Complete List Of Lynyrd Skynyrd Band Members

Lynyrd Skynyrd Band Members

Feature Photo: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

In 1977, I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd perform at the Nassau Coliseum. Ted Nugent was the opening act. Both groups were on tour together, alternating between who would open and close the show. It was one of the greatest concerts I have ever seen. Ronnie mesmerized the audience. A few months after the concert came that devastating plane crash. It was one of the saddest events in rock and roll history and just in life itself. They will forever remain one of may favorite bands of all time.  This article pays tribute to all the musicians who, at one time, were a member of the legendary band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

LYNYRD SKYNYRD 1960s & 1970s MEMBERS

Ronnie Van Zant

Ronnie Van Zant was one of the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, serving as the band’s lead vocalist from its inception in 1964 until his untimely death in a plane crash in 1977. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Ronnie was the driving force behind the band’s formation and its musical direction. He played a pivotal role in the songwriting process and was the frontman during the band’s initial rise to fame. Van Zant contributed to the band’s first six studio albums, including their debut album “(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)” in 1973, which featured iconic tracks like “Simple Man” and “Free Bird.” Other albums he was involved in include “Second Helping” (1974), “Nuthin’ Fancy” (1975), “Gimme Back My Bullets” (1976), “Street Survivors” (1977), and several live albums and compilations.

Ronnie Van Zant was known for his distinct vocal style and his ability to write songs that captured the Southern rock essence. His lyrics often drew from personal experiences and the Southern lifestyle, blending elements of blues, country, and hard rock. His career outside the band was relatively limited, given his commitment to Lynyrd Skynyrd and his untimely death. However, his impact on the genre of Southern rock is immeasurable, and his legacy continues to be celebrated today.

Gary Rossington

Gary Rossington is a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the band’s last living original member. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, he initially played bass before switching to lead and rhythm guitar. Rossington has been a constant presence in the band, contributing to every Lynyrd Skynyrd album from their 1973 debut to their most recent releases. Despite suffering serious injuries in the 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and other members, Rossington returned to music and was integral in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s reformation in 1987.

Outside of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington formed the Rossington Collins Band with fellow Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins, releasing two albums in the early ’80s. He also released a solo album, “Returned to the Scene of the Crime,” in 1986. Despite these side projects, Rossington’s main musical focus has always been Lynyrd Skynyrd. His unique guitar work and dedication to the band’s legacy have cemented his status as a Southern rock legend.

Allen Collins

Allen Collins was another founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, playing lead and rhythm guitar for the band until the tragic plane crash in 1977. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Collins contributed to the band’s defining albums and co-wrote some of their most enduring songs, including “Free Bird.” After the 1977 tragedy, Collins formed the Rossington Collins Band with Gary Rossington, which achieved moderate success before disbanding.

Collins’ life took a tragic turn in the 1980s; he was involved in a car accident in 1986 that left him paralyzed from the waist down and also claimed the life of his girlfriend. His declining health prevented him from fully participating in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s reformation in 1987, though he did make occasional appearances with the band. Collins passed away in 1990 from complications related to pneumonia. Despite the adversities, his contributions to Lynyrd Skynyrd and the genre of Southern rock continue to be celebrated.

Rickey Medlocke

Rickey Medlocke has a unique history with Lynyrd Skynyrd, having been with the band during its early years as a drummer and then rejoining as a guitarist in 1996. He initially played drums with the band in 1970-1971 but did not appear on any of the studio albums during that period. Medlocke is more renowned for his work with the Southern rock band Blackfoot, which he founded and where he served as the lead vocalist and guitarist. Since rejoining Lynyrd Skynyrd in the late ’90s, he has been a constant presence, contributing to albums like “Edge of Forever,” “Vicious Cycle,” and “God & Guns.”

Bob Burns

Bob Burns was one of the original members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, serving as the band’s drummer from 1964 until 1974. Burns played a significant role in laying down the foundational beats for the band’s early albums, contributing to their 1973 debut “(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)” and their 1974 album “Second Helping.” After leaving the band due to the stress of touring, he was replaced by Artimus Pyle but remained associated with the band’s legacy. Burns did not significantly contribute to other projects outside Lynyrd Skynyrd and unfortunately passed away in a car accident in 2015.

Larry Junstrom

Larry Junstrom was the original bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd but left the band before they gained significant recognition. He played with the band from its formation in 1964 until 1971, although he didn’t feature on any of the band’s studio albums. Junstrom later joined the band .38 Special and achieved success, recording several albums and contributing to hits such as “Hold On Loosely.” He retired from music in 2014 due to a hand injury and passed away in 2019.

Greg T. Walker

Greg T. Walker briefly joined Lynyrd Skynyrd as a bassist in 1970 but did not appear on any of the band’s studio albums. He is more famously associated with the band Blackfoot, where he played bass and contributed to various albums throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Walker had a notable music career outside of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but his association with the band is often cited in the broader context of Southern rock history.

Leon Wilkeson

Leon Wilkeson joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972 as the band’s bassist and remained a key member until his death in 2001. Wilkeson’s bass playing can be heard on albums like “Second Helping,” “Nuthin’ Fancy,” and “Street Survivors,” among others. Known for his flamboyant stage attire, he was a memorable fixture of the band’s live performances. Outside of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wilkeson did not venture into other significant projects, as he was devoted to the band until his untimely passing.

Billy Powell

Billy Powell was the keyboardist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, joining the band in 1972. He contributed to most of the band’s classic albums and was a pivotal part of their sound. Powell survived the 1977 plane crash and was part of the reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup in 1987. He continued to perform with the band until his death in 2009. Aside from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Powell didn’t have notable contributions to other musical projects but remains an iconic figure in the band’s history.

Ed King

Ed King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972 as a guitarist and bassist and contributed to several of the band’s early successes, including co-writing the iconic song “Sweet Home Alabama.” King left the band in 1975 but rejoined when Lynyrd Skynyrd reformed in 1987, staying until 1996. Prior to his time with Skynyrd, King was a member of the psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock. King passed away in 2018 but left an enduring mark on Southern rock with his work in Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Artimus Pyle

Artimus Pyle joined Lynyrd Skynyrd as a drummer in 1974, replacing Bob Burns. Pyle played on albums like “Nuthin’ Fancy,” “Gimme Back My Bullets,” and “Street Survivors” and survived the 1977 plane crash. Pyle participated in the 1987 reformation but left the band in 1991. Outside of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pyle led his own band and released several albums under his name, carving out a separate career in Southern rock.

Steve Gaines

Steve Gaines joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1976 as a guitarist and quickly made a significant impact. He contributed to the 1977 album “Street Survivors,” but his promising career was cut short when he perished in the 1977 plane crash alongside Ronnie Van Zant and other members of the band. Gaines was known for his technical skill and was considered a rising star within the band, making his untimely death all the more tragic.

Cassie Gaines

Cassie Gaines was a background vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and joined the band in 1975. She was a significant part of the group’s “Gimme Back My Bullets” tour and was on board the plane that tragically crashed in 1977, leading to her death along with other members of the band. Before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cassie was part of a musical family and performed in various local acts.

JoJo Billingsley

JoJo Billingsley was another background vocalist who joined Lynyrd Skynyrd around the same time as Cassie Gaines. She was a part of the band’s 1976 album “One More from the Road” but was not on the ill-fated plane crash in 1977. After leaving the band, she became an ordained minister and continued to perform gospel music.

Leslie Hawkins

Leslie Hawkins joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1975 as a background vocalist. Like Cassie Gaines, she was part of the tragic 1977 plane crash but survived. Before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hawkins had worked with various artists and groups, honing her vocal skills. After the crash, she largely stepped back from public performances.

Carol Bristow

Carol Bristow was a background vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd during the early ’90s. She was part of albums like “Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991” and contributed to the band’s evolving sound during that period. Not much is publicly known about her career outside of her time with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

FROM 1980 ON

Johnny Van Zant

Johnny Van Zant, younger brother of original lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, stepped into some big shoes when he became the band’s lead singer in 1987 for the Lynyrd Skynyrd reunion. Since then, he has been the frontman for the band, contributing to all albums released post-reunion, such as “Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991,” “Twenty,” and “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.” Before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny had his own band, the Johnny Van Zant Band, which released several albums in the late ’70s

Michael Cartellone

Michael Cartellone joined Lynyrd Skynyrd as the band’s drummer in 1999. He replaced Owen Hale and quickly made his mark on the band’s sound, contributing to albums like “Vicious Cycle,” “God & Guns,” and “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.” Prior to his work with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cartellone had been the drummer for the rock band Damn Yankees and had also collaborated with other well-known artists such as Ted Nugent and Jack Blades.

Mark Matejka

Mark Matejka, often known as “Sparky,” joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 2006 as a guitarist, replacing Hughie Thomasson who had left the band. Matejka has been part of the lineup for albums like “God & Guns” and “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.” Before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, he had played with Southern rock bands like Hot Apple Pie and was also a touring guitarist for Charlie Daniels.

Peter Keys

Peter Keys became Lynyrd Skynyrd’s keyboardist in 2009, stepping in for the late Billy Powell. He has been a part of the band’s recent albums, including “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.” Keys had a rich musical history before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is the grandson of the pioneering jazz saxophonist and flautist Yusef Lateef and had previously played with a variety of artists and bands, including George Clinton and P-Funk. His keyboard work has added a different texture to the band’s Southern rock sound.

Keith Christopher

Keith Christopher became a part of Lynyrd Skynyrd as a bassist for a brief period in 2017. He replaced Johnny Colt and played bass on the band’s farewell tour. Prior to his involvement with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Christopher had played with several bands, including the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band.

Randall Hall

Randall Hall joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987 and was a part of the band until 1993. He played rhythm guitar, filling in for Allen Collins who was unable to perform due to health reasons. Hall contributed to the albums “Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991” and “The Last Rebel.” Before joining the band, he had played with Allen Collins in the Allen Collins Band.

Kurt Custer

Kurt Custer was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s drummer from 1991 to 1993. He played on albums like “Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991” and “The Last Rebel.” Custer had a variety of musical involvements before and after his stint with Lynyrd Skynyrd, including working with Steve Earle.

Mike Estes

Mike Estes played guitar for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1993 to 1996. He was part of the album “Endangered Species.” Prior to joining the band, Estes had been a member of the Southern rock band Blackfoot.

Owen Hale

Owen Hale was the drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1994 until 1999. He contributed to several albums, including “Twenty” and “Edge of Forever.” Before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, he had been a session drummer and also played with other Southern rock acts.

Hughie Thomasson

Hughie Thomasson joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1996 and played guitar with the band until 2005. He contributed to albums like “Twenty,” “Edge of Forever,” and “Vicious Cycle.” Thomasson was previously a founding member of the band Outlaws and returned to the Outlaws after leaving Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Ean Evans

Ean Evans joined Lynyrd Skynyrd as a bassist in 2001 and was with the band until his untimely death in 2009. He played on albums like “Vicious Cycle,” “God & Guns,” and “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.” Evans had previously been a member of the Southern rock band Copperhead.

Robert Kearns

Robert Kearns was the bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 2009 to 2012, stepping in after the death of Ean Evans. He contributed to the album “God & Guns.” Before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kearns had been a member of the band Cry of Love and had also played with the Bottle Rockets.

Johnny Colt

Johnny Colt was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s bassist from 2012 to 2017. He played on the album “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.” Colt is perhaps best known for his work with The Black Crowes, and he had also been a part of Train and Rock Star Supernova prior to joining Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Dale Krantz-Rossington

Dale Krantz-Rossington has been a background vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd since the late ’80s. She is also known for being the wife of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington. Dale has a rich musical history, having been a member of the Rossington Band and Rossington Collins Band, both of which were side projects involving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Carol Chase

Carol Chase has been associated with Lynyrd Skynyrd as a background vocalist since the late 1990s. She contributed to albums like “Edge of Forever,” “Vicious Cycle,” and “God & Guns.” Aside from her work with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chase has had a long career as a session vocalist and has worked with a wide range of artists in various genres.

Damon Johnson

Damon Johnson was a guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1999 to 2005. He played on albums including “Edge of Forever” and “Vicious Cycle.” Before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnson had been a member of Brother Cane, a rock band that had a couple of hit singles in the 1990s. After leaving Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnson had several other musical ventures, including a stint with Alice Cooper.

Stacy Michelle

Stacy Michelle joined Lynyrd Skynyrd as a background vocalist in 2009. She contributed to the album “Last of a Dyin’ Breed.” Before her association with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stacy had a solo career and also worked as a background vocalist for other artists. She has been part of several musical projects and continues to expand her musical repertoire.

Debbie Bailey

Debbie Bailey, also known as Debbie Bailey-Estes, contributed as a background vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd during the late ’80s. Her contributions were primarily during live performances, and she was part of the band’s efforts to revive their sound and stage presence during this period.

Debbie Davis-Estes

Debbie Davis-Estes was also a background vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd in the late ’80s, often performing alongside Debbie Bailey. Like Bailey, her contributions were mainly during live performances.

Complete List Of Lynyrd Skynyrd Band Members article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain Creative Commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites.

DMCA.com Protection Status

DON’T MISS A BEAT

Be the first to know when a new article is published

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

INXS Songs
Top 10 INXS Songs
carole King Songs
Top 10 Carole King Songs
Marty Friedman Interview
Marty Friedman: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Top 10 Rock Songs You Never Get Sick Of
Top 10 Rock Songs You Never Get Sick Of
10 Best Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
Our 10 Favorite Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
Top 10 Southern Rock Live Albums Of All Time
Top 10 Southern Rock Live Albums Of All Time
Grateful Dead Albums
Top 10 Grateful Dead Albums
Seven Killer Metal Albums
Seven Killer Metal Albums You May Have Never Heard
Elton John: Never Too Late Documentary To Premier In September
Elton John: Never Too Late Documentary To Premier In September
Paul McCartney Will End His 'Got Back Tour In The UK In Dec 2024
Paul McCartney Will End His ‘Got Back Tour In The UK In Dec 2024
REM REUNITES
R.E.M. Performs In Public For First Time In 15 Years
Eagles at the Sphere
Eagles Announce Residency at Sphere in Las Vegas For Fall 2024
Laurance Archer Interview
Laurence Archer of Grand Slam Talks Phil Lynott, Taking on Thin Lizzy Tracks, and joining UFO
Carmine Appice Interview
Carmine Appice: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Kiko Loureiro Interview
Kiko Loureiro, formerly of Megadeth & Angra: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Gilby Clarke, formerly of Guns N' Roses: 10 Records That Changed My Life
Gilby Clarke, formerly of Guns N’ Roses: 10 Records That Changed My Life
New Order Albums
Complete List Of New Order Albums And Songs
The Who Albums
Complete List Of The Who Studio Albums And Songs
Sum 41 Albums
Complete List Of Sum 41 Albums And Songs
Complete List Of Rossington Collins Band Albums
Complete List Of Rossington Collins Band Albums And Songs
9 Bands That Never Replaced Departed Members
Music CDs Comeback
Why Music CDs Have No Chance Of Making A Comeback
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell 40th Anniversary Vinyl Review
Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Complete List Of Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Carly Simon Hotcakes Album Review
Carly Simon’s HOTCAKES Album Still Sizzles After 50 Years
11 Tracks Of Whack Album Review
Walter Becker – 11 Tracks of Whack Album Review