On October 20th, 1977, the rented plane carrying the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and their entourage ran out of fuel and crashed in the middle of a swamp in Gillsburg, Missouri.


Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines were all killed along with manager Dean Kilpatrick. The crash seriously injured the rest of the band and crew who were due to play at Louisiana University that evening.

Though I was never a Skynyrd fan, it was one of those moments where I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news that their plane had gone down. I also remember thinking at the time of just how many musicians have been lost in what is generally considered the safest way to travel.

Here's a partial list: Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Patsy Cline, Otis Redding, Jim Croce, Randy Rhodes, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and John Denver.

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