Lynyrd Skynyrd Wiki: Everything To Know About This Southern Rock Band

Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band, which popularized the Southern Rock music genre. Read all about this band, including its net worth.

What is Lynyrd Skynyrd?

Lynyrd Skynyrd is a renowned American rock band that is best known for popularizing the Southern rock genre. It shot to fame in the 1970s. The band was formed in 1964 with the name, My Backyard in Jacksonville, Florida. It later changed into two other names as The Noble Five and One Percent before finalizing on the name ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ in 1969. The band was known for its live performances and signature songs like ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Simple Man’ and ‘Free Bird’. When the band was it is peak in 1977, owing to a tragic plane crash, band members, Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and singer Cassie Gaines died, resulting in an abrupt end to the 70s era of the band. The band was reformed in 1987 with the surviving members by the lead vocalist Johny Van Zant, the younger brother of deceased Ronnie Van Zant. The band Lynyrd Skynyrd has sold 28 million records in the United States until now. The band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine honored the band by ranking them at No. 95 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2017, a biopic on the Lynyrd Skynyrd band named, ‘Street Survivors’ was announced and the shooting will commence from April.

Net worth of the rock band

Gary Rossington is known as the founding member of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The American musician Gary Rossington is the lead guitar player in the band. Through his musical career accomplishments he has been able to achieve a net worth of $40 million.

Peak years, tragic plane crash and the comeback

Many are curious about the unique name of the band. After deciding on different names for their band, the group settled on Leonard Skinnerd, a mocking tribute to physical education teacher Leonard Skinner at Robert E. Lee High School. It later changed to a more distinctive spelling “Lynyrd Skynyrd”. By 1970, Lynyrd Skynyrd had become a top band in Jacksonville, headlining at some local concerts, and opening for several national acts. The band performed throughout the South in the early 1970s, and developed their hard-driving blues rock sound and image. They experimented with recording their sound in a studio. Skynyrd crafted their distinctively “southern” sound through a creative blend of blues and a slight British rock influence. Let’s read in detail the rising of the band to its peak, the tragic plane crash and the comeback of Lynyrd Skynyrd: Peak years:
After performing for several years and having changed many of their members, in 1972, the band finally comprised of Van Zant, Allen Collins, Rossington, Burns, Wilkeson, and Powell. They were discovered by musician, songwriter, and producer Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat & Tears, who had attended one of their shows at Funocchio’s in Atlanta. He signed the band to his Sounds of the South label. Their popularity kept on increasing and the band had given the world amazing numbers like ‘Simple Man’, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Southern Man’, ‘PowderFinger’, ‘Free Bird’ and many others. The drummer Burns left the band in 1975 and was replaced by Artimus Pyle. Ed King also left the band eventually and at that time, backup singers Leslie Hawkins, Cassie Gaines and JoJo Billingsley (collectively known as The Honkettes) were added, although they were not considered official members. Somewhere around that time, Cassie Gaines joined the team as the third guitarist. 1977’s Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, who had joined the band just a year earlier and was making his studio debut with them. Publicly and privately, Ronnie Van Zant marveled at the multiple talents of Skynyrd’s newest member. The Plane Crash:
Following a performance in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1977, the band boarded a chartered plane and they were scheduled to appear at LSU the following night. After running out of fuel they attempted an emergency landing before crashing in a heavily forested area five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi. Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were killed on impact. Other band members – Allen Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins and tour manager Ron Eckerman and several road crew suffered serious injuries. The accident came just three days after the release of Street Survivors. After the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. They disbanded eventually and would meet only once a while to perform in some concerts. The Comeback:
In 1987, Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for a tour with five 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. Collins was stricken with pneumonia in 1989 and died in 1990, leaving Rossington as the only remaining founding member. The band released its first post-reunion album in 1991, entitled Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991. By that time, the band had added a second drummer, Kurt Custer. Artimus Pyle left the band during the same year, with Custer becoming the band’s sole drummer.

The band went through a lot of changes since then. Some members passed away, some left the band and new ones were added. On February 5, 2005, Lynyrd Skynyrd did a Super Bowl party 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. The band announced their farewell tour on January 25, 2018. Lynyrd Skynyrd announced their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour which will commence on May 4th, 2018. They will include some supporting acts like Kid Rock, Bad Company, Hank Williams Jr., The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, .38 Special, Blackberry Smoke, and Blackfoot.