Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on July 26th of 1974 Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” is released in America, where it would become their highest charting single, reaching #8. If you listen carefully, you can hear Ronnie Van Zant shout “Turn it up”, asking producer Al Kooper and engineer Rodney Mills to turn up the volume in his headphones so that he could hear the track better. Lynyrd Skynyrd is from Jacksonville, Florida. They wrote this song about their impressions of Alabama and as a tribute to the studio musicians at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, where they recorded from 1970-1972. As for Skynyrd’s Muscle Shoals output, they recorded a full album there in 1972 which wasn’t released until nine of the tracks were included on their 1978 album (after their tragic plane crash) Skynyrd’s First and… Last.Neil Young had written songs like “Southern Man” and “Alabama,” which implied that people in the American South were racist and stuck in the past. Skynyrd responded with “Sweet Home Alabama,” a song about Southern pride and all the good things in Alabama. The feud between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young was always good-natured fun; they were actually mutual fans. Ronnie Van Zant often wore Neil Young T-shirts onstage and is wearing one on the cover of Street Survivors, the last Skynyrd album released before his death. This was the lead track on the album, and it became Skynyrd’s first hit. The song was written during the sessions for the group’s first album, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd, but they decided to save it so they would have a big song to open Second Helping.This was Skynyrd’s first single to chart. They have never been a “singles” band, as their fans tend to buy the albums.This was the first Skynyrd song to use female backup singers. The band never met the three women who sang on this, since they were recorded separately. The song reached #21 in the UK.