|Text and some of the Images from the McComb Mississippi, Enterprise-Journal
|Southern Tribute Concert in Gillsburg Mississippi
|Artimus Pyle & others at the Plane Crash Site
|A concert on the
Mote farm, at the
sight of the Lynyrd
Skynyrd plane crash
25 years later,
October 5, 2002
Jay B. Elston
Jimmie Van Zant
& Travis Tritt
|Left: Longtime Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle signs autographs.
Picture by McComb Enterprise Journal. Right: An autographed promotional
picture of Lynyrd Skynyrd & Artimus Pyle Band drummer Artimus Pyle
|An APB (Artimus Pyle Band)
member signs autographs
behind the trailer stage
|Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane
crashed at the site
on October 20, 1977
|Click on Images to Enlarge
at the concert
|Above: Local residents
Jimmie & "Pop" Gerrit
Click on Images to Enlarge
Tritt would not let the other
bands play on this stage, saying,
"they are not professional enough"
|Thanks to Jacquelyn Cooper for pictures
& information. Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane
crashed on her families property,
in the woods behind the house
It's taken 25 years, but
there's finally a concert with
a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd in
the area where the plane
carrying one of the ultimate
Southern rock bands
crashed. When the plane
carrying the group couldn't
make it to the McComb-Pike
County Airport in Fernwood
on their way to a Baton
Rouge Louisiana show in
1977, the pilot did the only
thing he could do: Try to land
with as little possible.
But the plane, out of gas,
|sputtered down into the swampy woods of Fernwood Industries land adjoining
Johnny Mote's property in Gillsburg, crashing through tall pines and falling in jagged
pieces in the night. Six people were killed including three band members. Among the
survivors was longtime Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle, a former marine who new about
survival techniques. But this life-or-death mission was all to real. When the bleeding Pyle
showed up at Mote's home - the same night Mote said there were prison escapees from
Louisiana on the loose - it soon became clear to the landowner that this was no escape.
The band members needed help and fast. Hours later, the dead and injured were carried
out of the swampy area and whisked to hospitals throughout the area. The band, never
again the same - reformed several times with a different line up. There has been talk
every since the crash that someday Lynyrd Skynyrd would play in southwest Mississippi.
The band never did perform here, but it came close this summer. Mote had a deal all but
sealed for the newest Lynyrd Skynyrd band to play the festival, but they backed out, as did
roadmates 38 Special. Artimus Pyle, who heads the APB, the Artimus Pyle Band played
at Mote's Gillsburg farm, joining an all-star lineup. The Southern Tribute featured country
superstar Travis Tritt, Jimmie Van Zant, the Jay B. Elston Band and Russell Walker. Van
Zant is a first cousin of the late Skynyrd frontman. The event ran from 11am until midnight.
Travis Tritt (2002) - Tritt's
latest album, "Down The
Rode I Go" hit record
stores Tuesday. The
Georgia native, who's hits
include "Modern Day
Bonnie & Clyde,"
"Trouble," "Here's A
Quarter (Call Someone
Who Cares)" and "Country
Club", has made nine
"Best Of" issues.
|Jimmie Van Zant (2002) - touring in support of his first J-Birds Records
release "Southern Comfort," which includes a cover of what many believe
to be one of Skynyrd's finest songs, "Simple Man" and "Ronnie's Song,"
a tune he wrote in memory of his cousin. Other acts include Louisiana's
Jay B. Elston Band and Russell Walker, familiar to local music fans.
|Artimus Pyle thanks a small, but loyal crowd of Lynyrd Synyrd fans for coming
to the Southern Tribute Show on Johnny Motes farm near Gillsburg Mississippi.
Molley Hatchet, scheduled to appear at the tribute, pulled out because of Hurricane Lili.
Above: Pictures & Text from McComb Enterprise Journal October 8, 2002
|Below: Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer and plane crash survivor
Artimus Pyle speaks to the crowd. His band, the Artimus Pyle Band
featured former Skynyrd members (after the plane crash)
Tim Lindsey on bass and Mike Estes on guitar.
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|Artimus Pyle on the 40th Anniversary from Nashville
A plane crash killed the lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1977, and 40 years
later, the drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Artimus Pyle, can still remember that day.
He recalled the plane crash and the effort afterwards to get help,
which included him saying that he got shot by the first person he found.
|Gimme Three Steps - Artimus Pyle & the late Bob Burns in Nashville
The Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd's former drummer) Band with Bob Burns
(Lynyrd Skynyrd's first drummer) at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville on March 22, 2013
|The Saturday Night Special Band in Nashville TN performing
Whiskey Rock A Roller - Performed by Ed King & Artimus Pyle
with Lynyrd Skynyrd backup singers JoJo Billingsley & Leslie Hawkins
Members of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd band, Artimus Pyle, Ed King, JoJo Billingsley
and Leslie Hawkins perform Whiskey Rock A Roller with Thane Shearon and the
Saturday Night Special Band at The Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, TN.
|The Breeze & Freebird
Live at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville Tennessee