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With many band members both past and present being talented songwriters, Lynyrd Skynyrd rarely covers other artists’ songs. However, one exception was a song titled “Call Me the Breeze,” which was written and originally recorded by JJ Cale.
Skynyrd had always been fond of Cale’s music, so when it came time for them to release their second studio album, Second Helping, they included their cover of “Call Me the Breeze” as one of the tracks. The group later went on to cover another one of Cale’s songs for their album Gimme Back My Bullets, which is called “Same Old Blues.”
“Call Me the Breeze” is the perfect fit for Skynyrd, since its lyrics tell the story of a man who lives a carefree life and goes wherever the wind takes him. This carefree feeling is expressed best in the chorus, as the narrator sings “Well now they call me the breeze/I keep blowin’ down the road/I ain’t got me nobody/I don’t carry me no load.“
In 1975, Skynyrd let the breeze carry them all the way to the UK, where they performed their cover of Cale’s song on the British music television show, The Old Grey Whistle Test. Everyone in the band had a standout moment during the show: Gary Rossington rocked his guitar solo at the beginning, Billy Powell’s hands soared over the keys at a remarkable speed during his piano solo in the middle, and Artimus Pyle finished the whole performance off with a powerful beat of the drums.
To top it all off, lead singer Ronnie Van Zant delivered a flawless vocal performance, and helped add to the fun vibe of the song. Ronnie was never big on moving around on stage, but even he got so into the music during this performance that he couldn’t help but dance along.
Once you watch Skynyrd perform “Call Me the Breeze” below, you won’t be able to stop yourself from dancing either!