Former Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Ed King Dead at 68

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     STARS Lynyrd Skynyrd perform in Brighton

Ed King, the Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist who joined the band in 1972 to give the Southern rock group its iconic three-guitar sound, died Wednesday in Nashville.

We invite you to share condolences for Ed King in his Guest Book. He was sixty-eight years old.

King's family announced his passing on his Facebook page. "We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career". A cause of death was not specified, though King had been battling lung cancer and had recently been hospitalized for the disease. He was on tour with the band in 1968 when he met the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, which opened for Strawberry Alarm Clock a few times, according to AllMusic.com. He appeared on the band's first three albums, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, Second Helping, and Nuthin' Fancy. The rollicking track begins with King counting "1-2-3" before the guitar lick that generations have come to know as a tribute to the state of Alabama.

King retired nine years into the reunion period and subsequently suffered various health problems.

Notable Quote: "Oh yeah". "There's a part at the beginning when Ed King is talking about our song 'Need All My Friends.' Then it shows us, me and singer Ronnie [Van Zant, who also died in the '77 plane crash] looking right at each other", he said. The Allmans had their big hit and he said that was ours. "And once I heard what Ronnie had, I just wrote the rest of the song in like a half hour, it just came so fast".

"I don't know anyone who doesn't "know" the intro lick to 'Sweet Home Alabama, '" guitarist Andrew Michael Sovine told The Tennessean.

Guitarist Gary Rossington took to Lynyrd Skynyrd´s official Twitter account to voice his shock over King´s death.

"Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player", he said.

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