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The 100 Defining Moments in Southern Rock: Part Six (Final Installment)

17. Bonnie Bramlett’s Run On Roseanne (1991) Bonnie (Then called Bonnie Sheridan) shows up as a waitress in a diner and a friend of Roseanne in both the third and fourth season of the comedy series. She even sang on a couple of episodes.

16. Toy Caldwell Sits Down Behind The Pedal Steel (1973) Besides being the fastest thumb in the South and one of our finest guitarists, Toy was also a master of the steel guitar, adding his Marshall Tucker magic to classic songs like “Fire On The Mountain” and “Desert Skies.”

15. The Allmans Play MTV Unplugged (December 9, 1990) What a band! This version of The Brothers  featured Warren Haynes, the late Allen Woody, Gregg, Dickey, Jaimoe, Butch and Mr. Johnny Neel on keys, and they sure sounded great acoustic, especially on the Robert johnson classic, “Come On Into My Kitchen.”  With the new Dreams boxed set out and a new studio album out, the new Brothers were smokin.'

14. Lynyrd Skynyrd Enter Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (March 13, 2006) And the Southern Rock world rejoiced! Ronnie and his band were honored at long last, as Kid Rock read the induction just before the current band reunited for two songs with Ed King, Bob Burns, JoJo Billingsley, Leslie Hawkins and Artimus Pyle.

13. Hotels, Motels and Road Shows (1978) The ultimate live compilation from Capricorn. Two LPs featured live tracks from Stillwater, The Dixie Dregs, The Marshall Tucker Band, Bonnie Bramlett, Grinderswitch, Elvin Bishop, Wet Willie, Richard Betts, Gregg Allman, and The Allman Brothers Band.

12. “Dreams” Times Two (1970, 1979) “Dreams” was a hell of a blues tune by The Allman Brothers Band, then it became a rocker in the hands of Florida’s Molly Hatchet, creating two very distinct versions of the same Gregg Allman penned song.

11. Hank Williams, Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin’ Over Tonight”
(1985) Hank rocked the country with a killer all-star video that featured tons of babes, as well as Paul Williams, Jim Varney, The Oak Ridge Boys, Little Jimmy Dickens, George Thorogood, Waylon, Grandpa Jones, Cheech and Chong, Kris Kristofferson, Porter Wagoner, Willie Nelson, Merle Kilgore, Dickey Betts, Jimmy Hall, Ronnie McDowell, Bobby Bare, Mel Tillis and more.

10. Jimmy Carter Rocks The Vote (1976) Democratic Presidential nominee Jimmy Carter from Plains, Georgia brought all his own rowdy friends out in support of his campaign, including close friend Phil Walden of Capricorn Records, The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker and many others who played fund raisers for the Southern President, himself a huge fan of Southern Rock.

9. Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnics (1972) Willie’s annual shows featured many of our favorite performers over the years, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Toy Caldwell, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Bob Thornton, Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, Waylon, and in 2007, The Drive By Truckers.

8. The Midnight Special Features The Marshall Tucker Band, The Charlie
Daniels Band
(January 24, 1975) A major advance in Southern Rock, MTB hosted the show and played their hit “This Ol’ Cowboy,” as well as “In My Own Way” and “24 Hours at a Time,” with Charlie Daniels on fiddle. The CDB rocked on “The South's Gonna Do It," "Long Haired Country Boy" and  "Cabaio Diablo." The show also featured Olivia Newton John and Poco.

7. Duane Allman Dies in Motorcycle Crash (October 29, 1971) Berry Oakley Dies in Motorcycle Crash (November 11, 1972) The founder of The Allman Brothers Band died in a motorbike wreck in Macon, Georgia in 1971 and the music world was rocked. A year later, his brother in arms, bassist Berry Oakley died in a similar bike crash only three blocks from where brother Duane died.

6. Internet Groups and Chat Rooms (1996) As the internet began to grow, music fans began to find one another, and Southern Rock was no exception. Yahoo Groups, before they were called Yahoo Groups, were cropping up in the mid to late 90’s, including Rebel Rock, Skynyrd Frynds and many others, as well as band specific chat rooms where fans meet to discuss their favorite bands and talk about what adult beverage they might be drinking that night.

5. Saturday Night in Macon, Georgia ( 1975) A special episode of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert filmed on location in Macon, Georgia, featuring an outdoor afternoon set by Wet Willie before moving indoors for The Marshall Tucker Band, comedian Martin Mull and The Allman Brothers Band. A pivotal moment in Southern Rock history, to be sure.

4. At Fillmore East - The Allman Brothers Band (1971) The double live album by The Allman Brothers Band, universally regarded as their breakthrough success. Released in July of 1971, At Fillmore East is hailed as one of the greatest live recordings in the history of rock music. It was number 49 among Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and is consistently named the favorite Southern Rock album of all time by fans and fellow rockers alike.
3. Capricorn Records Opens (1969) Backed by Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records, Phil Walden and company opened the Southern record label based in Macon, Georgia in 1969. The label was the home of The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Bonnie Bramlett, Eddie Hinton, Grinderswitch and many others.  Capricorn went out of business in 1979, reopened in the early 1990s (with Lynyrd Skynyrd signing on), closed for good in 2002.

2. Volunteer Jam (October 4, 1974) The Charlie Daniels Band hosted their first jam at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee with band members Barry Barnes (guitar), Taz Digregorio (keyboards), Mark Fitzgerald (bass), Gary Allen (drums) and Freddy Edwards (drums). This was the beginning of a tradition. and featured The Marshall Tucker Band, Dickey Betts, Grinderswitch and many more. That jam became a feature film which has recently been released on DVD.

With a new band lineup that featured guitarist Tommy Crain and bassist Charlie Hayward, the second jam was held in 1975. It was released in the form of a movie, It was billed as the "First Southern Rock movie," and even appearing in theaters across the US. The movie was re-released in 2007 on DVD. The Jam featured The Marshall Tucker Band, Jimmy Hall, Dickey Betts, Grinderswitch and many others.

In 1979, Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for the first time since the 1977 plane crash, with several members of the Charlie Daniels Band. CDB keyboardist Taz Digregorio took lead vocals on "Call Me The Breeze" followed by an extended instrumental version of "Freebird."

Over the years, each of the Nashville concerts featured a long list of special guests
appearing onstage with Charlie and his band including Ted Nugent, The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, The Winters Brothers Band, Billy Joel, Elvin Bishop Garth Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tammy Wynette, Little Richard, James Brown, Roy Acuff, Carl Perkins, The Marshall Tucker Band, Alabama, Don Henley and many more. Many of these concerts were broadcast live on the radio. The Volunteer Jam on nationwide TV included a live broadcast on the Jerry Lewis Telethon and a Dick Clark produced network special.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Reunited for Volunteer Jam 1987, Toy Caldwell played a blistering set on the same show.

Beginning in 1999, Charlie took the Volunteer Jam on the road for almost yearly tours, featuring bands like The MTB, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, Hank Williams, Jr, Edgar Winter, Jimmy Hall and more. The 2008 Tour featured Shooter Jennings and 38 Special.

1. The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash (Thursday, October 20, 1977)  Just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and three dates into their most successful
headlining tour to date, Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered Convair 240 developed mechanical difficulties near the end of their flight from Greenville, South Carolina to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though the pilots attempted an emergency landing on a small airstrip, the plane ran out of fuel and crashed in a forest near McComb, Mississippi, just short of its goal.

Singer/songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were all killed on impact. Other band members were injured, some seriously.

Drummer Artimus Pyle crawled out of the plane wreckage with several broken ribs, but still went for help, along with road crew members Kenneth Peden, Jr. and Mark Frank. The three injured men hiked some distance from the crash site, through swampy woods, and finally flagged down farmer Johnny Mote, who had come to investigate.

The Southern Rock world was devastated, but this was only the beginning of the Skynyrd Legend, which is bigger now than ever before. The tragedy of the airplane crash is our number one defining moment in the history of Southern Rock.

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