Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Interesting facts and trivia about Lynyrd Skynyrd. By Songfacts®.

The members of the band all went to school together in Jacksonville, Florida. They had a gym teacher named Leonard Skinner who demanded that they get their hair cut before returning to school. This was the catalyst for them to not only leave school permanently and form a band but also to name the band after Skinner (with a few letters changed so he wouldn't sue them). Skinner died on September 20, 2010 at age 77. Gary Rossington released a statement saying: "Coach Skinner had such a profound impact on our youth that ultimately led us to naming the band, which you know as Lynyrd Skynyrd, after him. Looking back, I cannot imagine it any other way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

On October 20, 1977, Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines died in a plane crash in Mississippi. Gaines' sister, Cassie, who was a backup singer with the group, also died. Walter Wiley McCreary (pilot) William John Gray (co-pliot), Dean Kilpatrick (manager) were also killed in the accident.

Johnny Van Zant took over vocals when his brother died. Their other brother, Donnie is lead singer of .38 Special.


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