Lynyrd Skynyrd- Second Helping 50th- Gary Rossington, Ed King, Leon Wilkeson

The Lynyrd Skynyrd April 1974 release, Second Helping, was the breakthrough album which introduced the Southern Rock rowdies to mainstream America, not their 1973 debut Pronounced. But don’t take my word for it: my classic rock interviews with Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder the late Gary Rossington, dearly departed Leon Wilkeson, and composer of “Sweet Home Alabama” the late Ed King, set the table for Second Helping‘s golden anniversary.

 Sure, the Lynyrd Skynyrd legend inevitably circles back to their first album Pronounced  and the epic “Free Bird”, but don’t let revisionist history fool you: this April 1974 follow-up, Second Helping,  is the incredibly strong album which busted them wide open, & not just because of the rebel singalong “Sweet Home Alabama”. Just look at this tune stack: “Don’t Ask Me No Questions”,”Workin’ for MCA”,”The Needle and the Spoon”, their definitive version of the late J.J.Cale’s “Call Me the Breeze”, and two songs unlike anything on the first Lynyrd Skynyrd album, “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” and the achingly bluesy “I Need You”. Original guitarists Gary Rossington (died 3/5/23)  joinedme In the Studio, plus archival comments from the departed Ed King and excerpts from bass player Leon Wilkeson’s final national radio interview, for a Second Helping  of southern- fried  Southern Rock. –Redbeard