This Day in Rock History: Tragedy strikes Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd is a band that has seen way too much tragedy, with the worst of it coming on October 20, 1977.

On that day, the charter plane the band was traveling on crashed in Gillsburg, Mississippi. The plane had been heading towards Baton Rouge, Louisiana when it ran out of gas, resulting in a crash that wound up lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, backup vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray.

The band broke up following the crash, making a return in 1987.

The crash came three days after the release of the album Street Survivors, which showed Steve Gaines in flames on the original cover. The cover wound up being replaced with a version featuring the same picture with an all-black background.

Charlie Daniels posted his memories of the crash on Twitter Tuesday morning:

Van Zant and Cassie Gaines were 29 years old at the time of the crash. Steve Gaines was 28.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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