Lynyrd Skynyrd is arguably the greatest Southern rock band and one of the more commercially successful. The tragic plane crash that killed two band members and subsequent car crash that ultimately took another has added to their legacy. Only one original member plays in the current lineup.
The Allman Brothers Band
Duane Allman is considered by many to be the founder of Southern Rock and the band he formed with his brother, Gregg, the first true Southern rock band. The Allman Brothers Band fused blues, jazz, rock, country, and rhythm and blues into a unique sound that was born in Georgia and quickly gained favor in America at large.
The Charlie Daniels Band
Charlie Daniels was a Southern rock pioneer. He was able to fuse country and bluegrass with rock n’ roll and in the process created a unique sound that many later tried to imitate. His famous annual Volunteer Jams brought in the best Southern rock acts, and the CDB was considered one of the best live acts in America. Daniels was and is also unabashedly pro-Southern.
The Marshall Tucker Band
The Marshall Tucker Band from Spartanburg, South Carolina combined country and rock like no other Southern rock outfit. Toy Caldwell’s unique playing style and Doug Gray’s recognizable vocals set the band apart from other Southern bands. Their first seven albums, all produced at Macon, Georgia’s Capricorn studios, are pure Southern rock heaven.
Florida based Blackfoot was founded by original Skynyrd member Rickey Medlocke. He moved from drums to guitar and had his dad, Shorty, play blues harp on several of the band’s songs. Blackfoot represented a harder Southern rock sound, and four of their first five albums are essential for any Southern rock music collection.
Molly Hatchet proved that Florida was a hotbed for Southern rock talent. They produced three top notch albums, and like Blackfoot, tended to play fast paced, hard Southern rock. Their “Gator Country” is as much of a Southern rock anthem as Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” or Charlie Daniels’s “The South’s Gonna Do It Again.”