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Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced /ˌlɪnərd ˈskɪnərd/ LIN-ərd-SKIN-ərd by band members but sometimes pronounced /ˌlɛnərd ˈskɪnərd/ LEN-ərd-SKIN-ərd) is an American rock band, formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1964. The band became prominent in the Southern United States in 1973, and rose to worldwide recognition. Three members and one road crew member died in an airplane crash in 1977; the band reformed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny as the frontman. Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to tour and record. Of its original members, only Gary Rossington remains with the band as of 2010. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006.

History 

Early years

In the summer of 1964, teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the band “The Noble Five” in Jacksonville, Florida. The band changed in 1965 to “My Backyard”, when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns joined. In 1968, the group won a local Battle of the Bands contest and the opening slot on several Southeast shows for the California-based psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock.

In 1970, Van Zant sought a new name. “One Percent” and “The Noble Five” were each considered before the group settled on “Leonard Skinnerd”, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair. The more distinctive spelling was adopted before they released their first album. Note that almost no Southern accent distinguishes between /ɛ/ and /ɪ/ before nasals, so the pronunciation of Leonard Skinner’s name would have been /ˌlɪnərd ˈskɪnər/, which is why the ‘distinctive’ spelling of the name would have made sense to the band members. Despite their high-school acrimony, the band developed a friendlier relationship with Skinner in later years, and invited him to introduce them at a concert in the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum.

Skinner allowed the band to use a photo of his Leonard Skinner Realty sign for the inside of their third album. Skinner died on September 20, 2010, at age 77 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1970, the band auditioned for Alan Walden, who would later become their manager on the newly formed Hustler’s Inc. Walden worked with the band until 1974, when management was turned over to Pete Rudge. The band continued to perform throughout the South in the early 1970s, further developing their hard-driving, blues-rock sound and image, and experimenting with making studio recordings.

During this time, they went through a number of member changes, with Van Zant, Collins and Rossington remaining the only constants. Burns and Junstrom left the band, and were briefly replaced by Rickey Medlocke on drums and Greg Walker on bass. In 1971, with this lineup, they made some recordings at the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. By the time they made a second round of Muscle Shoals recordings in 1972, Burns had rejoined the band and Leon Wilkeson had become Larry Junstrom’s permanent replacement on bass, with Medlocke and Walker having left to play with the southern rock band Blackfoot. Around this time, the band occasionally played shows with both Burns and Medlocke participating, utilizing a dual-drummer approach similar to that of The Allman Brothers. Also in 1972, roadie Billy Powell became the keyboardist for the band.

Discography

Studio Albums

1973 Pronouced – Coming soon 27/08/2011

1975 Nuthin’ Fancy – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/lynyrd-skynyrd-nuthin-fancy/

Unofficial Live Albums (Bootlegs)

Forever (Live In Cardiff 1976) – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/lynyrd-skynyrd-forever-live-in-cardiff-1976/

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