The Charlie Daniels Band is reflecting on a horrific moment in music history when legendary group Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed. The tragic incident happened 43 years ago on this day, October 20.
On Tuesday, the band shared a picture with the caption: “ON THIS DAY in 1977, a plane carrying the Lynyrd @Skynyrd band & crew crashed in Gillsburg, MS killing both pilots, guitarist Steve Gaines & his sister & backup singer Cassie, roadie Dean Kilpatrick & Charlie’s dear friend & Skynyrd had singer, Ronnie Van Zant. – TeamCDB/BW.”
The band shared a photo of the iconic Southern rock group along with a quote from the lyrics from their own song “Reflections.” The Charlie Daniels Band tune was released in 1979 and touched on the heartbreaking incident.
“It was October in St. Louis town / When we heard that the Free Bird had fell to the ground / We all said a prayer before we went down to play,” the lyrics read.
A number of Charlie Daniels Band fans replied to the message expressing their sadness. “Broke our hearts,” one user writes. “They were true freebirds.”
“Still just as sad today as it was then,” another user writes. “And still my favorite music to listen to.”
The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash
Back in 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd was at the height of their musical career. With timeless hits like “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” the group quickly took the music world by storm.
The band was flying from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Lousiana for a concert. According to reports, the plane ran out of fuel.
The pilots attempted an emergency landing at a small airstrip, but struck trees on its way down. The plane then crashed as a result, claiming the lives of many on the aircraft.
After the tragic incident, the group took a 10-year hiatus. Learn more about the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash here.