Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Hit Wonders # 9 - The Rossington-Collins Band

This edition of One Hit Wonders comes to us from a band born of tragedy. On October 20, 1977, just five shows into what was their mot successful headlining tour to date, a private jet carrying the band Lynyrd Skynyrd and members of their road crew ran out of fuel near the end of their flight from Greenville, South Carolina. Despite the pilots' brave attempts to execute an emergency landing, the plane crashed killing band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, their assistant road manager and both pilots in addition to seriously injuring the remaining passengers. Guitarists Allen Collins and Gary Rossington managed to recover from their almost career-ending injuries and rather than attempt to re-form Lynyrd Skynyrd at that time opted instead  in 1979 to form a new band, enlisting ex-38 Special backup vocalist Dale Krantz as lead vocalist, guitarist Barry Lee Harwood and ex- Lynyrd Synyrd bassist Leon Wilkerson. Another Skynyrd alumnus, Artimus Pyle, was set to fill the drummer position but broke his leg in a car crash. Pyle insisted that the band not wait for him to recuperate, so the spot was filled by band aquaintance Derek Hess. The band was christened The Rossington-Collins Band and recorded two albums before disbanding in 1982. Their One Hit, 1980's "Don't Misunderstand Me" appeared on their debut LP, Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere and opens with a quite un-Skynyrd-like riff that grooves nicely and drives hard. The verses are traded off between Harwood and Krantz, the latter displaying formidable pipes that bring to mind the likes of Maggie Bell and Genya Ravan. Add Gary Rossington's strong lead work, the guitars de-tuned from E to D, giving the riff added weight, and you have a fine example of southern rock leaning slightly to the commercial side. It peaked at #9 and went platinum.


  1. Great article John. I think that this was a great band to mention. They were all phenomenal musicians, especially Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. They are both also very underrated. I think this was a cool article to do because most people just think of Lynryd Skynrd.

  2. I always liked this band,Ryan...they should have been bigger given the talent they assembled. I just felt a need to express my appreciation of them and I am glad you dug it.