Welcome to my Music Diary – 20th October!
On the 20th October 1977 a tragic plane crash happened. The Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd was on the way to Baton Rouge for playing the next show. The airplan ran out on fuel and the pilots tried to make an emergency landing in Gilsburg, Mississippi. Unfortunatley the landing was not successful for all passengers: Singer Ronnie van Zant, Guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister Cassie were killed. Also the assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray didn’t survive the accident. The other band members (Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, Artimus Pyle and Leslie Hawkins), the tour manager Ron Eckerman and the rest of the road crew survived but suffered injuries.
The plane crash happended just three days after the release of the fifth studio album „Street Survivors„, which reached No. 5 on the US charts. After this tragic accident the original artwork of the sleeve was changed. The first press shows the band engulfed in flames. MCA Records withdraw the cover and replaced it with a similar band picture against a simple black background.
Lynyrd Skynyrd called it a day after this tragedy, but reunited in 1987. The new line up featured the crash survivors Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle. Guitarist Ed King, who had left the band two years before the crash, joined the group. And Johnny van Zant, the younger brother of Ronnie, became the new lead singer and primary songwriter.
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