The Music's Over

but the songs live on forever

Posts Tagged ‘Cassie Gaines’

Died On This Date (July 27, 2001) Leon Wilkeson / Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted by themusicsover on July 27, 2010

Leon Wilkeson
April 2, 1952 – July 27, 2001

Leon Wilkeson was an up-and-coming bassist in and around Jacksonville, Florida when he was asked to join Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972.  Although he didn’t play on the band’s debut album due to his own apprehension, he played with them for the better part of the next 30 years.  With his help, Lynyrd Skynyrd became one of the biggest rock bands of the ’70s.  In 1977, tragedy struck when the band’s plane crashed killing band members, Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and road manager Dean Kilpatrick.  Wilkeson was one of the few passangers who survived.  The band undertandably dissolved by reformed with the surviving members in 1987.  Leon Wilkeson died of emphysema and liver disease on July 27, 2001.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Second Helping (Remastered) - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted in Musician, Rock, Singer, Southern Rock | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (June 24, 2010) JoJo Billingsley / Back Up Singer For Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted by themusicsover on June 24, 2010

JoJo Billingsley (Born Deborah Jo White)
1952 – June 24, 2010

JoJo Billingsley was a songwriter and vocalist who is perhaps best remembered as a member of the “Honkettes,” the so-nicknamed back-up singers for Lynyrd Skynyrd for nearly four years.  Billingsley joined the group in 1975, touring the world during their peak years.  That all came to a tragic end on October 20, 1977 when she was the only member of the band not killed in a plane crash that took the lives of Ronnie Van Zant, Cassie Gaines, Steve Gaines, Dean Kilpatrick (the band’s road manager) the pilot and co-pilot.  Billingsley has always maintained that she had a dream that the plane would crash just two nights prior and tried to stop the others from taking it.  The accident lead her to devote her life to the Lord as both a singer and later, minister.  In 2006, she reunited with the then-current members of Lynyrd Skynyrd at a their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  She also performed with members of the group at occasional charity or memorial events in recent years.  Jojo Billingsley was 58 when she died of cancer on June 24, 2010.

Thanks to Craig Rosen of Number1Albums for the assist.



Posted in Rock, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (January 28, 2009) Billy Powell / Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted by themusicsover on January 28, 2010

Bill Powell
June 3, 1952 – January 28, 2009

Photo by David Plastik - Click To Order Quality Prints - Discount code: 10OFF

Though born in Corpus Christi, future Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist, Billy Powell spent much of his “navy brat” youth in Italy until his father passed away when he was just eight years old. Back in the United States, the Powell family settled in Florida and Billy was enrolled in military school where he learned the piano. Noted as a natural with the instrument, Powell continued his training in college and soon took a job as roadie for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Eventually he was offered a spot in the band after Ronnie Van Zant heard him play. But in 1977, tragedy struck just three days after the release of their landmark Street Survivors album when a plane carrying the band crashed into the swamps of Mississippi killing Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and manager Dean Kilpatrick. Powell was one of the survivors. For the time being, Lynyrd Skynyrd was no more, so Powell continued on in such bands as Alias, Vision and the Rossington-Collins Band alongside his former Skynyrd band mates Allen Collins and Gary Rossington. In 1987 Powell, along with the surviving members of Skynyrd reformed and have been together ever since.  In the early morning hours of January 28, 2009, paramedics arrived at Powell’s home, responding to his 911 call, reporting he was having shortness of breath.  Finding him unconscious, the paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him.  He died of what was presumed to be a heart attack at the age of 56.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the assist.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted in Musician, Rock, Southern Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (October 20, 1977) Ronnie Van Zant / Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted by themusicsover on October 20, 2009

Ronnie Van Zant
January 15, 1948 – October 20, 1977

Ronnie Van Zant was the singer and main songwriter for southern rock powerhouse, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band he formed in 1964 with fellow high school classmates.  The band slugged it out on the road in and around the southeast region of the U.S. until they got their break by getting signed to MCA Records in 1972.  The following year, they released their debut album, pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd, which included such future hits and Southern rock staples as “Gimme Three Steps,” “Tuesday’s Gone,” and of course, “Free Bird.”  The hits continued to roll in and the band soon found them self touring with such bands as the Who and the Rolling Stones.  By late 1977, the band was as popular as any in America, had just completed their Street Survivors album, and were in the middle of what was to be their biggest tour yet.  But then one of popular music’s worst tragedies struck.  On October 20, 1977, while flying between shows in Greenville, South Carolina and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, their small chartered plane experienced engine trouble causing it to crash outside of Gillsburg, Mississippi.  Dead on impact were band members, Ronnie Van Zant (29), Cassie Gaines (29), Steve Gaines (28), road manager, Dean Kilpatrick, the pilot and co-pilot.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted in Musician, Rock, Singer, Songwriter, Southern Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (October 20, 1977) Dean Kilpatrick / Lynyrd Skynyrd Road Manager

Posted by themusicsover on October 20, 2009

Dean Kilpatrick
May 30, 1949 – October 20, 1977

Just three days after the release of Street Survivors, several members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, including Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, his sister, Cassie Gaines and road manager, Dean Kilpatrick boarded a small plane in Greenville, SC to Baton Rouge, LA.  For unknown reasons, the plane ran out of fuel just outside of Gillsburg, MS and crashed in the woods.  Van Zant, Cassie and Steve Gaines, and Kilpatrick were killed instantly.  Although other band members survived and the group’s popularity had grown significantly in recent months, Lynyrd Skynyrd was over until their much welcomed reformation in 1987.



Posted in Manager | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »