Ed King, the former guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd credited for co-writing “Sweet Home Alabama”, has died at the age of 68.
King was a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 to 1975 and again from 1987 to 1996. In addition to “Sweet Home Alabama”, he co-wrote Skynyrd classics including “Workin’ for MCA” and “Saturday Night Special”.
Prior to joining Lynyrd Skynyrd, King was a founding member of the Los Angeles psych rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock, best known for their 1967 chart-topping single “Incense and Peppermints”.
In 1972, King was hired by Lynyrd Skynyrd to replace Leon Wilkeson on bass. However, after Wilkeson rejoined the band a short time later, King switched to guitar. He appeared on the band’s first three albums, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, Second Helping, and Nuthin’ Fancy.
King left Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1975 and was replaced by Steve Gaines, who was killed in a plane crash along with his sister Cassie Gaines and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant on October 20th, 1977. A decade later, King joined four other members of the pre-crash band in reuniting Lynyrd Skynyrd. He remained in the fold until 1996, when he was forced to depart due to congestive heart failure.
In 2006, King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.