Over the fifty years the perception seems to have become that Lynyrd Skynyrd had a date with destiny, an almost Shakespearean drama of dreams, aspirations, triumph, and tragedy to which all of us were immediately and keenly aware from the moment of “Pronounced” ‘s release. The late Gary Rossington dismissed that assumption as no more true than imagining Will Shakespeare did not toil, struggle, and starve in relative obscurity in his time.
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“Things Goin’ On”, a song that appeared on the “Pronounced” album. This acoustic performance of it on Q102 in Dallas March 24,1993 featured Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant plus two original Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarists, Gary Rossington and the late Ed King
Highly significant in their long, colorful history,” Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991″ was the band’s sixth studio album but, more importantly, the first new studio album since 1977’s fateful “Street Survivors”; their first since the tragic plane crash that year claimed the lives of three band members; their first to anoint original Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s youngest brother, Johnny, as their permanent singer; the return of original guitarist Ed King, And sadly, “Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991” would be the first album without original guitarist Allen Collins.
The tale of Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Street Survivors” seems to have been hatched in the vivid imagination of Tennessee Williams, Harper Lee, or William Faulkner, but the characters are so colorful, the childhood bonds so strong, the struggles so personal, the victories so inspiring, and the heartbreak so deep that there is simply no need for hyperbole in telling it. The dearly beloved late co-founder Gary Rossington was my guest In the Studio.
Lynyrd Skynyrd earliest known recording of “Sweet Home Alabama” before a live Ardent Studio audience in Memphis 10/30/73.
In September 1976, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Atlanta’s venerable Fox Theater each needed a minor miracle. Performing over three hundred shows on 1975’s notorious “Torture Tour” had original Lynyrd Skynyrd members dropping like flies. Three things were evident: America’s hyped bicentennial was entering the history books even as the wrecking ball was heading for the Fox Theater; a live “best of” discounted price double album by Peter Frampton earlier that year was re-writing the record books; and Lynyrd Skynyrd was selling more concert tickets than copies of their diminished ranks studio album “Gimme Back My Bullets”. The band needed a stop-gap recording that could capture their lightning in a bottle live show, and the Fox Theater needed a lightning rod which could make saving it a cause celebre. Original co-founder the late guitarist Gary Rossington joined me here In the Studio for the tale behind “One More from the Road”.
“Nuthin’ Fancy” indicated a creative well running low for Lynyrd Skynyrd which would only worsen soon on “Gimme Back My Bullets”. No doubt the non-stop pace of nearly constant touring partly was to blame, but there was something darker and even more sinister which no one outside the band knew, nor anyone in it would admit. This tour had casualties…United once again in Eternity, Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkeson, & Ed King played it like they felt it here In the Studio.
Lynyrd Skynyrd in Memphis’ Ardent Studio 10-30-73 performing “Workin’ for MCA”
The late Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd “In the Studio” for a Southern-fried serving of “Second Helping”. My archival interviews with Ed King and Leon Wilkeson final radio interview, as well.
“Woman of Mine” by Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of only two Leon Wilkeson collaborations with lyricist/ singer Ronnie Van Zant, but had it not been performed live in Ardent Studio in Memphis on October 30, 1973 during a promotional broadcast on Memphis radio station WMC-FM, there is a real high probability that we would never have known of its existence…