Lynyrd Skynyrd (leh-nerd skin-nerd) has risen many times from their ashes, enduring death and tragedy, to become a legendery rock group of America's working people.The band was formed in Gainesville by high-school friends in 1965 under the name My Backyard and the line-up was made up of Ronnie Van Zant - vocalist/songwriter, Gary Rossington - guitarist, Allen Collins - guitarist, Larry Jungstrom - bassist and Bob Burns - drummer. They underwent several name changes and eventually remained with Lynyrd Skynyrd, a "tribute" to their gym teacher Leonard Skinner, who used to punish pupils with long hair.Performing through the 60's the band had little succes until they were discovered by Al Kooper who later signed them to MCA Records. In 1973 he produced their first studio release Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, that showcased the track Free Bird, a tribute to the recently deceased Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers. The song would go into the Billboard charts at #19 and the triple-guitar attack would become a signature sound.But this was not to be their biggest hit which was to come with the 1974 release of their second album Second Helping and the single Sweet Home Alabama. The album eventualy went multi-platinum. The line-up of the band changed as Artimus Pyle replaced Burns on drumms and King left the group.The year 1975 saw the release of their third album Nuthin' Fancy that marked the band's first Top Ten Hit. This record was followed by Gimme Back My Bullets in 1976 under the production of Tom Dowd and a double live album One More For The Road in 1976 which was a major hit. The album featured new band-member guitarist Steve Gaines and a trio of female backup singers.Another studio album Street Survivors followed in October 1977 announcing a great year for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Only a few days after the release tragedy hit: the plane carrying the band in Baton Rouge crashed and Ronnie Van Zant, Streve Gaines and his sister Cassie died. Lynyrd Skynyrd broke up after the crash.In 1980 The Rossington-Collins Band was formed, featuring four surviving Skynyrd members. But in 1986 tragedy would strike the members of the band again when Collins remained paralyzed afted a car crash and eventualy died of respiratory failure in 1990.In 1987, Rossington, Powell, King, and Wilkeson reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd, adding vocalist Johnny Van Zant ( Ronnie's younger brother ) and guitarist Randall Hall with Johnny taking over as the new lead singer and primary songwriter. Later, Blackfoot guitarist Rickey Medlocke would replace King and ex Outlaw Hughie Thomasson replacing Hall and new drummer Michael Cartellone.