Ed King of Lynyrd Skynyrd & Strawberry Alarm Clock Dead At 68
King was with Skynyrd from 1972 to 1975 and again in 1987 until 1996. He was in the psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock who had the hit ‘Incense and Peppermints’ during the “Summer of Love” in 1967.
Guitarist Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd posted the following statement on his Facebook page. “I’ve just found out about Ed’s passing and I’m shocked and saddened, Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player. I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in Rock and Roll Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and his family.”
King actually met the boys in Lynyrd Skynyrd when they opened for Strawberry Alarm Clock in 1968 and he was joined them just 4-5 years later. King was on Skynyrd’s first three albums. He co-wrote “Poison Whiskey” with lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant on their debut ‘Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd’ from August 1973. On their sophomore album king co-wrote ‘Workin’ for MCA,”Swamp Music’ and their most well know hit ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ King also co-wrote the very first tune on their third album, ‘Nuthin’ Fancy’ called ‘Saturday Night Special’ as well as ‘Railroad Song,’ and ‘Whiskey Rock-a-Roller.” By 1975 he had left the band so he was not on that horrific plane crash that killed guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister Cassie Gaines, singer Ronnie Van Zant and other members of the crew on October 20th 1977.
After a long hiatus Lynyrd Skynyrd got back together with Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny as lead singer and King was back in the fold along with Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle in 1987. King left again in 1996.
King was part of that three guitar sound that Skynyrd was so famous for. No cause of death was released yet but he had been battling lung cancer. – by John Beaudin
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John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 35 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.
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