Home > RIP, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin' > Billy Powell 1952 – 2009

Billy Powell 1952 – 2009

January 29th, 2009

When rock ‘n’ roll fans think of the Lynyrd Skynyrd sound they usually think of the three guitar assault, the voice of Ronnie Van Zandt.  But a key element in the sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd was the piano playing of Billy Powell. Powell was one of the best rock and roll piano players ever and played with Skynyrd from before their first album until his death yesterday of an apparent heart attack at his Florida home.

Powell survived the famous Skynyrd plane crash into a Mississippi swamp that killed Van Zandt, Guitarist Steve Gaines and back-up singer Cassie Gaines with just a facial laceration, although one severe enough that he almost lost his nose. He was the only member of the band able to attend the funerals of his band mates.

In the end, you can’t beat a bad heart, and yesterday Billy Powell called 911 complaining of difficulty breathing. Paramedics found him in the bedroom, apparently still holding the phone. He was 56 years old.

Piano solo at 2:32

RIP, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin'

  1. real conservative
    January 29th, 2009 at 11:29 | #1

    The piano solo is almost lost in the mix, but good stuff none the less. Thank God, Rock and Roll is coming back. Why did they foist that rap ^%$ on us anyways?

  2. January 29th, 2009 at 11:39 | #2

    Yea, sorry about the mix on the solo. I played a pile of videos trying to find one that had something, this was as good as it got. Of course I could have put up the intro to Freebird, but everyone else is doing that already.

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