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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Lynyrd Skynyrd

Photo courtesy of Flickr/ Dena Flows

Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the most well-known rock bands of the classic rock era and they continue to tour to this day. In fact, 96.3 The Blaze is giving away tickets to see them at the Rock Jam in western Colorado August 23 through August 24. They’ve gone through a lot: a plane crash that killed many of the original members, a change in their lineup, and a public relations debacle over their association with the Confederate Flag. Here are five things you may not know about the southern rock band.



2006 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction



In 2006, Lynyrd Skynyrd were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Rock groups are eligible for induction into the prestigious institution 25 years after the release of their first record. Candidates are judged on their influence on rock and roll music and longevity, among other factors.



A Band of Many Names



Like many bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd changed its name a few times before it arrived at Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some of the other names the group called themselves included My Backyard, The Noble Five, Conqueror Worm, Sons of Satan, the Wildcats, and the One Percent. They stuck with the name One Percent for many years until switching once and for all to Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1970.



Lynyrd Skynyrd, High School Gym Teacher



When the band members were in grade school in the 1960s, one of their teachers named Leonard Skinner disciplined the boys for letting their hair grow too long. The boys eventually dropped out of school. Later on, they changed their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd to “protect the guilty.” 



A Rotating Cast of Characters



Over the course of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s long career, there have been 18 different people in the band. Like many bands, the lineup changed over time. A plane crash in 1977 killed lead singer and song writer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, road manager Dean Kilpatrick and both pilots. The current Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup has just two of the original members.



Fuel Exhaustion Caused the 1977 Plane Crash



According to the National Traffic Safety Board, the plane crash was caused by a lack of fuel. The plane stalled and an impromptu landing was made in a swampy area of Mississippi.


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