History Page | Lynyrd Skynyrd

Skynyrd Startin’ Out


Formed in Jacksonville, FL in 1964 – first as My Backyard, later as The Noble Five, and finally as Lynyrd Skynyrd – the band played over a thousand local gigs by the early 1970’s. All that work paid off when the band got the opportunity to record their first demos at the now iconic Muscle Shoals in Alabama.

Gaining Momentum in Atlanta


After a move to Atlanta, the band began to amass a strong fan following and record labels took notice. Skynyrd was offered an MCA contract and the band laid down the tracks for their 1973 debut album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd).

Opening for The Who

Late 1973

America met the sons of the south through their opening spot for The Who in late 73. “Free Bird”, a product of the Muscle Shoals sessions, quickly became a crowd favorite and the band went back into the studio to record their second album, the aptly named Second Helping.

Sweet Home Alabama Hits Big


A song that started as a joke, Sweet Home Alabama propelled Skynyrd to the top of the Southern rock genre and took their sound worldwide. It landed on the top 100 charts in three countries outside the United States and fueled Skynyrd’s success as one of the top touring acts in the country.

The Tragedy


On October 20th, returning from a show in Greensville, South Carolina, Skynyrd’s chartered plane ran short of fuel and crashed in the Mississippi woods. In the crash, Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines and road manager Dean Kilpatrick along with the two pilots, lost their lives. The rest of the band members recovered from their injuries and the band went on a ten year hiatus.

Second Generation Skynyrd

1987 – 2014

In 1987, Skynyrd reunited for a full-scale tour with Johnny Van Zant taking on lead vocals. The tour and live album recorded during the dates were so successful it bore a a second generation Skynyrd. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, the band endures - recording new music and touring the world – looking to the future, while celebrating their rich history.

Visit the tour page