The longtime musician and incredibly talented guitarist passed away at his Nashville home on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 – according to a post to his official Facebook page.
One of the co-writers of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s beloved famous hit song, “Sweet Home Alabama” and a member of the band for years in the early 1970s and nearly a full decade in the late 80s / early 90s – Ed King really made some great contributions to the world of Southern rock music.
King, who can be heard counting off in the intro of “Sweet Home Alabama” before jumping into that forever-famous guitar riff, was credited with helping to craft the music to that cherished song alongside longtime Skynyrd member, Gary Rossington and the late Ronnie Van Zant.
He was part of Skynyrd from 1972-1975, and again from 1987-1996 when it was said he stepped away due to health concerns related to congestive heart failure.
Credited with contributing a great deal to the band’s first three albums, King left the band in 1975 and was replaced by Steve Gaines – who was killed in the band’s tragic 1977 plane crash, along with his sister Cassie Gaines and lead-singer Ronnie Van Zant.
A statement released Thursday morning from Gary Rossington expressed his deep sadness and shock at the passing of King.
“I’ve just found out about Ed’s passing and I’m shocked and saddened,” he said. “Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player. I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in Rock and Roll Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
In 2006, King was part of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was also known for his work as a founding member of psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock – who is most notable for their hit “Incense and Peppermints.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Ed King’s family, friends, colleagues, and fans during this very difficult time.
Watch King and Lynyrd Skynyrd perform “Sweet Home Alabama” during a live 1974 concert below.