Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute by Jacquelyn Cooper & Pat Adams at www.tennesseeconcerts.com
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Website by Pat Adams. pat@tennesseeconcerts.com
Web site by Pat Adams
Email: pat@tennesseeconcerts.com
Nashville Tennessee,
with the help of
Jacquelyn Cooper
in Mississippi (plane crash scene)
Web sites include:
Nashville Tennessee

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Email to:  southerntribute@tennesseeconcerts.com
On October 20, 1977, just three
days after the release of Street
Survivors, and five shows into their
most successful headlining tour to
date, Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered
Convair 240 ran out of fuel near the
end of their flight from Greenville,
South Carolina, where they had
just performed at the Greenville
Memorial Auditorium, to LSU in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though
the pilots attempted an emergency
landing on a small airstrip, the
plane crashed in a forest in
Gillsburg, Mississippi.[14] Ronnie
Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie
Gaines, assistant road manager
Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter
McCreary and co-pilot William Gray
were all killed on impact; the other
bandmembers suffered serious

Following the crash and the
ensuing press, Street Survivors
became the band's second
platinum album and reached #5 on
the U.S. album chart. The single
"What's Your Name" reached #13
on the single airplay charts in
January 1978.

The original cover sleeve for Street
Survivors had featured a
photograph of the band, particularly
Steve Gaines, engulfed in flames.
Out of respect for the deceased
(and at the request of Teresa
Gaines, Steve's widow), MCA
Records withdrew the original
cover and replaced it with a similar
image of the band against a
simple black background .[15]
Thirty years later, for the deluxe CD
version of Street Survivors, the
original "flames" cover was

Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded after the
tragedy, reuniting just once to
perform an instrumental version of
"Free Bird" at Charlie Daniels'
Volunteer Jam V in January 1979.
Collins, Rossington, Powell and
Pyle performed the song with
Charlie Daniels and members of
his band. Leon Wilkeson, who was
still undergoing physical therapy for
his badly broken left arm, was in
attendance, along with Judy Van
Zant, Teresa Gaines, JoJo
Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins.

[edit] Hiatus (1977–1987)
Rossington, Collins, Wilkeson and
Powell formed The Rossington-
Collins Band, which released two
albums between 1980 and 1982.
Deliberately avoiding comparisons
with Ronnie Van Zant as well as
suggestions that this band was
Lynyrd Skynyrd reborn, Rossington
and Collins chose a woman, Dale
Krantz, as lead vocalist. However,
as an acknowledgment of their
past, the band's concert encore
would always be an instrumental
version of "Free Bird". Rossington
and Collins eventually had a falling
out over the affections of Dale
Krantz, whom Rossington married
and with whom he formed the
Rossington Band, which released
two albums in the late 1980s and
opened for the Lynyrd Skynyrd
Tribute Tour in 1987–1988.

The other former members of
Lynyrd Skynyrd continued to make
music during the hiatus era. Billy
Powell played keyboards in a
Christian Rock band named
Vision, touring with established
Christian rocker Mylon LeFevre
(who, like Skynyrd, had once
opened for The Who). During
Vision concerts, Powell's
trademark keyboard talent was
often spotlighted and he spoke
about his conversion to Christianity
after the near-fatal plane crash.
Pyle formed The Artimus Pyle Band
in 1982, which occasionally
featured former Honkettes JoJo
Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins.

In 1980, Allen Collins's wife Kathy
died of a massive hemorrhage
while miscarrying their third child.
He formed the Allen Collins Band
in 1983 from the remnants of the
Rossington-Collins Band,
releasing one tepidly-received
album, but many around him
believed that the guitarist's heart
just wasn't in it anymore. Most point
to his wife's death as the moment
that Collins' life began to spin out
of control; he spent several years
bingeing on drugs and alcohol. In
1986, Collins crashed his car while
driving drunk near his home in
Jacksonville, killing his girlfriend
and leaving him permanently
paralyzed from the chest down.
Collins eventually pled no contest
to DUI manslaughter, but was not
given a prison sentence since his
injuries made it obvious that he
would never drive or be a danger to
society again.
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