January 28, 2009

Sad News: Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynryd Died Today

I just saw this news. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He was only 56 years old. I don't know the cause of death. The official band website has asked for "respect and understanding during this difficult time". I am sure they will release info when they are ready. :(

Powell first joined Skynyrd in 1973 after serving as the band’s roadie for a year. His keyboard work features prominently on the band’s debut (pronounced ‘leh-’nerd ’skin-’nerd), with Powell credited for crafting the intro for their epic anthem “Free Bird” (Number 191 on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs of All Time). After impressing Ronnie Van Zant with his work on the song, Powell was officially invited to join the band, and remained a member from their debut album until 1977’s Street Survivors.

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Southern (in)Sanity said...

I saw that earlier this evening. What a loss.

As a Southerner and a rock fan, I have long enjoyed Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...


I am not a Southerner, but I am a Southern Rock fan and have loved Lynyrd Skynyrd since day one. So sad.

Starrlight said...

I saw it right after it hit the news and sent Bond an email. That band has sure had it's share and a few other bands share of tragedy.

Freebird is a hell of a lot higher than 191 on my personal list.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...


Its a lot higher on mine too. I lost a friend to suicide and that was his song. We were teenagers at the time. We played that at his memorial service - can you imagine the impact of a bunch of teens huddled around at a cemetery on a gray cloudy day with "Free Bird" blasting? Killer.

Starrlight said...

Have you ever seen Elizabethtown? It's a Cameron Crowe film that everybody seems to hate for some reason. I ADORE it. A funeral is central to the plot. Best use of Freebird ever.

And the double album soundtrack kicks ass.

drewzepmeister said...

Another sad day in rock and roll. Lynyrd Skynyrd is one my favorite southern rock bands. I was fortunate to see them in concert in 1999.

Here's my tribute to Billy Powell.

Bond said...

As I said to Starr when she sent the email

And the band (in Heaven) played on

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