my
TennesseeConcerts website
and thousands of people go to
these pages every week.
We've even heard from several
of the survivors of the crash.
Check out these pages if you
get a chance at
www.SouthernTribute.com .
Don't forget to sign the
guestbook. This is the 35th
anniversary. You can also check
us out (Tennessee Concerts)
in this NBC News article, below.

NBC News: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Plane Crash Was 35 Years Ago
Buy Concert
and Event
Our Lynyrd Skynyrd
Tribute Pages
Southern Tribute
to Lynyrd Skynyrd
by Pat Adams from www.TennesseeConcerts.com
& Jaquelyn Cooper from the plane crash site

The Tragic Plane Crash. What Happened?
Plane Crash News Reports
October 20, 1977 :  Gillsburg Mississippi
Congratulations To
Meghan Trainor

In the Spring of 2011,
a seventeen year old
singer/songwriter entered
and won our own Sonicbids
"Tennessee Concerts
Song Contest".

In 2014, she went on to
have a number one hit
(Billboard Hot 100) with
"All About That Bass".
Meghan Trainor
Meghan Elizabeth Trainor
(born December 22, 1993) is
an American singer, songwriter,
and producer. She started
writing songs when she was 11
and soon produced them on
her computer
2 years later. At 18 she signed
a songwriter deal with Big
Yellow Dog Music, penning
tracks for the Rascal Flatts and
current Disney star Sabrina
Carpenter. In 2011 she wrote
and self-released her full
length album called I'll Sing with

In 2014, Trainor gained
prominence with her debut
single "All About That Bass",
which reached number 1 on the
US Billboard Hot 100 and
topped the charts in other
countries such as Australia,
New Zealand, Canada,
Germany and the United

Trainor was born and raised in
Nantucket, Massachusetts, the
daughter of Gary and Kelli
Trainor. She grew up with a
musical family, and has been
writing songs since she was 11
years old. She started a band
with her family. When she was
13, her parents bought her a
computer so that she could
compose her own songs. The
family later moved to Hyannis,
Massachusetts, so that Trainor
and her two brothers, Ryan
and Justin, could attend Nauset
Regional High School in nearby
North Eastham.

At age 17, Trainor won the
worldwide Sonicbids (2011)
"Tennessee Concerts Song
with her song You're
Good With Me. She attended
the Durango Songwriter's Expo
and Big Al Anderson of NRBQ
introduced her to Carla
Wallace of Big Yellow Dog
Music. Trainor signed as a
songwriter with Big Yellow Dog
Music shortly after her 18th
birthday, while she was still in
high school. In 2011, Trainor
wrote and self-released two
albums, I'll Sing With You and
Only 17. She went on several
writing trips to Los Angeles,
New York City, and Nashville.
She settled in Nashville full-time
when she was 19. She has had
songwriting cuts with Rascal
Flatts, Sabrina Carpenter, R5,
and many others.

Our Meghan Trainor page
Pro musicians, garage bands,
indie artists: looking to boost your
pr image without the expense of an
agent? Are you on a tight budget?

We've been friends with Colonel
Tamar Alexia Fleishman for years.
Professional country musicians,
rockers, agents and venues in
Nashville respect her experience,
expertise, tenacity and skills. She's
a lawyer, journalist and an agent!
Colonel Tamar (a Kentucky Colonel, just like Colonel Tom Parker) can create
a one-sheet for you from scratch (even if you don't have much in the way of a
head start). One-sheets, friends, are a one page bio/photo array/contact sheet.
You can print them out, mail them or give to venue owners (hey, why not . . .
save $ on stamps!), email them. You can edit them as time goes on.
They're yours to keep forever!

Click here for more information
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