October 20, 1977 Ronnie van
Zant, Steven Gaines,Cassie Gaines,
died in an airplane crash.
Collins died in 1990.
was discovered playing in an Atlanta club by Blood Sweat And Tears
founder Al Kooper in 1972. Kooper signed them to his new Sounds
of the South record label and released Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd,
which included the classic "Freebird," probably the
second most requested song in rock history. The band which drew
heavily from the hard English bluesrock sound had the good fortune
to have a fan in the Who's Pete Townshend, who requested that
Skynyrd open for the 1973 Quadrophenia tour. As a result the band
developed a strong fan base early in their career. "Sweet
Home Alabama" from Second Helping was the band's biggest
single. Other singles included "Saturday Night Special,"
"What's your Name," and "You Got That Right."
band's career was cut short when their plane crashed At 6:42 PM
October 20, 1977. Gaines, his sister Cassie Gaines (one of three
female backup singers), Ronnie Van Zant, and their personal manager
Dean Kilpatrick were killed when their rented single-engine Convair
240 plane short of fuel crashed into a swamp in Gillsburg, MS
enroute to play at a Louisiana University on a 50 city tour. Gary
Rossington, Allen Collins, Billy Powell and Leon Wilkenson were
all seriously injured but eventually recovered.
One week earlier,
the band had released its fourth album, Sreet Survivors, which
pictured the band surrounded by flames. Five hundred thousend
copies had already been sold when the crach occurred. The remaining
copies were pulled and a new cover was designed. Ronny van Zant
was buried in Jacksonville, "Freebird" the song he wrote
as a tribute to Duane Allman, was plaid in dedication to him.
player Allan Collins lost his wife in 1980 and in 1986 his girlfriend.
Allen formed the short-livrd Rossington-Collins Band with other
Lynyrd Skynyrd survivors, became wheelchair-bound from a car accident,
and died of pneumonia on Jnuary- 23 -1990 Aged 37.