Saturday, February 27: Rock Birthdays
Happy Birthday today (Feb. 27) to Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant. He's 57. Other rockers celebrating include guitarist Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden (59) and guitarist Neal Schon of Journey (62).
Johnny Van Zant is the younger brother of the late Ronnie Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd's former singer and co-founder, and 38 Special founder Donnie Van Zant. Lynyrd Skynyrd formed out of Jacksonville, Florida and came up with the Lynyrd Skynyrd name in 1969. The band rose to fame with signature songs like "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Freebird", and gained notoriety for their live performances. At the peak of their success, a plane crash took the lives of three band members, putting an end to the band's classic lineup. The surviving band members reunited in 1987 with original singer Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother Johnny on vocals. Johnny Van Zant has kept Lynyrd Skynrd going ever since, keeping the memory of his brother alive.