Born on this day in 1948, Ronald Wayne Van Zant, the American lead vocalist, primary lyricist, and a founding member of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, would have turned 74. Sadly, we lost Ronnie Van Zant on October 20, 1977, when a plane carrying the band ran out of fuel and crashed. Van Zant died on impact from head injuries suffered after the aircraft struck a tree. He was 29 years old.
In his memory, check out this performance (above) of the band's magnum opus "Free Bird" recorded live at Oakland Coliseum Stadium on July 2, 1977 - three and a half months prior to his death.