The Southern-rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd will soon get two markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail.
On October 20, 1977, the band’s chartered airplane ran out of fuel and crashed in the woods near Gillsburg, Miss., killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, singer and guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, who was Steve Gaines sister, and assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick. Also killed were the two pilots, Walter McCreary and William Gray. Twenty other passengers survived.
Skynyrd fan Mike Rounsaville is raising money on a GoFundMe page, and he had nearly reached his $10,000 goal last week. The Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center Foundation is also collecting donations for the markers. The McComb facility treated survivors of the crash.
The two markers are scheduled for an October unveiling, reports the Enterprise-Journal. One will be near the crash site in Gillsburg and the other at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center.
Lynyrd Skynyrd formed in Florida in 1964. The band’s big hits, “Sweet HomeAlabama” and “Free Bird” are still popular on classic rock radio stations. Reformed with new personnel in 1987, the band is touring Europe and the U.S. this year.