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Lynyrd Skynyrd Member Billy Powell Dies at 56

SemiAutoSam

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Billy Powell dead at 56

Another classic rocker passes to the other side.

NEW YORK (Billboard) – Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell died Wednesday morning (January 28) at his home in Orange Park, Fla. He was 56.

According to the Associated Press, Powell called 911 around 12:55 a.m., saying he was having trouble breathing. Rescue crews arrived at the home, but Powell was pronounced dead just before 2 a.m.

Orange Park Police Lt. Mark Cornett told the AP that Powell had missed an appointment yesterday for a cardiac evaluation.

Powell, whose fluid piano runs spiced such classic Skynyrd songs as "Freebird," "Call Me the Breeze" and "Sweet Home Alabama," and founding guitarist Gary Rossington were the only two original members of the Southern rock band to survive the 1977 plane crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backup vocalist Cassie Gaines.

Since then, guitarist Allen Collins and bassist Leon Wilkeson have also died; former drummer Artimus Pyle survived the crash but no longer tours with the band, which re-formed in 1987 and still is a powerful concert draw.

Skynyrd lore has it that Powell, a former roadie for the band in its earliest incarnations, was asked to join by Van Zant when the latter heard Powell's keyboard take on "Freebird."

According to the band's publicist, as-yet-unspecified shows will be canceled as a result of Powell's death. Skynyrd was slated to perform Friday (January 30) in Kinder, La., and the following day in Biloxi, Miss. A European tour was set to begin May 20 in Finland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7krYYiJUdY
 
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Ah damn.

Skynyrd is one of my absolute favorite bands of all time. As a recreational hack guitarist, Gary Rossington was the primary inspiration for my choice of a Stratocaster.

Hate to see another one of these musicians pass.

Rest In Peace. Hope you found your Sweet Home. [crying]
 
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Goddamn it. I've got a bunch of Skynyrd queued up on media player now while trying to play some mindless WoW, and I've got this frickin lump in my throat.
 

BBQ.Uncle

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doobie

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No idea who Billy Powel is, but I think this was posted earlier already.
 

TonyD

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Its hitting the Jax area kind of hard (Skynard I guess is considered a hometown band).

RIP man.
I was at the Eagles concert in Jax Wed. night when I learned of his death from a family friend of Powell's. They were all from Jax, FL. Their bad was named after their Gym teacher Leonard Skinner. [sad2]
 
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I was at the Eagles concert in Jax Wed. night when I learned of his death from a family friend of Powell's. They were all from Jax, FL. Their bad was named after their Gym teacher Leonard Skinner. [sad2]
I had thought I heard they were all from Jax but wasn't 100% sure.

Next time your in town let me know so I can buy you one or something.
 
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